Techniques for making important learning connections

By using these techniques, you will be able to improve your understanding significantly and at a much faster pace than rote memorization. Simply try a few of the techniques below and see what works best for you.

Acronyms:

This is a slight upgrade to rote memorization. An acronym is a word usually made from the first letters of each word in a sentence or phrase. For example, if you a studying accounting to remember the Financial Statements of a company remember your ABCD – Auditors Report, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement and Directors report.

Try to make your acronyms funny. Like with BING:

B.I.N.G = Bing is not Google

Analogy:

This is one of my favorite methods for learning. Take a complicated idea and just compare it to something simpler. The recent analogy that I used of comparing a saw to your learning strategy probably made it a lot easier for me to get my idea across to you. It also might have made it more memorable for you.

Interlinking:

Don’t get this confused to creating analogies. With interlinking, you take two ideas and ask how they relate. You are forcing your brain to make a connection between similar topics or entirely different subjects. Putting in this extra effort stretches your mind and makes the information easier to retain.

Relationship noting instead of summarizing:

With this technique, you can take your interlinking on a massive scale. Instead of jotting down points one under the other; become like your ex – go crazy. Write all over the place and show how each section connects with the other. You’re creating a tight knot in your brain. It may take a bit longer than only making a summary of the notes. However, like a knot, it’s hard to loosen up. i.e. forget your work.

Visualisation:

Connect each word to a strong visual. The best visuals are the ones that are outrageous, weird, crazy and ones that make you think that you may be a bit insane.  Use sex, drugs, gardening while playing the trombone, and the thought of crazy old Mr. Presto naked— whatever will stick out in your mind. (Please don’t tell your parents I said this).

Drawing:

You can choose to take your visualization to the next level by actually drawing what’s in your head. I recommend this method when you are looking to get the big picture. This allows you to see the different connections between many ideas all at once.

Visceralisation:

Sounds like visualize right? Instead of just picturing something, you involve all or more than one of your senses. Create a feeling, sound, taste or smell regarding an idea. For example, if you are studying chemistry you might have come across butane, an organic compound. Unfortunately, it has a smell that is quite offensive to the human nose. Imagine this smell as you recite “butane” and I’m convinced you will never forget it. (Just don’t show the same reaction in the exam. Your teacher may begin to worry for you).

Memory Palace:

I came across this idea in the book: “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything” by Joshua Foer. This technique is effective and really simple.

1) Find a place that you know well. This could be your house, school or the shopping mall.

2) Now find a room in the place you have chosen.

3) Visualize all the primary objects in the room.

4) Now link certain information to each object.

5) If you still have more information and all your objects in the room are exhausted, simply move to the next room in your house.

Tip: See if it’s possible to use one room for each chapter or section of a subject.

See if you can assign one place for each topic. For example, your home could be where you assign all your physics information, while your school could have all your biology work.

This technique is so effective because you are incorporating both visualization and linking of concepts together. Sure, it takes a lot longer than rote memory, but you will remember most of your work the first time you use this method.

This has been an excerpt adapted from the book Presto Study Hacks. For more amazing content and matric study guides produced by Presto Academy, click the button below:

By: Shivad Singh

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