You may come across a topic that is difficult to understand no matter where you are in life. It takes time to learn new things, so what if you don’t have a lot of time? We’ve put together a list of tips to help you speed up your learning and maximize your time.
Organize the work into smaller portions.
This will allow you to process the information more quickly. If you’re learning a new language, for example, you might divide it into nouns, verbs, adjectives, and tenses. It makes the knowledge sound less confusing, and it shows you how to proceed with your studies.
Make a list of small learning objectives for yourself.
To cover the most ground, make your goals precise and time-based. It will help you break up the topic so you aren’t overwhelmed by a large body of information. You may also set smaller goals for yourself over the course of the week to help you progress toward learning an entire subject.
- If you’re studying math, for example, set a target for yourself to master basic algebra by next week. Then you can progress to more difficult topics like calculus.
- In a textbook, you can also divide stuff up by chapters.
As you read, keep correct and useful notes.
It is much easier to research when you have good notes. Pay attention to what is being said and write it down in your own terms. Instead of using full sentences, write down key details in short phrases. Leave blank spaces in your notes for future comments or questions. Instead of writing, “The food web is a systemic series of organisms, each dependent on the next as a source of food,” you might write, “Food chain: series of organisms consume each other.”
If you’re stuck, ask some questions.
Having someone else describe it to you will help you learn more quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand a main idea. If you’re in a classroom, talk to the instructor or a fellow student. If you’re on your own, consider Googling it or looking for advice on an online site.
Teach the subject to someone else.
Pretend to be a teacher with a friend or a classmate. Review the fundamental principles of what you’re learning and respond to any questions they may have. If you get lost or have problems at any point, go back and look over the material again.
Practice tests allow you to put your knowledge to the test.
Practicing will help you figure out where you’re having trouble. Almost every subject has a multitude of practice tests available online. If you’re in a classroom, you can also ask your instructor if they have any available for you to practice with. Make sure you double-check your responses and go through something you didn’t understand. You can also ask a fellow classmate to check your answers for you.