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7 tips for efficient learning

Efficient learning through seven simple tips – for students and self-learners!

1. Focus!

An essential factor for your efficiency in learning is that you focus all your attention on one thing. It would be best if you avoid any distractions. You will only succeed if you consciously concentrate on learning. Noise, radio broadcasts with information parts, television, telephone calls, and other people’s disturbances can be distracting. The learning environment also has a significant influence on your ability to concentrate.

2. Supply body and brain with energy

For studying activities, the brain must be supplied with as much energy as possible while learning. To achieve this, you should pay attention to the following points:

  • Good blood circulation is an advantage. You can achieve this through regular sporting activities.
  • The body needs time to recover. Sufficient sleep is, therefore, essential. Eight hours on average is optimal for adults, nine hours for 12 to 16-year-olds.
  • A balanced and healthy diet supplies the body with energy.
  • The body needs oxygen to convert energy—go out into the fresh air! Breaks between the short learning units are perfect for getting some fresh air.

3. Repeat in 10-minute units

Go again through the day’s school lessons or learning units in the evening or even the next morning. Ten minutes per subject is already enough! Think about what the content was about and what new content you learned. You can use a notebook to summarize the learned material. Write down individual terms, sketches, open questions, or even entire sentences. It would be best if you reread these notes before you dive into the next learning unit. Soon you will notice that you are more active in the learning units.

The scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1859-1909) found out that at least three repetitions are necessary. Why? And in which time interval? You can find out here: Repeat It to Keep It: Third Time’s a Charm!

4. Have the courage to ask – search the blog

Did you not understand a task or explanation completely? If you are uncertain, you should always clarify your questions immediately—especially if the learning units build on each other. Intuitive learning should always be at the forefront of brain-friendly learning methods. It would help if you did not leave your questions unanswered, no matter what stage of learning you are at. You can read more about explicit vs. implicit learning in this article.
Unfortunately, asking questions in groups is often ridiculed and not accepted by fellow learners. In these situations, you should talk to the teacher about it and try to ease the condition.

If you learn on your own, look for answers online – for example, on this blog!

5. Weekly schedule – an overview is everything

A weekly schedule helps you to keep track of things. To create a learning plan, you can determine how much time you want to study per week to reach your goal. Students should evaluate this for each subject. Divide this time into 10-minute learning units (more about this specific technique here). Create a weekly schedule in which you enter all dates. Now mark the periods you want to use for studying. Do not forget: Your plans must be realistic!
Every day after learning, note where you deviated from your planning and note how you could improve your planning next week.

You can find an example of a weekly learning plan here.

6. Learning log

In addition to the weekly schedule, you can create a learning protocol to enter the learned content.

7. Evaluate the results

Take the time to evaluate your learning results! You can go through the following questions:

  • What did I keep? What have I forgotten?
  • Can I group the things I forgot into categories?
  • Why do I have gaps?
  • How can I close the gaps?
  • Does it make sense for me to complete the detected gaps?
  • Which gaps will I try to close?
  • What exactly do I do? How can this be integrated into the weekly schedule?

Follow these seven simple tips for efficient learning, and you will see: You will internalize important learning contents as if by magic, and you will be able to reduce your learning effort.

Are you interested in a language course that combines essential learning tips? Try the brain-friendly and super entertaining MOVIE© language courses from brain-friendly!

Laura has been a big fan of foreign languages since her childhood. She grew up bilingual - English and German - and through international vacations, she got a taste of many other languages.

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