How To Study For Any Exam | Unjaded Jade on Modern Wisdom with Chris Williamson

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Key Takeaways

  • Information revision is the process between information intake and recall – our current education system often values the outcome more than the effort towards information recall
    • How we learn: spaced repetition, active recall, associations, desirable difficulty
    • While techniques should be used sparingly, they do help form better learning habits
  • Learning and productivity often have uncorrelated misconceptions
    • Productivity is spending time well, not the time spent
    • “People spend the entire day in the library just to say they’ve spent the entire day in the library” – Chris Williamson
  • Scheduling helps regulate our urge to reach for distractions
    • Don’t forget to schedule fun stuff too! This helps subdue any guilt from necessary downtime.
  • Do your best! Simply having a positive mindset can be valuable for exam performance
  • And much more on studying hacks, test day prep, and scheduling techniques

Intro

Education System’s Revision Process

  • Why are we never taught how learning works in our school and university system?
    • Information revision is the process between information intake and recall – our current education system often values the outcome more than the effort towards information recall
    • Being an audio/visual learner misses the point – you’re asking students to figure it out for themselves rather than what the science of human learning tells us
  • StudyTube: active community to engage in collective learning and emphasize the information revision process

SAAD – How We Learn

  • S – Space repetition:
    • There is a forgetting curve to human memory
    • We often start from scratch on material we’ve learned previously
    • Incremental revision can help with long term learning and memory
  • A – Active Recall:
    • Our information revision is often too passive
    • Everything in front of you is correct, so you need to test your information to have an active revision process
      • Familiarity and recall are not the same
  • A – Associations:
    • Whenever you’re learning something new, you are more likely to learn it if you can relate it to something you already know
    • Activity: When you get introduced to someone new, associate the name to something you already remember memory you already have
  • D – Desirable difficulty:
    • Constantly questioning if your information revision process is challenging

Learning Techniques

  • Blurting: Compare all the information (keywords, diagrams, equations) you can write down off the top of your head with the textbook definition
    • Writing it down is a more formal way of representing understanding
    • Cheat Sheets should be designed in this method
  • Flashcards: Invites active recall, you have to turn over the card to see the answer
  • Sherlock’s Mind Palace: Associate information with locations, things, people to inspire recall

Scheduling & Productivity

  • Estimate how long things will take you to do
    • We typically underestimate how much we can get done, revise your estimations
    • Leave shuffle time – plan for setting up your workstation, getting a drink of water, switching study topics
  • Interleaving: We are more likely to have better information recall if we study two or more related concepts or skills at a time than one linearly
  • Rank and be honest with yourself about your progress with different subjects
    • Schedule the tougher subjects in your best personal learning time frame (morning, night, etc)
    • Interleave subjects that have a lower cognitive load
  • The Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes of full attention to a task, followed up with a 5-minute break
    • Scheduling helps regulate our urge to reach for distractions
    • Productivity is spending time well, not the time spent
      • “People spend the entire day in the library just to say they’ve spent the entire day in the library” – Chris Williamson
  • Schedule fun stuff! – Watching an episode of your favorite TV show can be much more productive than pretending to study.
    • Scheduling can help remove the guilt from necessary downtime

Studying Hacks

  • Sanctity of Space: Associate a location to a specific task, no distractions outside that task
    • You create an essence of discipline and respect towards the given location
    • Rituals are rewarding
  • 80/20 Rule: Work smarter, not harder. 80% of the grade you get will come from 20% of your input.
    • Example: Optimize the 20% on learning the flashcards, not making them
    • Making things look nice is “low-key” procrastination, ditch the aesthetics
  • Reduce the steps between doing the thing you need to do and doing the thing you want to do
    • Morning routines work because there is no procrastination considered in brushing your teeth, you just do it

MORNING – Day of Exam

  • M – Materials, don’t forget your calculator
  • O – Organize early, schedule to avoid conflicts
  • R – Revise and revisit your study information
  • N – No stress conversations; don’t set yourself up to be compared to others
  • I – Inhale/exhale, focus on intentional, and calm breathing
  • N – Nice reward
  • G – Go for it!

Words of Wisdom

  • When it comes to learning, credit yourself for being your best at the moment in the given circumstance, you don’t always have to be your all-time best. You often learn more from the performance than the outcome.
Modern Wisdom : , , ,
Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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