In one of my posts, I mentioned that learning is one of the 10 secrets of successful students . It is one thing to learn while it is another thing to remember what you have learned. In fact, main aim of learning is to remember what you have learn’t.
You can study 20 pages but only remember few pages. A question comes to mind, “Is something wrong with me”? Nothing is wrong with you; just that you are not doing some things right.
How much you remember is a function of your method of study. However, other factors could contribute to poor retentive memory. Back to the question, how can you remember 90% of what you learn? Let’s find out below…
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HOW TO REMEMBER WHAT YOU READ
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT:
1. Humans remember 5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture (i.e. in class).
This implies that attending only classes does not guaranty your success in any examination. You still have 95% task to remember what you have read.
Classes will not make you remember everything you have been taught. However, it makes it easier for you to read and understand.
2. We recall 10% of what we learn from books.
According to the same research, when you read 100 pages, it it only 10 pages you will remember. We are humans and we forget too.
3. We take note of 20% of what we learn when we watch Videos.
You learn a whole lot by watching videos. It is easier to remember what you watch that what you just read in books. Videos enable you take note of up to 20% of the information passed.
4. Humans remember 30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
Like you already know, Seeing is believing. Show me what you are teaching me and I will understand you. So, humans remember 30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
5. You recall 50% of what you learn when you engage in a group discussion.
The role of group discussion in remember what you have read cannot be overemphasised. No wonder many teachers organise group discussions so that students can learn faster.
6. Human beings remember 75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
Practice makes perfect. This is what we call practical. It is easy for you to remember what you have read when you practicalize it.
7. Now the big thing. Humans remember 90% of what they learn when they teach others.
This is the “ogakpatakpata” of them all. Give and it shall be given unto to you in good measure; this is the beauty of giving.
You learn more when you teach others. A candle loses nothing by lighting up other candles.
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LETS ANALYZE THE RESULTS ABOVE
You can now see that passive methods cannot make you remember much. Relying on what you have been taught in class is the worst decision you can take as a student.
You can’t just sit for a lecture and expect to remember everything. In fact, many students forget what they have been taught immediately. Also, we do not remember everything read from books or watched in television.
GOOD METHOD TO READ
Engaging in group discussions is a very good way to study. After class or on a special arrangement, you can fix yourself in group and shed more light on a particular difficult topic being taught. This can help you remember a lot.
A BETTER METHOD
A better method to remember what you study is practice. The efficiency of constant practice cannot be overemphasised. Practice makes perfect. Do not delay, time is different from money.
No matter who we are, where we are in the world, or how much we strive for efficiency, there are only 24 hours in each day. Every single minute is unique, and once it’s gone, it can never be regained, unlike money.
So, if we all have 24 hours in a day, how do we explain the success stories of young millionaires that started from nothing, or a full-time student going from beginner to conversation fluency in Spanish after just 3.5 months? They learned how to maximize for effectiveness instead of only efficiency.
What does that tell you? Effective study is a function of time. You have to spend quality time in practicing what have been taught.
BEST METHOD TO REMEMBER EASILY
Active learning is the best method of learning. It helps you remember 90% of what you have learned. Another question that comes to mind is this; what is active learning? Active learning is a learning pattern in which you are 100% involved.
Therefore, we can conclude that teaching others is the best way to remember what you learn. I have a question for you: Can you forget what you have taught someone? Absolutely NO.
You may not know everything, but at least you know something. This is the strength of that scholar in your class. He teaches people and stays ahead of them.
Let’s say LUKE spent one hour learning a language and retained 90% of what he learned. And JOHN spent nine hours learning and retained 10% of what he learned. Doing simple calculation, JOHN spent 9x more time learning than LUKE, only to retain the same amount of information (LUKE: 1 * 0.9 = JOHN: 9 * 0.1).
While the exact numbers can be debated, the lesson is clear. The way to have more time is not to go for small wins, like watching 5-minute YouTube tutorials instead of 15-minutes, but to go for big wins, like choosing the most effective method from the beginning.
Or constantly relying on free alternatives, when investing in a premium solution can shave off months, if not years, worth of struggles, mistakes, and most importantly, time.
It’s making the most out of the limited time we have by focusing on solutions that deliver the most impact, and saying no to everything else.
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