How do I become a faster learner

Learn by heart: internalize knowledge quickly

An endless number of math formulas, hundreds of new words for a foreign language, medical terms, drawing up a balance sheet, names of capital cities, the President of the United States of America or the names of countless customers you will meet at an upcoming conference. Whether at school, during your studies or training or in your later job: Learn by heart helps in many different situations. However, this is exactly what many people find difficult. You sit there for hours, staring at your documents, but in the end nothing just wants to get stuck. This is frustrating and can become a real problem, especially before exams. We have the best tips collected, with which you can memorize knowledge quickly and effectively ...

Learning by heart is always criticized

Nobody can avoid learning by heart. Sooner or later everyone faces you Mountain of informationthat should get into the brain in the shortest possible time. Especially for pupils and students, learning by heart is a regular part of preparing for exams and exams.

How sensible this practice is will be shown again and again hotly debated. Scientists and learning experts come to the same conclusions time and again: dull memorization does not help to really understand a topic and certainly not to be able to put what they have learned into practice later.

So if you have learned mathematical or physical formulas by heart, you may be able to reproduce them, but you still do not know what exactly they mean in practice, what relationships exist with other formulas or for which questions the said formulas are relevant. Only when already one basic understanding is available, it can make sense to memorize knowledge and information.

Learning by heart may not be the best method to retain knowledge in the long term and, above all, to really understand what you have learned and to be able to apply it yourself - but it is also clear that it comes from the Learning methods is simply indispensable.

Memorize: The brain can do amazing things

If you are trying to memorize something, how many things can you remember? Probably in everyday life not that many. With a bit of luck, you will be able to keep the shopping list in your head, but most of the time one or the other is forgotten. It looks similar with phone numbers, email addresses or even names. Just remembered, suddenly we can no longer remember it.

With a long preparation it will be a little better. Learning for days or weeks pays off and it is possible to store significantly more knowledge. What many people are very proud of does not even begin to show what the human brain is capable of. Memory athlete impress again and again with absurd-looking records that are hard to imagine for normal mortals.

We only have a few of the Achievements in memorizing are listed to give you an idea of ​​what is possible:

  • Within just 19.4 seconds the American Alexander Mullen memorized the sequence of a complete, shuffled deck of cards.
  • The record for reciting the decimal places of the number Pi by heart is included more than 70,000 digits.
  • Within a minute, the German Simon Reinhard 104 digits noted and reproduced without errors.
  • Again the American Alexander Mullen: In 30 minutes he learned the sequence of 910 playing cards by heart.

Just test yourself and see how much you can learn by heart. It is well known that practice makes perfect.

PS: Donkey bridges sometimes also help ...

Learn by heart: With these tips it works

Sit down, stare at the notes and try hard to transfer the knowledge from the sheet of paper to the brain. Learning by heart is really not always fun, it can be very tedious or even exhausting and brings pupils and students alike to the Edge of despairwhen there is simply no learning effect. After many days and endless hours, you still can't think of what you wanted to memorize. How is that supposed to be in the exam ...

The bad news: there is no silver bulletthat always works perfectly and makes memorizing child's play. You will continue to invest time and energy in memorizing information. The good news, on the other hand, is that there are tips and tricks that will help you memorize it better and lead to faster success.

We have the best tips compiled for you. The following applies: You don't have to use them all to learn something by heart. Try out what works best for you personally and use the method that helps you.

  • Break the information down into smaller pieces.

    The human brain is not good at memorizing many things at once. Studies show that up to seven digits are possible, moreover, it becomes difficult. Especially with number sequences, formulas or in everyday life with telephone numbers this can make memorizing much more difficult. The solution: Don't learn everything at once, but break the information down into smaller parts and sections.

    The number 65311249627 you will probably find yourself do not notice in a hurry it works a lot easier if you look at individual parts of the number. For example, 65 is your father's year of birth or maybe your house number. You can remember 3112 as the date for New Year's Eve. For the 496, a connection to lottery numbers is obvious, where you need 6 correct numbers from 49 and 27 could be an age specification, for example.

  • Use mnemonics

    Mnemonics are methods that many memory athletes also use. There are different tricksthat help the brain to store knowledge and to reproduce it at a later point in time - whether ten minutes later or the next day in the exam.

    Perhaps the best known is that Loci method. Here you are looking for a route with different prominent points or locations that you walk in your head over and over again. Then mentally place one of the pieces of information in each of these places that you want to memorize. This works particularly well if you come up with fancy stories about it. When you then walk your route in your mind, collect the relevant information again at each individual location.

  • Address different senses.

    When learning by heart, most of them sit in front of their documents in silence and try to force them into their own heads. This can work, but your chances are better if you use different senses as you study. Don't just read the information, do it speak them out loud too ahead of you. So you perceive everything on different levels and internalize it faster.

    It helps when you know too what type of learner You belong. Most people learn best visually, but hearing or even feeling can improve learning success. Find out what works for you and combine different senses as you study to memorize the best possible way.

  • Learn before you sleep.

    It brings nothing at all to study all night, even if many who have the feeling that they have not internalized enough knowledge before an exam, repeatedly forego sleep. But what actually works: Use the time just before you go to bed to review the information you want to memorize.

    While you sleep, your brain is very active as well transfers knowledge into long-term memory. If you have refreshed everything you want to keep shortly before going to sleep, the chance increases that this knowledge will also be saved in the long term.

  • Distribute the information anywhere.

    Notes in the kitchen, on the wardrobe, in the bathroom, on the mirror or on the couch. To memorize something, study it anywhere. Write the formulas, terms, or definitions you want to learn on lots of small pieces of paper and hand them out anywhere in your home. So you will be confronted with it all the time, no matter what you are doing.

    It sounds simple, but it does Reps are still the most effective optionto memorize. If you deal with the same information over and over again, it will at some point be internalized automatically. So take the opportunity to surround yourself with the subject matter.

  • Take breaks.

    It is a misconception that unfortunately very many fall into: the longer I memorize something without a break, the better I can remember it later. But that's not how it works. The brain needs distraction and pauses in which to be deal with something else to be able to store information really long-term.

    Don't force yourself to cram for days. That is much more strenuous, but it does in the end even less successthan to take regular breaks and give your head time to process what you have learned.

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October 29, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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