This week’s question allowed me to delve into one of the most powerful (but least utilized) study tools an individual has access to:
I’ve been reading your old blog for a while now. A lot of the stuff you recommend just makes sense. Once I started applying it I saw an instant improvement in my grades. (I know you wrote that I should expect a dip at first but I didn’t see it.) Where did you learn this stuff?
I’d like to say that the vast majority of my recommendations originally came from well-planned scientific experimentation but that isn’t how it started. These days, that’s where most of my new advice comes from but most of my original ideas were prompted by personal experimentation.
While the experiments were not too scientific, a few years later I learned that most of my results actually matched the recent academic experimentation.
One day I was randomly listening to some documentary and suddenly a scientist started recommending a similar list of strategies to the ones I’d created using my personal experiments. Despite my experiments being one man trials, their results ended up being remarkably similar results to the mainstream science of the time. That made me realize a few important points.
I did study experiments. I used flash cards, clocks, and carefully designed experiments to try and find all this stuff out for myself. The reason most of the ideas you’ll read on this blog sound like common sense is because most of the experiments I tested were based around really simple ideas I had. Those ideas were not in the mainstream science at the time I was experimenting with them but they were, in some cases, within months of being published there.
Right when I was doing a one man experiment to prove these points, scientists were organizing trials with hundreds of students doing similar things. While the scientists had to wait months to get solid results, I typically had my results in a couple days. Sure, my experiments wouldn’t prove anything to a skeptical crowd but they gave me enough of an edge to end up slightly ahead of the mainstream.
The best way to learn how to study better is through personal experimentation. There may be better ways to get results for the average person in a controlled environment but there is no better way to get results for you personally. If you want to learn how to study better then the tips on this blog can keep you up to date with mainstream science. If you’re looking to do even better than that then personal experimentation is the best place to start.
All you need to do is use some flash cards, a clock, and a little bit of knowledge about the scientific method to design an experiment with results that are reasonably good. Reasonably good results are all you need when it comes to day to day studying. These results can give you that extra edge in strategy and confidence to create amazing results.
Most of your experiments will be duds. Learn to love those duds because those duds are ideas that you no longer have to worry about. If you’re able to find one or two good strategies for every 10 experiments you do, you should be able to see results that are well worth the time invested.
Naturally, I don’t expect many of this blogs readers to be as crazy as me about creating these experiments. For those of you just interested in keeping up, just keep following this blog and you can get all the details.
Do you want to study in less than 15 minutes a night? That’s what this blog is all about. Be sure to follow along to get all the details. Also, check out the ebooks in the sidebar to learn all the secrets.
Aaron Richardson took his grades from fighting F’s to Easy A’s. In the process, he read over 300 books on personal development. Today he’s founded 2 blogs on studying including Smart Student Secrets. He’s written 3 books on the subject. His work has been featured on some of the biggest news, psychology, and student sites on the internet.
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