An important factor of learning efficiently is to concentrate completely on what you’re doing. Every kind of distraction should be avoided. This is only possible if you’re consciously concentrating. Different sounds, radio broadcasting informative material, television, telephone calls as well as other interruptions are distracting. Even the environment can influence your concentration. Things to consider when arranging a room where learners and teachers feel comfortable can be found here: The perfect classroom.
Your brain has to be supplied with energy during the learning process. To do that, remember the following facts:
Repeat what you’ve learned during the day in the evening or in the morning the following day. Contributing 10 minutes to each subject is enough. Think about the content and what has been new to you. To summarise everything you’ve learned you can use a notebook. Write down everything that is on your mind, including terminology, sketches, open questions or even full sentences. Reread these notes before starting a new unit. It only takes a few times for you to realise how actively you’ll be starting a new unit.
The scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1859 – 1909) found that repeating at least 3 times is a must. Why? And what time intervals are best? More information here: Repeat it - or lose it!
A task or explanation may be unclear to you. If you have uncertainties, you should always clarify your questions immediately – especially when doing modularly structured tasks. Even if implicit learning, (intuitive learning so-to-speak), is one of the most important things when using brain-friendly learning methods, never let your questions remain unanswered, regardless of the level of knowledge you’ve achieved (for information on implicit vs. explicit learning click here).
However, it’s quite common to feel uncomfortable asking questions when studying in groups. Talk to your teacher about the issue and try to find a solution.
If you’re learning on your own, search for answers online, for example here at this blog!
A weekly plan helps you to get an overview. To make up a learning plan, you can follow these tips: Plan on how much time you want to spend to achieve your goals each week. Every student should make a time plan for every subject. Divide the time you want to spend on learning into 10-minute intervals (more on short learning intervals here "Short-term intervals leading to success"). Complete a weekly plan with all your appointments. Then mark the time gaps you want to spend on learning. But don’t forget: make your plan viable!
After every learning session write down where you didn’t follow your plan and note down where time planning improvement is needed.
You can find a weekly plan example here: 5 exercises for perfect language learning – your weekly planner.
6. Take minutes
In addition to your weekly planner, you can take minutes writing down everything you’ve learned. For more information on planning and managing your learning sessions click here: How to achieve your goals! – including free learning minutes!
7. Evaluate your results
Take your time to evaluate your learning results! You can follow these questions:
A proven method to measure your results is your vocabulary. Find out how you can determine and measure it, here: Your vocabulary and what it’s good for.
Just follow these seven simple tips for efficient learning, and you’ll find out that you’re going to internalise important contents completely automatically and that you’ll require less time.