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8 Unexpected Ways To Help You Learn Faster For Exams

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

All students have been there. There's an exam coming soon and very little time to revise. Suddenly they find ourselves running out of time and...then comes some serious panicking! Don't worry we've got you covered. Here are a few ways to boost your learning speed and help you process new information and skills.

1. Explain it to your grandma.

Have you felt like you keep reading the same paragraph over and over, and still don't seem to grasp the concept? The solution is simple.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

- Einstein

You can speed up your learning and recall more if you imagine you'll have to teach someone else your paper. It shifts your mindset from just learning to pass the exam. Teachers look for essential points and arrange the content in a logical structure.

2. Study before bed or a nap.

Ok, you might be tempted to skip this one. But hear this out. When compared to learning during the day, learning new content and forming new brain connections shortly before bedtime provides a large retention advantage.

When it comes to memorizing what you've learned, downtime is crucial, and getting enough sleep in between study sessions can improve your recollection up to six months later.

3. Prime your brain beforehand.

Thinking means connecting things, and stops if they cannot be connected

~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Before learning something new, take five minutes to jot down everything that comes to mind about the subject. This will draw out anything you already know, and pull possible connections to the front of your brain before working on a new set of concepts.

4. Make it visual.

Visual information is processed faster than text by the brain.

Additionally, including relevant graphics in learning materials boosts retention. Whenever you can combine text notes with symbols, charts, and diagrams, you'll improve your ability to learn new information faster.

5. Study in short bursts of time (30-50 mins)

Anything less than 30 is insufficient, while anything more than 50 is too much for your brain to process at once. Take a five- to ten-minute pause after you've finished before starting another session. It's what I do in my academics. It works.

6. Take notes by hand

Students who take notes by hand are better able to identify key concepts. Taking notes on a laptop, on the other hand, leads to mindless transcription as well as the possibility of being distracted by the internet.

7. Use the power of spacing.

You have a choice - which would you do?

  1. Water your lawn once a week for 90 minutes or

  2. Water your lawn 3 times a week for 30 minutes

You might be tempted to choose option #1. It means one effort then phew you're done. Will your grass, however, remain as green as number two's?

It's best to review the information one to two days after initially learning it to ensure that you remember the information. In fact, repeating the knowledge over a longer period of time—say, a few days or a week later—sends a stronger signal to the brain that the information must be retained.

8. Change it up.

When you practise a slightly different question each time, you actually learn more and quicker than if you practise the same stuff over and over again.


I have personally used these tips as a student and they worked surprisingly well. You might want to try at least one of them. What does it cost? The question is - will you implement them?

Ok, that's all from me today - hope you found it useful!




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