3 more ‘Super Learning’ techniques to ace your Leaving Cert.

Extract from Outstanding Solutions Leaving Cert. Maths newsletter

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Here are 3 easy ways that you can start using today to accelerate your learning not only in Maths but in every subject you take.

There are many Accelerated Learning techniques that have been discovered in the last 25 years. They have been well researched (some have won Nobel Prizes) and they can dramatically boost your performance in terms of how much you remember, how fast you go through material, how well you understand it and most importantly how well you end up using it.

We will cover 3 easy-to-use and powerful techniques here:

Technique #1 – Prepare-Your-Mind

What’s this all about?

In the same way an athlete warms up before going on a run researchers have found that by taking 2 – 5 minutes before studying to get yourself into an optimal learning state can have a profound impact on how well you learn. Dr. Georgoi Lozonov’s research into Super-Learning revealed that by listening to classical music from the Baroque period your brain enters into a state known as relaxed-alertness. This music has a special impact as it has shown to balance the left and the right sides of the brain and can help produce the effects of ‘whole-brain’ learning. Dr. Roger Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his discovers on left-brain / right-brain learning. In more recent years this has become known as ‘the Mozart Effect’ which has shown to not only increase learning ability, but also promote health and relaxation and increase general productivity. Also note that the better and more positive you feel the easier it is to remember material you are covering.

Took a little brain work.
photo credit: don.wing45

An interesting point here is that using Super-Learning techniques Lozonov managed to teach a group of students 972 words of French in 2 days! Not bad considering they remembered on average nearly 65% one week later!

How can you use this?

Start each study-session by taking 2-5 minutes to listen to some Baroque music. Breathe deeply and relax your body. Let any stress, tension or anxiety just disappear and visualise your study session going very well. See yourself doing well in class and exams or just think about things which make you feel good.

Technique #2 – Discover your gaps.

Learning is all about taking something you don’t yet know and linking it to something you already do! The main problem arises when you try and link something you don’t know to something else you don’t know!

A silly example: The capital of Australia is Canberra. An easy way to link this is to consider that Canberra sounds a little like camera, and with a little imagination you could say the shape of Australia is a little like the shape of a camera. As such now you have a useful link which you can easily remember. A problem would arise if you didn’t know what Australia looked like or you didn’t know what a camera looked like. This is a very simple example but this is exactly what happens when it comes to learning foreign languages, studying the Sciences and of course when it comes to Maths.

The good news is, knowing this, you can now actively search for ways to link new material you are studying to something you already know and vastly speed up how much you learn!

Mind the Gap
photo credit: Andy Wilkes

How can you use this?

With Maths questions always attempt the question first before going through the solution. This way you become aware of what you already know and most importantly the gaps in your knowledge. This way when you go through the solution you can just link in the new ideas in the right place!

Also ask yourself the question “What is this like?”. This is especially good for learning words of a foreign language. Ask yourself “What does this sound like?” and then create a link (we will cover this technique in more depth in a future newsletter).

Technique #3 – Pay-it-forward

There is an old Latin proverb that says “By learning you will want to teach, and by teaching you will understand”.

One of the best ways to really solidify your understanding of an idea or topic is to teach it to someone else. This forces you to really be able to communicate and explain the in’s and out’s of an idea, and also challenges you to answer questions or deal with criticisms. Very often the person teaching benefits as much, if not more than the person receiving the lesson.

photo credit: TX_D90

How can you use this?

When studying imagine you are preparing to teach what you are learning to a close friend or even to your class. As you do this you will notice that you are a lot more alert and that you are more motivated to really be sure you know each part very well. You can take this a step further and actually seek out opportunities to show what you know to your friends and classmates.

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