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Effective Learning

Last month I described how you should prepare yourself for the coming academic year and if you have been true to yourself, you will have your own answers to the following questions:

1. Why am I doing this course or subject?

2. What grades do I want and why?

3. How much effort do I need to put in to get the grades that I want?

4. Am I willing to put that much effort in?

5. Do I want to work for a short period every day and accumulate my knowledge gradually or do I want to go for the once-in-a-lifetime mammoth, night before, candle-burning stress inducing cramming session?

6. Am I willing to take responsibility for my education?

7. What time will I dedicate to study every day?

Once you have your own, honest answers to these questions, I hope that you have planned your study by identifying your examination schedule and worked out how much time you have allocated yourself to quality work. Not only that, you will also have gathered together all of the course books you need, you will have worked out when assignments are due and will have planned your efforts accordingly. In addition you will have allotted a balanced amount of time for having fun and relaxing. By the way when I mean balanced I do not mean 6 months fun followed by 6 months grafting over a hot desk. I mean that every day you carefully balance the requirements of effective study against the need to relax and enjoy life. Your conscience (hopefully not in the form of a nagging teacher or parent) will tell you if you are doing it right. I may be slightly pessimistic, but I would imagine that you probably have not done any of this. If I am wrong then I apologise if I am not...........



So where do we go from here? Before you do anything I suggest that you read my review of Use Your Head by Tony Buzan (see April 1998 from the main index) AND BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT!!!!



In the meantime, let's review some of the topics that I have already covered as part of the Accelerated Learning Series. The following topics will be of value to you:



1. Mind Mapping® in April 1999

2. Principles of a Super Power Memory in April 1998

3. Memorising Numbers in January 1999

4. Memorising lists or linked information through the Journey Technique (August 1998), The Link System (November 1998), the Number Rhyme System (May 1998) and the Number Shape System (December 1998).

5. Memorising foreign vocabulary in February 1999.

6. The Brain's natural learning rhythms in October 1998.



The strategy that I am going to encourage you to use is really quite simple:



1. Mind Map all of your course notes and lectures.

2. Review every Mind Map frequently, at least to the guidelines I talk about in the October 1998 article on natural learning rhythms (after 10 minutes, one day, one week, one month and six months).

3. Generate huge master Mind Maps® for each of your subjects and place them on the wall of your bedroom or anywhere else where you will see them often. Review those Mind Maps at least weekly and with increasing frequency as the time for examinations approaches.

4. Balance the use of the memory techniques listed above with the use of the Mind Map® technique to find a happy medium between memorising facts and figures and understanding concepts. Remember to review everything at least five times.

5. When you study do so to the following format that will help you balance the learning of new material and the review of information already covered:


5 Minutes Warm up by stretching or doing some light exercise.
20 Minutes Mind Map New Material
5 Minutes Take a break (juggling is a good idea)
15 minutes Review information covered yesterday, last week and last month (5 minutes each)
5 Minutes Take a break (juggling is still a good idea)
10 minutes Review the new material that you Mind Mapped during the 20 minute slot

With that schedule you can study all day and still take everything in and feel refreshed. It is really up to you to find out what combination of my recommendations works best for you. There may be some trial and error but I can guarantee that the rewards of using these techniques as prescribed will be worth it. As a hint to what will be coming next month, the most important part of your efforts will be in the review, i.e. the drawing out of the information that you have learnt. Think about this, after you have been to a lecture, providing you have concentrated and understood what was said, you will have a pretty good recall of what was said for about a day. Why waste that genuine knowledge that is? Most people will recognise that they know it then and assume that they know it forever but you and I know that its recall will be temporary unless we reinforce it and with notes taken in Mind Map® form, it is very easy to do that reinforcement.






To ask about any aspect of Accelerated Learning, e-mail himself (at) michaeltipper.com . Due to Michael's hectic schedule, he may not be able to write back, but will do his best to cover the main issues raised, in future articles [more about Michael on the page here].




Frequently Asked Questions MIND MAPPING MEMORY SPEED READING GENERAL
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Silver Medallist in the World Memory Championships.
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The main index to Michael Tipper's pages on Accelerated Learning is at
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