The Science of Learning: Proven Methods to Jumpstart Your Knowledge Intake

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Looking for learning techniques to help you work smarter, not harder? Check out this list of ten learning methods guaranteed to improve your knowledge intake.
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Brain

1. Make Flashcards

Flashcards are good for more than just learning your multiplication tables. In addition to condensing information in to easy-to-comprehend blocks, flashcards have been proven to be one of the fastest ways to commit new information to memory. Flashcards are especially good for visual learners and people who need to review information multiple times to commit it to memory.

2. Learn to Read and Write Critically

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Critical reading skills can help you to comprehend more of what you read. Critical writing skills help you produce well-constructed essays, academic papers, stories and other types of writing. Mastering both is guaranteed to make you smarter and better at whatever it is you do.

3. Learn to Speed Read

When done properly, speed reading can allow you to read faster without reducing comprehension. Essentially, you take in all of the right information and disregard irrelevant information at the same time. Accomplished speed readers can read up to 10,000 words per minute.

4. Master Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic devices are memory tricks that help you recall information. Proven mnemonic strategies include but are not limited to: acronyms, rhymes, acrostics and chaining. Studies have shown that mnemonic devices permit the brain to hold more information for a longer period of time.

5. Write It Down

When we write things down we remember them easier. That's why people take notes, write to-do lists and transform ideas into the written word. Writing information down once or multiple times is one of the best ways to remember and visualize key facts.

6. Visualize It

Images, shapes, colors and other visual stimulants can be one of the most effective ways to organize thoughts and complete tasks. Visual methods can also be employed to learn new information faster.

7. Absorb It

Creating your own lectures and verbal notes and playing them back on a recorder or media player can help you absorb information without even trying. All you have to do is play the recording while you exercise, drive, sleep or relax. This works especially well for people who learn better with verbal methods.

8. Learn Latin

A larger vocabulary will make you better at reading and writing. If you want to increase your vocabulary, consider learning Latin. Knowing this language could help you increase your vocabulary by as many as 20,000 words.

9. Train Your Brain

Science has shown that stimulating your nervous system through exercise can make your brain function at a higher level. At least 30 minutes spent in moderate exercise (walking, swimming, biking, etc.) four to five times a week can make your smarter and help you think more clearly.

10. Take Care of Yourself

It sounds like simple advice, but the best thing you can do to jumpstart your knowledge intake is to eat well and get enough sleep. Eating healthy and sleeping is especially important for memory retention. Neuroscientists now believe that the proper amount of sleep and food can actually help to convert temporary memories into permanent or enhanced memories.

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Grand Canyon University

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