Improving your learning: 3 top tips

Improving your learning…. how do you do it? As students, we often focus solely on what we are learning and neglect to think about how we are learning it. In fact, the process of learning and remembering anything is extremely complex. This post looks at the top 3 things you need to know to improve your learning.

Knowing how your brain processes information is one of the most important skills you will need to master to be successful at university or school.

Everyone is different

Everyone’s brain receives and retains information differently. So, when making notes from your reading or revising for exams, try not to simply copy what someone else does. The aim of the game is to master the content you are being asked to learn. The best way to do this is to find out what works for you.

Do you remember things better when you…

  • Create a colourful mind-map and visualise how all the information fits together?
  • Repeat things out loud to yourself or a friend until you feel you’ve gotten it?
  • Make up acronyms and mnemonics?
  • Write and memorising endless lists?

No one can tell you what the best way for you to learn is, so think about it and come up with your own style!

Understanding is key

The better you understand something, the more likely you are to be able recall it with a high level of accuracy. To do this, you need to personalise your approach.

Ever wondered how chess players can memorise thousands of different positions? Are they super-human? Of course not. They are experts at making sense of vast amounts of seemingly random information and understanding it in their own unique way. Rather than trying to learn the position of the pieces, they learn the patterns on the board which greatly enhances their ability to memorise the positions.

Random information, no matter whether we use colourful diagrams or endless lists, is almost impossible to retain. You need to make sense of it, and once you do, you can remember anything!

Use it or lose it!

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to learn something once and hope to reproduce that knowledge weeks or months later in an exam. You need to use the information.

Research has shown that students who apply their knowledge regularly are more likely to perform better in exams. This is because applying what you have learnt is one of the most important parts of the learning process. Practicing past exam questions and problem sets is the most efficient way of using your knowledge, consolidating your understanding and ensuring exam success.

Good luck to all A-Level students you are starting their exams this week! Remember, if you still need help with revision technique or understanding a tricky topic, hire one of our tutors.

Written by a guest blogger

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