Which learning technique works best for you

Learning Techniques: Methods for Schoolchildren and Students

You never stop learning and so learning processes run through your entire life. Even in old age and after many years of professional experience, there is still something new that can be discovered and learned. Are especially important Learning techniques but for schoolchildren and students, as they regularly pass exams and are graded accordingly, which, as is well known, can have a great impact on the future. A good degree is a good prerequisite for a future career. Unfortunately, the head acts too often as a sieve and no matter how much you learn, nothing will get stuck. This always leads to frustration or panic when time is slowly running out. Fortunately, there are some learning techniques that can help you To internalize knowledge better and to be saved in the long term ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Learning Techniques: Why Learning Is Sometimes So Hard

You sit in front of your desk or in the library for hours, looking at documents, leafing through documents, trying to understand explanations and save knowledge - only to find that you have already forgotten most of it the next day. A extremely frustrating feelingif there is no progress and instead you are faced with the same tasks over and over again, which you cannot solve the fifth time even though you have learned it so often.

All the worse if there is a classmate sitting next door to whom everything seems to be falling. One look at the transcripts seems to be enough for him and he already has everything in his head that is needed for the solution. And of course he can still remember it days and weeks later, while you yourself have the feeling that with every new information you read, something is there Delete knowledge elsewhere.

While this is one explanation of why you find it harder to learn, there is still besides individual speed other factorswho may be responsible for making it so difficult for you to keep something.

  • You don't think long term

    Everyone has probably heard: You learn for life, not for school ... There is a lot of truth in this, but it is often ignored and ignored. Instead, only the exam is considered. The main thing is to pass with the best possible grade, after which what you have learned is no longer needed anyway.

    However, it is precisely this kind of thinking that makes it difficult, since the Zeigarnik effect says that we better remember the things that are not yet finished. With the attitude that you will need the knowledge for a long time, it will stay in your memory better and longer than if you only think until the next exam.

  • They don't focus you enough

    An apparently simple, but very common reason why learning is not successful: Lack of concentration. The documents are looked at, but the attention keeps wandering because there are so many distractions that are more interesting than the boring study material.

    If you don't concentrate on what you want to learn, you shouldn't be surprised at the end if you've forgotten almost everything and instead remembers more of the things you did on the side.

  • You learn the wrong thing

    This is not to say that you are missing out on the topic or getting the information wrong. However, especially nowadays, many pupils and students suffer from what is actually a very positive development. Knowledge and information are accessible anytime, anywhere. One click is enough and everything can be looked up - but unfortunately this does not apply to the later exam situation.

    It is a big problem just to remember the place where information is to be found and not to remember the actual information. Outside of school or university, having a quick lookup may be enough, but it won't get you through exams. Therefore, really focus on the knowledge and not on where the knowledge is.

The basics for learning techniques and successful learning

The learning techniques that we present below will help you to learn better, to retain knowledge in the long term, to reproduce this and thus to do better in exams. However, in addition to the techniques and learning tips, there are still a few basic aspects and requirementson which the learning success depends. In other words: learning techniques help, but they are not the only way - and how effective the learning techniques are also depends on whether the basics are met.

  • Create a learning plan

    Even the best learning techniques are of little use if you've lost track of everything and have an endless list of content to learn in no time. So that it doesn't even get that far, you should create a learning plan early on and then have the discipline to adhere to it.

    This is all the more important as studies show that pressure has a negative effect on learning. Short-term learning does have an effect in getting knowledge into your head as quickly as possible, but the greater the pressure, the more difficult it is to gain real understanding. In the best case scenario, only a few pieces of information are learned by heart.

  • Provide the right environment

    To learn successfully, you should create an appropriate environment that is geared towards that goal. Above all, this includes a permanent study place, usually at the desk at home. If you find it easier, you can study in the library or elsewhere, but it should be clear that when you are in this place, your brain is in learning mode and ready to take in information.

    Fixed times can also help to complement the learning environment. This will make it easier for you to incorporate learning into your daily routine. You should also avoid distractions and disruptions in your learning environment. Try to read your e-mails later, put your smartphone aside and only have the documents on the table that you really need.

  • Develop the right mindset

    Researchers agree that attitude is an important factor in learning success. Above all, the emotions that you associate with learning and the exam determine whether you really learn something or whether you have forgotten everything in a very short time.

    The following applies: If you associate negative emotions with learning, for example because you are afraid of the exam or believe that you will not be able to pass anyway, it will be all the more difficult for you to save information in the long term and to retrieve what you have learned. On the other hand, a positive basic attitude helps to better understand and retain even difficult and complex topics.

  • Recognize your learner type

    Not everyone learns the same way. The decisive factor is how you can best process information personally. Do you keep something after reading it a few times? Or does it help you to hear the knowledge, for example in a lecture? Others benefit most when you share it with others.

    Knowing your learner type can help align your learning process and improve results.

With these learning techniques, the knowledge stays in the head

Almost every pupil and student knows problems with learning. Nevertheless, only a few come up with the idea of ​​dealing with the various learning techniques. Instead it will complained and cursedbecause it just won't work. This helps in the first moment because a little frustration can be reduced, but in the long term it does not change the fact that you need better methods for learning.

We have a list of them for you many different learning techniques compiled. Please remember: not everyone will work equally well for you. Choose the ones that suit you and use them in the learning phase. Also, some learning techniques take a little practice before they can reach their full potential. So don't let yourself be put off if it doesn't work perfectly on the first try.

  • Mind map

    The mind map is a classic that is still effective and enjoys great popularity. However, the usefulness of this learning technique depends heavily on the topic. Above all, extensive and complex topics and relationships can be graphically processed and understood very well in this way.

    Start with the central core topic in the middle and work your way out from there step by step - or better branch by branch. This gives you a clear and clearly structured presentation from which you can see all the important information and, above all, the connections at a glance.

  • understanding

    It is a learning technique that sounds almost trivial, but can be extremely valuable for pupils and students. Above all, knowledge remains in the memory and can also be reproduced correctly if a deeper understanding is developed. It is not enough to just memorize data and facts - only understanding brings information together and ensures that you can apply knowledge.

  • Loci method

    Behind the loci method is a learning technique that many people have heard of by now, as it has been popularized by memory experts and memory specialists. At its core, it's about linking places or lenses with information. In your mind's eye, follow a route that you know inside out, such as a walk through your apartment. You then mentally store the information in different places that you want to remember later.

    Then as you go down this path in your mind, you will remember all the facts that are there. This is a particularly useful learning technique when you need to remember information in a specific order.

  • Memorial palace

    A very related learning technique to the Loci method is the so-called memory palace. However, this not only requires good memory, but also a strong imagination. Basically, you build a corresponding building in your mind from all the learning content that you want to memorize. You can proceed in a similar way to a mind map, only that you do not connect two-dimensionally with lines, but create a real building in your mind.

    Start with the foundation on which the Memorial Palace stands. This is where the topic can be found. The supporting walls or pillars are made up of the most important information. Finally, you form the roof with additional information and details. If you succeed in visualizing this memorial palace and recalling it again and again, all information from it will also be accessible.

  • Index cards

    When you think of index cards, you probably think first of learning the classic vocabulary that many generations of students have had to struggle through. But the little cards can do even more as a learning technique and can also be used in other areas. For example, they are ideal for creating short and concise summaries and internalizing them.

  • Listings

    Lists are a very simple learning technique, but they can be of great value, especially at the beginning, and steer the learning process in the right direction. The aim of the listings is primarily to structure the content and to provide a better overview. Once structured and organized accordingly, it is often easier to approach the information piece by piece and then really understand it. In other words: do not try to climb the mountain in one go, but proceed in clearly divided stages.

  • Repetition

    The more you learn something, the better it will be remembered. Repetitions are the be-all and end-all of learning techniques. However, it always depends on how you use the repetitions to maximize learning success. Of course, you will learn something if you memorize it repeatedly - but it does not contribute to a better understanding.

    It therefore makes sense to combine the repetition with other learning techniques instead of concentrating solely on repeating the same tasks over and over or reading the same document seven times.

  • SQR3

    Behind this rather cryptic abbreviation is an effective learning technique to better understand complicated texts, often with a scientific background. The acronym stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. This technique was developed by the educator Francis Robinson. He suggests first studying only the table of contents of a text and considering what it is about and which questions should be answered.

    Only in the third step Read is actually read. The content of the text should then be reproduced again. What were the key words? A short written summary is also recommended.

  • Visualization

    Dry information is easier to learn when you pair it with colorful and eye-catching images. If you manage to save knowledge not only as data and facts, but also to assign a memorable image to each aspect, you will be able to remember it much more easily.

  • Alphabet method

    A helpful addition to the visualization is the learning technique of the alphabet method. For this technique, each letter in the alphabet is assigned a picture. For example, the M could stand for a mother, the D for a dachshund, or the Q for a jellyfish. This is also used in mnemonics, where long combinations of letters are memorized in this way.

    You could, for example, remember the letters KBDVMH with a little story: A child is playing on a tree with a dachshund and a bird. When the mother comes, the child has to go back into the house.

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[Photo credit: Nicoleta Ionescu by Shutterstock.com]
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22nd September 2020Author: Nils Warkentin

Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. In the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studies, career entry and everyday office life.

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