How To Learn Faster

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Whether you're headed back to school

or just wanting to pick up a new skill

like a language or an instrument learning new things is


But, is their a better way to learn something quickly and retain that knowledge?

First step is:

Skip the laptop

Although you might be quicker at typing

Writing with pen and paper is the way to go when taking notes

Not only are their oodles of distractions online

But researchers have found that those who type process the information at a shallower level

As opposed to simply train scribing verbatim

re-framing the information into your own words while writing out physically

leads to better performance on tests.

And to retain those notes


In a French experiment 2 groups were taught the Swahili translation for 16 French words

Over 2 sessions

Group 1 studied in the morning then took a break and studied again in the evening.

But group 2 studied in the evening slept for the night and then resumed studying in the morning

Though their was the same amount of time between the 2 study sessions,

The sleep group could recall 10 of 16 words while the no sleep group could only get 7.5

Learning a new motor skill?

Try modifying your practice slightly

A study of 86 happy volunteers were asked to learn a computer based motor skill over 2 training sessions

One groups second training session had them learn the task in a slightly altered way

While the other repeated the task with the exact same practice

Those who used two different strategies nearly doubled the speed of accuracy of the task compared to the control group

What does this look like in the real world?

Say you're perfecting your tennis game, try switching between rackets with slightly different weights between sessions.