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Ways of Learning

ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
I'm in my second year of university at the moment and one of the things we were encouraged to do in the first year - and indeed throughout the latter stages of tertiary education - was to discover our personal best way of learning. For a long time I thought I was the block of text of type; perhaps owing to an intellectual disdain for those who needed colourful pictures. Lately though I've come to appreciate the benefits of an awesomely sculpted diagram - for one of my current modules, environmental history, I've mapped out the historiographical field from 1800-2000 in a family tree (appropriate) of sorts. I've also found a quite strange method works well for me - reading out articles in my best documentary presenter voice.

Since education is something we've all been through, what have other peoples' experiences been? What methods do other present pupils/students use? Highlighters and classical music ahoy!


p.s. I suppose this could apply to fields apart from standard education too.

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Æthelred on
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    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    For me, it's very simple:

    1. Find something interesting to you.
    2. Read up on it until you're sick of it.
    3. Repeat.

    There's no real finesse to it or special method or anything. I find something I'm interested in, and I find out as much about it as I can stomach. Right now it's club soccer- you've got 80 billion teams in as many leagues in as many countries, and there's all sorts of cool minutiae, like Spain's Athletic Bilbao playing almost exlusively Basque players, or the Buccaneers owner taking over Manchester United and disgruntled fans creating their own team in protest.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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    JohannenJohannen Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I love diagrams, I can whip out a sheratt-shapiro model diagram for you in a second, on circular, same or opposite molecules. I hate big blocks of text unless each one gives me succinct details on the main first line of the paragraph. I like visual things more than anything, i'm a good listener if it interests me, otherwise i'm balls. I am good if you give me any diagrams, pictures or you practically show me. I'm a crap reviser aswell, i'm really lazy unless it interests me, and if it does I usually take it in right away.

    Johannen on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2007
    I seem to retain information best when it is presented as text.

    Also, if I need to remember something it is best for me to also read a good deal of peripheral connected information rather than trying to memorize it on flash cards or something. Writing what I've learned generally aids my critical thinking/memorization process.

    Shinto on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited February 2007
    I could start quoting from my Electronic Coaching curriculum if you want. The major gist is that it depends on the task. Telling (reading from a book for example) is generally the least effective way to learn/teach for anything but route memorization, and can often get tied to weird stimulants at worst and sequential stimulants relatively often. The more you can incorporate showing and especially actual activity/doing, the better you're going to be able to recall things long after the fact and/or on the fly without being cued for it.

    Aroduc on
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    ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I learn by doing. I have a pretty easy time grasping concepts like math by doing practice problems, but I despise purely intellectual classes like social studies because they feel like nothing but rote memorization to me.

    Zek on
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    NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    It's not really a learning strategy, but I color-code things. I have every color of folder, pen, and highlighter I could reasonably find in an office supply store. When I'm trying to wrap my mind around a segment of code, I use every color at my disposal to highlight / match up the parts I need to look at. Function calls get highlighted in yellow, variables that I'm trying to follow get highlighted in green, etc.

    I also diagram... I've recently found a mind mapping program that does wonders for helping me get a good grasp of abstract ideas.

    For straight learning, I think my best method is to take notes (either on a lecture or a reading), and to answer questions / do exercises regarding the material.

    Nerissa on
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    Marblehead JohnsonMarblehead Johnson Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I tend to learn best by doing, but failing that (like in a college environment) I just have to write down absolutely everything that happens. I flunked C-SOM bad because I was using my high school method of learning and information retention: goof off, and still get straight A's.

    This did not work in college. For various reasons, I was expelled right around the time I failed, then dropped out.

    Second time around, I wrote down EVERYTHING... over two years, it was thousands of pages of color-coded, carefully-written and re-written notes, well-organized by date and subject, with equations boxed out for easy finding. This worked out well, since I made about a hundred bucks a week tutoring, since it was soon worked out that I had the best notes in the class, as well as the ability to keep track of big equations in my head. Eventually on Saturdays, we'd use one of the classrooms, and I'd be up front, reviewing on the board what we did during the week (and that helped me even more).

    I did a bit better. :) I have very, very poor studying skills / learning skills, so I either have to beat it into my brain with a hammer (the above way) or just do it over and over and over again ('real world' learning).

    For instance... here on this forum I am learning that, since I haven't been here long, anything I do is the subject of ridicule. I would not have learned that very well by writing it down over and over, but by doing.

    Marblehead Johnson on
    Magus` wrote: »
    It's human nature to derive meaning from that something that actually lacks it in order to suit your goals.

    Dismayed By Humanity Since 1992.
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I find I learn best if I take time to process and understand the material the first time, while it's being taught. The benefit to this is that I pick up new concepts pretty rapidly. The drawback to this is that if I'm learning something new, I have to give it my undivided attention.

    Taking notes is a detriment to my learning process. I am far, far less likely to remember something I wrote down than something I just simply absorbed.

    (Of course, once I've learned it conceptually, everything else - homework, rote memorization - is just drudgery, which I do better if I have a movie or music going in the background.)

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    For instance... here on this forum I am learning that, since I haven't been here long, anything I do is the subject of ridicule. I would not have learned that very well by writing it down over and over, but by doing.
    Length of time here has nothing to do with intensity of ridicule.

    Hell, I jumped right in, and no one ever ridiculed me. Except Tube. And that was only after I became a mod.

    And am I the only one who learns best by listening? It took me a semester to figure out that taking notes was getting in the way of my learning from lectures, so I just stopped doing it.

    Thanatos on
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    Marblehead JohnsonMarblehead Johnson Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Thanatos wrote:
    And am I the only one who learns best by listening? It took me a semester to figure out that taking notes was getting in the way of my learning from lectures, so I just stopped doing it.

    I jumped right in and obeyed the rules (after the first day) but that has done nothing to abate it. ANYWAYS...

    That was how I learned in high school. I would sit there, and the information was disseminated so SLOWLY by the teachers that I had to try to NOT retain the information. In college (at least my EDDT course), the information came SO MUCH faster, I had to take notes just to stay on top. Of course, some people in my class learned without notes (freaking Michelle...), so it really depends on the person.

    Marblehead Johnson on
    Magus` wrote: »
    It's human nature to derive meaning from that something that actually lacks it in order to suit your goals.

    Dismayed By Humanity Since 1992.
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    CeloisCelois Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I take little, almost no, notes during class. Except -REALLY- important stuff (dates, maybe some blackboard equations), but no more. I probably only have a few pages of notes total for each of my classes when the semester ends. I just learn better absorbing it and just going over the textbook or something, not to mention that most notes are online anyways.

    I tend to remember pictures and text about the same, although I usually mentally picture a grid/graph if I forgot something important.

    My personal best way to make sure I get a handle, remember, and understand the material is to... teach it! I usually run a few study groups that I go to almost immediately after class ends and usually try to talk about what we learned, try to explain some stuff, etc.

    I also currently work as a student tutor teaching previous Chemistry and Math classes I've taken. It's truly remarkable how well that teaching people things helps you understand the material in ways you may have never considered. Trying to come up with examples on proving or showing how something works is just great.

    Ninja edit quote:
    And am I the only one who learns best by listening? It took me a semester to figure out that taking notes was getting in the way of my learning from lectures, so I just stopped doing it.
    Nope, I do the exact same thing. I sit and listen, and learn. I really don't write notes at all :D

    Celois on
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    Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Thanatos wrote:
    For instance... here on this forum I am learning that, since I haven't been here long, anything I do is the subject of ridicule. I would not have learned that very well by writing it down over and over, but by doing.
    Length of time here has nothing to do with intensity of ridicule.

    Hell, I jumped right in, and no one ever ridiculed me. Except Tube. And that was only after I became a mod.

    And am I the only one who learns best by listening? It took me a semester to figure out that taking notes was getting in the way of my learning from lectures, so I just stopped doing it.

    Hear hear. I learn best by listening/practice. Taking notes actually seems to hurt my performance.

    Zen Vulgarity on
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    NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Feral wrote:
    I find I learn best if I take time to process and understand the material the first time, while it's being taught. The benefit to this is that I pick up new concepts pretty rapidly. The drawback to this is that if I'm learning something new, I have to give it my undivided attention.

    Taking notes is a detriment to my learning process. I am far, far less likely to remember something I wrote down than something I just simply absorbed.

    (Of course, once I've learned it conceptually, everything else - homework, rote memorization - is just drudgery, which I do better if I have a movie or music going in the background.)

    I used to know a guy that did better without taking notes. We made a great team in the graduate-level Electrical Engineering class we took one summer. He had the background, while I didn't, so we'd go to class and I'd take copious notes while he just listened.

    Usually, I'd come out of class feeling that I had no clue how we'd gotten to point A (stuff that we were assumed to know if we were in a grad-level EE course), but I understood how to get from A to B. He could explain to me how we got to A in the first place, but wasn't always sure how we got from there to B, so I'd use my notes to explain that part. I think I came out of it with a C, which was sufficient for the "need 3 more credits that I can somehow justify as a part of my degree plan" that was the reason I was taking it. By then I'd already decided not to go on to a PhD program anyway.

    Nerissa on
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    Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Nerissa wrote:
    Feral wrote:
    I find I learn best if I take time to process and understand the material the first time, while it's being taught. The benefit to this is that I pick up new concepts pretty rapidly. The drawback to this is that if I'm learning something new, I have to give it my undivided attention.

    Taking notes is a detriment to my learning process. I am far, far less likely to remember something I wrote down than something I just simply absorbed.

    (Of course, once I've learned it conceptually, everything else - homework, rote memorization - is just drudgery, which I do better if I have a movie or music going in the background.)

    I used to know a guy that did better without taking notes. We made a great team in the graduate-level Electrical Engineering class we took one summer. He had the background, while I didn't, so we'd go to class and I'd take copious notes while he just listened.

    Usually, I'd come out of class feeling that I had no clue how we'd gotten to point A (stuff that we were assumed to know if we were in a grad-level EE course), but I understood how to get from A to B. He could explain to me how we got to A in the first place, but wasn't always sure how we got from there to B, so I'd use my notes to explain that part. I think I came out of it with a C, which was sufficient for the "need 3 more credits that I can somehow justify as a part of my degree plan" that was the reason I was taking it. By then I'd already decided not to go on to a PhD program anyway.

    I think that happens a lot. In my Operating Systems & Concurrent Programming class, my good friend Brad was a genius when it came to getting to A to B, but couldn't figure out why. I could explain A and C, the problem and the outcome, and he could explain how to do it.

    Amazing programming team. A's for the both of us. :D

    I miss CS because of him.

    Zen Vulgarity on
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    Marblehead JohnsonMarblehead Johnson Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I think that happens a lot. In my Operating Systems & Concurrent Programming class, my good friend Brad was a genius when it came to getting to A to B, but couldn't figure out why. I could explain A and C, the problem and the outcome, and he could explain how to do it.

    Amazing programming team. A's for the both of us. :D
    I would look at A, and figure out C... and not be able to explain B. My teachers thought I was cheating for YEARS, because I never showed my work, and I couldn't explain it when they confronted me. Eventually there was a meeting with some meath teachers, me, and my parents, and they wrote a huge equation on the board that they thought up off the tops of their heads. Using the chalk, and writing apparently random numbers on the board, I came up with the answer in my head about 2 minutes after they worked it out with the calculators.

    They still told me to show my work from now on, and docked me from an A to a B, and gave me an N for effort. I think the world needs more teachers with the capacity to handle students who learn differently, rather than teaching to one or two specific styles of learning, but I also know that would be impractical both in terms of time and effort on the part of the teacher.

    Marblehead Johnson on
    Magus` wrote: »
    It's human nature to derive meaning from that something that actually lacks it in order to suit your goals.

    Dismayed By Humanity Since 1992.
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I think that happens a lot. In my Operating Systems & Concurrent Programming class, my good friend Brad was a genius when it came to getting to A to B, but couldn't figure out why. I could explain A and C, the problem and the outcome, and he could explain how to do it.

    Amazing programming team. A's for the both of us. :D
    I would look at A, and figure out C... and not be able to explain B. My teachers thought I was cheating for YEARS, because I never showed my work, and I couldn't explain it when they confronted me. Eventually there was a meeting with some meath teachers, me, and my parents, and they wrote a huge equation on the board that they thought up off the tops of their heads. Using the chalk, and writing apparently random numbers on the board, I came up with the answer in my head about 2 minutes after they worked it out with the calculators.

    They still told me to show my work from now on, and docked me from an A to a B, and gave me an N for effort. I think the world needs more teachers with the capacity to handle students who learn differently, rather than teaching to one or two specific styles of learning, but I also know that would be impractical both in terms of time and effort on the part of the teacher.
    God, I was constantly getting docked in math for not showing my work.

    Why would I need to show that shit? It was fucking obvious.

    Thanatos on
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    Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I think that happens a lot. In my Operating Systems & Concurrent Programming class, my good friend Brad was a genius when it came to getting to A to B, but couldn't figure out why. I could explain A and C, the problem and the outcome, and he could explain how to do it.

    Amazing programming team. A's for the both of us. :D
    I would look at A, and figure out C... and not be able to explain B. My teachers thought I was cheating for YEARS, because I never showed my work, and I couldn't explain it when they confronted me. Eventually there was a meeting with some meath teachers, me, and my parents, and they wrote a huge equation on the board that they thought up off the tops of their heads. Using the chalk, and writing apparently random numbers on the board, I came up with the answer in my head about 2 minutes after they worked it out with the calculators.

    They still told me to show my work from now on, and docked me from an A to a B, and gave me an N for effort. I think the world needs more teachers with the capacity to handle students who learn differently, rather than teaching to one or two specific styles of learning, but I also know that would be impractical both in terms of time and effort on the part of the teacher.

    Meth teachers? :P

    Zen Vulgarity on
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    Marblehead JohnsonMarblehead Johnson Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Typo. Stupid keyboard.

    And she wasn't a meth teacher... she'd be a LOT skinnier. We called her "A pair of hippos", since she was bigger than just ONE hippo (it was high school, we were cruel).

    Marblehead Johnson on
    Magus` wrote: »
    It's human nature to derive meaning from that something that actually lacks it in order to suit your goals.

    Dismayed By Humanity Since 1992.
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    Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Double poast.

    Zen Vulgarity on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Thanatos wrote:
    For instance... here on this forum I am learning that, since I haven't been here long, anything I do is the subject of ridicule. I would not have learned that very well by writing it down over and over, but by doing.
    Length of time here has nothing to do with intensity of ridicule.

    Hell, I jumped right in, and no one ever ridiculed me. Except Tube. And that was only after I became a mod.

    And am I the only one who learns best by listening? It took me a semester to figure out that taking notes was getting in the way of my learning from lectures, so I just stopped doing it.

    Yeah, I'm a listener. I've been lugging my laptop to classes as of late, 'cause my Politics of the Developing World professor loves the hell out of complex questions from one of his billion slides, but...

    I remember pretty much anything I read in the context of a book, as well. I don't remember PowerPoint slides so well though. Probably the divided attention between audio and visual kills my memorizing.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2007
    Thanatos wrote:
    For instance... here on this forum I am learning that, since I haven't been here long, anything I do is the subject of ridicule. I would not have learned that very well by writing it down over and over, but by doing.
    Length of time here has nothing to do with intensity of ridicule.

    Secret clans dude.

    Secret clans.

    Shinto on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Simply listening in lectures and not taking any notes only works if the second that lecture finishes, you go back to your room and write down everything you remember from it.

    I was most intensely annoyed when a lecturer assured us that the voluminous and dense slides would be available afterwards on the internet system - only for them to never put it up because of 'copyright issues' which some of the images used. Just take them out for heaven's sake!

    My problem with colour-coding is that I get way too bogged down in trying to have an awesome system, and spend all my time trying to make the system perfect - then never add any content to it. I run out of different colours. One method I've had some success with has been making a webpage for a module; using a quick wiki-lite was very useful for something like history where there's a lot of interconnections. Likewise there though, I found myself spending too much time on the system instead of the content.

    Æthelred on
    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Simply listening in lectures and not taking any notes only works if the second that lecture finishes, you go back to your room and write down everything you remember from it.

    That's not true for me.
    At all.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Feral wrote:
    Simply listening in lectures and not taking any notes only works if the second that lecture finishes, you go back to your room and write down everything you remember from it.

    That's not true for me.
    At all.

    Then you are a god among men. :wink:

    What do you do come revision time?

    Æthelred on
    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Feral wrote:
    Simply listening in lectures and not taking any notes only works if the second that lecture finishes, you go back to your room and write down everything you remember from it.

    That's not true for me.
    At all.

    Yeah.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Feral wrote:
    Simply listening in lectures and not taking any notes only works if the second that lecture finishes, you go back to your room and write down everything you remember from it.

    That's not true for me.
    At all.

    Then you are a god among men.

    I'm not trying to brag. I'm just saying that not everybody's brain works the same way.

    Let me clarify:

    If a concept is encoded well enough to last me more than 5 minutes, it'll last me until exam time.

    If a concept is not encoded well enough to last me until exam time, I should have taken notes, because I'll have forgotten it before I even walk out the classroom door.

    I have to take notes in some classes, and some more than others. Very fact-dense and rote-memorization-dense classes (like history or anatomy) I have to scribble down everything. For more abstract and conceptual classes I only have to take notes when a vocabulary word or formula comes up, assuming that vocab word or formula is not in the textbook. (Which is almost never.)
    What do you do come revision time?

    What's revision time?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    real_pochaccoreal_pochacco Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I retain stuff well through textbooks. That's why I get so frustrated when teachers are all, "Oh, we need to teach to different teachings styles, so we aren't going to use the textbook anymore." Fuck you! I like them.

    Also, discussing whatever it is I'm learning really, really helps me learn it. Pretty much if I talk to someone about it and have a high level discussion involving it, I will remember for a good long time.

    real_pochacco on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Feral wrote:
    I have to take notes in some classes, and some more than others. Very fact-dense and rote-memorization-dense classes (like history or anatomy) I have to scribble down everything. For more abstract and conceptual classes I only have to take notes when a vocabulary word or formula comes up, assuming that vocab word or formula is not in the textbook. (Which is almost never.)

    You're right, your brain does work in a different way - a genius way! Do you not have to ponder something at greater length some times? We perhaps experience different lectures too; from mine I generally get given an overview of a topic and go away to read up more on it. I do History, so frequently we're introduced to debates on particular sub-topics within a field - I need to write all these down since they're invaluable to structure my independent learning I'll do later on.
    Feral wrote:
    What do you do come revision time?

    What's revision time?

    Hm, maybe a British phrase; can't recall an American use thereof now I think about it. The period before an exam. For the 16yr old and 18yr old exams pupils get study leave, time off to revise. At university you get a month or so before exams to revise; though this is primarily motivated by the desire for them to teach you as little as possible. Especially in Arts, the fuckers.

    Æthelred on
    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Hm, maybe a British phrase; can't recall an American use thereof now I think about it. The period before an exam. For the 16yr old and 18yr old exams pupils get study leave, time off to revise. At university you get a month or so before exams to revise; though this is primarily motivated by the desire for them to teach you as little as possible. Especially in Arts, the fuckers.

    You call it "revise," we call it "study."

    What do I do for exam time? Well, if I have to I'll go back and review the textbook, although I prefer to review sample exams if I can get any. A lot of classes I just don't do anything to study except get a lot of sleep and avoid any unnecessary stress.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I'm generally a listener more than anything, though recently I've found that writing down trigger notes is very helpful. Trigger notes are short notes what tie a whole set of concepts together. They usually take the form of one keyword followed by a series of associated words. By writing them, I commit the concepts to memory, and when I need to remember things, seeing the keyword and associated concepts triggers the memories of the important stuff.

    All you learn by listening people should give 'em a try. They're quick and easy to do, and really don't distract at all. And you're that much less likely to miss the one crucial point (which was a real problem for me on a few occasions).

    Grid System on
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    TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I generally just take structured, organized notes in class and pay attention, and I usually never have to study. For a class where a lot of shit needs to be memorized, like Art History, I'll usually study for maybe two or three hours the day before the exam, but I'll constantly run dates and such through my head all day to make sure I know them.

    Generally, though, I'm fortunate in the fact that if I pay attention, most things click. And when something clicks, it's not difficult for me to remember later.

    Ironically, I don't use the notes I take much. I'll look over them before a test to make sure I know everything and I'll focus on what I don't know, but really, just the act of writing everything out in an organized manner helps to keep it in my brain. This is why I hate lecturers that present the material with no order whatsoever.

    Taximes on
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    Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I've been bitching about this all week, but its hard to review for five exams that happen in two days, especially if it is non-related or even conflicting information.

    Zen Vulgarity on
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    TW ArrathTW Arrath Registered User new member
    edited February 2007
    I learn best by having plenty of examples I can mess around with, stare at, figure out how they logically work. Thats how I learned the trigger system in StarCraft, loaded some other fan made maps and reverse engineered their triggers until I figured out how everything worked.

    TW Arrath on
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    VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    TW Arrath wrote:
    I learn best by having plenty of examples I can mess around with, stare at, figure out how they logically work. Thats how I learned the trigger system in StarCraft, loaded some other fan made maps and reverse engineered their triggers until I figured out how everything worked.
    The "learn by example" mindset is how I managed to pass my calculus and physics courses. Unfortunately, thermodynamics does not have such examples (ya know, the whole lack of numbers and all), so trying to solve problems with complex partial derivatives was a fucking nightmare.

    VeritasVR on
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    VirumVirum Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I hate text books.

    I take good notes and I listen to the lectures; I can write and listen at the same time so I have no problem taking notes during the lecture.

    After I do that, I don't look at my notes but once or twice, but I get bored easily while I read (which is why I hate textbooks....it gets dull and boring for me really fast usually). Reading my notes isn't much better either - I get into this "just get through it mode" and skim without really getting anything from it.

    So what I'll do is give my notes to a family member/friend and have them quiz me from them. One or two sessions of that and I'll have it down pat. This gets my brain working because I have to remember it, and little hints given by the quizer helps reinforce associations.

    I'm very audio oriented I guess. I can remember almost anything I hear in the lecture the first time except for names because I suck at remembering names.

    Virum on
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    SolventSolvent Econ-artist กรุงเทพมหานครRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Shinto wrote:
    I seem to retain information best when it is presented as text.

    Also, if I need to remember something it is best for me to also read a good deal of peripheral connected information rather than trying to memorize it on flash cards or something. Writing what I've learned generally aids my critical thinking/memorization process.

    Indeed. I tend to retain information very well if I just read through it, the best way for me to learn complex ideas is knowing the background behind them and how they're derived. So if I'm being presented with things I need to remember, I'll go and find a bunch of related stuff to it, so that if I forget one crucial piece I can think through all the other stuff I know and progress towards the actual bit I've forgotten.

    Solvent on
    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Taximes wrote:
    I generally just take structured, organized notes in class and pay attention, and I usually never have to study. For a class where a lot of shit needs to be memorized, like Art History, I'll usually study for maybe two or three hours the day before the exam, but I'll constantly run dates and such through my head all day to make sure I know them.

    Generally, though, I'm fortunate in the fact that if I pay attention, most things click. And when something clicks, it's not difficult for me to remember later.

    Ironically, I don't use the notes I take much. I'll look over them before a test to make sure I know everything and I'll focus on what I don't know, but really, just the act of writing everything out in an organized manner helps to keep it in my brain. This is why I hate lecturers that present the material with no order whatsoever.

    That's pretty much how I learn things as well.

    Unfortunatly, that kind of memorization is pretty much useless for remembering arbitrary information, especially if it is on a table that I never had to copy down. I can slog through drilling those kinds of things into memory, but it's never pleasant.

    jothki on
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    TacoManTacoMan Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    This is an interesting thread topic as I just had to come to grips with my learning process last week as I had procrastinated greatly in something you have to know in great detail: Human Anatomy.

    I had basically one night to memorize my notes and cram. As the night wore on, my brain started getting weird imagery...that'll make sense here pretty soon.

    You see, one of my history teachers in high school did this weird experiment in memorization with us. Apparently there are different ways the brain memorizes shit. There's the way we memorize just the first and last bits of lists, clustering information, etc. SO she told the class to memorize a list of like 40 words that she was going to say aloud. THEN we had a couple of minutes to write down the words on paper. Class average memory recall was like 15 words or something. Then she taught this method to us where you imagine in your head that you're walking into your home and assigning each word with each item you encounter as you go around your house. So her word "Ghost" would be the SHOE RACK affiliated with Soles ("Souls"), and on like that. Truth be told, the class was able to recall like 80 percent of the words like that.

    I fell back on this method that night trying to remember specialized tissues and functions of cells in the body. I made up really weird stories in my head like Uncle Connective Tissue with two different closets for his superhero outfits. In Uncle C.T.'s house lived all these orphans called Fibroblasts. WEIRD WEIRD stuff probably enhanced by the lack of sleep. POINT IS....what was point again? oh yeah, I got a 90 on my test and I felt like I didn't even deserve it. It was a lot of material, indeed, but I'm afraid that it's just lodged in short-term memory. Ah well, I guess my advice would be repetition and good old fashioned self-discipline. My theory is that most "smart" people weren't born that way, they just have a)have good work ethic , b)have no social distractions so studying is their most attractive option, or c)they're geniuses and get everything in one go.

    99% perspiration, right?

    Einstein is quoted as saying that "Imagination is more important than knowledge." This helped me a lot in high school chemistry to use my own imagery in my head to understand electron configuration and Heisenberg's Uncertainty theory instead of relying on cheap flash movies or memorizing convoluted and dry text.

    TacoMan on
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    Low KeyLow Key Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I am the same way with anatomy and pathology subjects. The amount of insane detail you have to remember, about specific quantities of god knows what flowing through the floozpaddle to cause twenty different symptoms that are all in greek is just nuts. I don't even really listen in those lectures, just write down everything that gets said, then go over it all again at the end of the week so that I understand what's going on.

    The week before an anatomy exam I live and breathe the material in every pointless detail, but by the time it's over I'm lucky if I can even remember the name of the subject.

    Low Key on
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    AcidSerraAcidSerra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I can learn most of what I need to know through listening or reading. Alot of people in my history class treated me as though I were some sort of wierd ass genius because I could top em all w/o study, but it really isn't true. The truth is that when I hear things, the information enters my mind and is attached to other bits of information and memories. I'm not trying to remember "when did the Pelloponessian war begin?" My mind is simply working through, "okay thats classical, and classical is 440s and it was a few years after that so 439-436ish."

    It's not magic, it's not genius, it's not godlike ability, it's a memory trick which comes naturally to us.

    For hands-on learners, this won't work well unless they train themselves to do it. They need to work something over for themself, so that the mind can make attachments to actions, since it's actions they remember best.

    For visual learners they need to see it. Have a visual connection to something in order to keep track of it.

    On top of this your overall ability to memorize things and interest in the subject will vary allowing you to more easily learn some things, and less easily learn others.

    And this is just learning preferences, we haven't even stratched the surface of study habits. ^.^

    AcidSerra on
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