You’re Not Stupid: How to Easily Learn Difficult Things

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Break down information into chunks.

This can help you digest information faster. For example, if you are learning a new language, you can break it down into nouns, verbs, adjectives, and tenses. This makes the information less overwhelming and gives you a roadmap to research it. If you are learning from a textbook, it may already be arranged like this.

Set small learning goals.

Set specific, time-based goals that work best for you. This will help break down the topic so you don’t get overwhelmed with a whole bunch of knowledge. You can also set smaller goals over the course of the week to progress toward learning the entire topic. For example, if you are studying math, try setting a goal to master basic algebra next week. Then you can move on to more difficult concepts, like counting. You can also divide things up into chapters in the manual.


They will help you remember the topic. Good grades make studying much easier. Listen to the information presented and write it down in your own words. Write down important information in concise sentences rather than using full sentences. Leave space in your notes to jot down comments or questions later.  For example, instead of writing “A food chain is a hierarchical sequence of organisms, each dependent on the other as a source of food”, you could write “A food chain: a series of organisms eat each other”. Try to develop shorthand that is easy to write and understand. For example, if you are learning chemistry concepts, you can shorten catalyst to the cat, chromatography to Chrom, or stoichiometry to touch. If you are taking notes on how to do something in sequence, such as how to solve a math problem, write your notes in steps. This way it will be easier for you to remember how to apply these same steps to different problems.


Write notes instead of typing them.

Studies show that writing notes by hand reinforces information in your head. Try the old-fashioned way and get out a piece of paper and a pencil If you want your notes to be organized, enter them later and save them on your computer. Writing your notes by hand can take a little longer than typing them, so it’s important to write sentences and use keyboard shortcuts.

Ask a question if you feel stuck.

Asking others to explain can help you learn faster. If there’s a key concept that you don’t quite understand, don’t be afraid to ask. If you are in a classroom, approach the teacher or classmate.  If you’re working on your own, try a Google search or find an online forum for help. If you are in higher education, visit your teacher’s office hours for help throughout the school year.

Take this subject for 10 to 20 minutes every day.

Studying will help you absorb the subject faster. Long preparation sessions do not help you retain information for long. Instead, try to make time to study so that you do a little each day. Try to study for 10-15 minutes every night or whenever you have time. Studies show that trying to cram a lot of knowledge into your head right before a test will only help you maintain it in the short term.  If you are limited in time, you may not be able to study for several days. If so, just make sure to take plenty of breaks to give your brain a rest.

Teach the material to others.

Catch a friend or classmate and pretend you’re the teacher. Review the basics of what you’re learning and answer any questions they may have. If you get stuck or get stuck at any point, go back and review the things you’re struggling with. If you can teach someone something, you’re probably about to master it.


Read information aloud.

Read some material, then say what you just learned. You don’t have to talk to anyone – you can do this by yourself at home if you want. Saying information aloud helps you remember information faster and stick it out longer. When you’re done, review the information one more time to make sure you got it right.

If you miss something or get stuck in an area, revisit it a few times.

Connecting information to the real world.

What will this knowledge help you do in the future? What is it helping you to do right now? Linking the topic to something you do outside of the classroom is a great way to maintain your interest.  People often associate topics with what they do professionally. If you study chemistry, you can use it later when working in the lab. If you are studying math, you will probably do calculations at an accounting firm in the future.

Memorize information with a mnemonic device.

Use this trick to quickly find information. For example, if you want to remember the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple), you can use the Roy G. Biv mnemonic device. It’s much easier to remember, so you can memorize it faster and use it to retain information. If you are learning the order of operations in mathematics (brackets, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction), you can use the PEMDAS mnemonic device.

Test your knowledge with real tests

A practice test can show you where you’re struggling. You can find plenty of practice tests online for almost any subject. If you’re in a classroom, you can also ask your teacher if they have any methods you can practice with. Be sure to check your answers and review anything that gets you in trouble.


Studying the same material using a different medium

Different media have been shown to stimulate different parts of the brain. The more brain regions stimulated, the better the ability to understand the object as well as the ability to remember. Therefore, when a topic is covered, be sure to research the topic from handbooks, textbooks, workbooks, online sources, animated videos (if available), and any other reference source. and finally, teach someone what you’ve learned. Needless to say, you can’t cover all of the above in one session. Each time you study the concept, you can use a different medium.


First read the title, subtitles, and illustrations of the topic.

Take a moment to visualize the chapter and think about the overall purpose of the current topic. This way you put your brain into receptive mode, which optimizes learning and gives it a structure to stick to new concepts.

Pausing, recalling, and reflecting

After reading a difficult concept, close the book and recall the basic ideas you read, in your own words. You can give it some time to soak into your brain before moving on to the next concept. This process of remembering and thinking inculcates neural patterns into your brain.

Use analogies or simulations to make concepts memorable

When you frame a learned concept as a simple analogy, you connect it to other regions of the brain. If you take it a step further by writing down the analogy, the concept will be codified deeper and better in your brain.

Your space to study and practice

Our brain is thought to be like a muscle that needs alternating periods of rest and recovery to synthesize new ideas and concepts. With difficult concepts, you’ll have to deal with your studies – study a few lessons a day, instead of amassing all the information in a few marathon sessions. You may be surprised to learn that cramming can help you retain knowledge for a day and pass your test. However, you may not be able to remember the same concept when you finally move on to the next difficult topic. Therefore, always make sure to schedule your study sessions. Also, never try to multitask while studying.

 Zoom and Inspect

Go through all the material you need to study. Your goal is not to find out information, but to notice what you don’t know. If more than one or two ideas come up in a chapter, maybe you should stop and go back.


Self-test. Testing is a good way to see if you know what you’re doing, so give it a try.


It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Humanization is the process of taking things that are not human and giving them human characteristics.

Describing a rock as lonely would be an example. You can use this tool by coming up with abstract ideas about human qualities to make them easier to remember. A great example was given by my psychology professor. He showed how signals are transmitted along a neuron by describing it as people running down hotel corridors as doors open and close.


 Similar to visualization except you use all your senses. This is harder to explain, but you can create a feeling, sound, or meaning that matches an idea. I remember doing basic matrix determinations by relating the feel of my hand moving in a box.

Leverage previous knowledge

Did you know what could be useful? Use the information you already have. Usually, the specifics between subjects are different, but the founding principles are similar. Look for connections.

Avoid Gaps

I used this technique to pass tests that I didn’t study. While I always recommend doing your research first, it can serve as a reminder to help in a crisis. The basic idea of ​​distance avoidance is that you are aware of what you do not know and collect everything you do.

I once won an interstate chemistry exam in which one of the questions was to write an essay on the soap. I know very little about soap, so my first step is to gather everything I know that might be related to soap from afar.
Then I write down what I don’t know, to consciously avoid showing my ignorance when writing the essay.
I want to emphasize that this technique is not magic. If you don’t know something, you will probably fail. But it can be helpful if you are lacking information and are unable to continue with your studies.


Gather a few people in a room and brainstorm. I find it ideal more than one or two, although some experts recommend up to six.


Consider this individual brainstorming. Write down all the ideas, thoughts, and information you can think of. A dump to put everything on paper.

Relationship Diagrams

Diagrams that emphasize relationships between information are a great tool. Instead of just showing information, show how it is relevant. Combined with fluent note-taking, it’s a great way to gather all the information.

Give him a hand

Use your fingers and thumbs as a mnemonic device. Match different words or names with specific fingers and memorize where it goes. There are limitations to this application, but it can be helpful if a good acronym doesn’t immediately appear.

Imagination Room Method

A reader sent me this and it is based on the linking technique. Imagine a room that is familiar to you. Now see all the main objects in this room. The next step is to associate each specific piece of information or detail with each object in your room.

Another variation of this technique uses your body instead of the room. I guess it depends on you being more visual in your way of learning.

Make it interesting

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? You will remember the information you are most pleased to know. Find ways to use the information beyond just taking notes and it will become more real to you.








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