Does the timpani work for an exam?

Learning has to be learned: This is how you can learn to learn before the exam

Learning is a lifelong process. But especially in school, apprenticeship or studies, there is often a lot of new information to deal with and to memorize - because the next exam is bound to come. For some, it is easy to learn, while others have to conquer their weaker self on a regular basis. But learning can be fun if you follow a few simple tips. Even simple things can contribute to success, as Markus Nini, founder of the collaborative learning platform tells us.

Planning is half the battle!

In the rarest of cases, exams, tests or presentations are unexpected. Instead, we are the ones who suffer from chronic "procrastination": For example, we start tossing through the textbooks far too late - and then have to cram a lot of material in a short time. But this power learning usually does not lead to the desired results: The overload is great and we quickly forget what we have learned because the next learning material follows immediately.

Proper preparation is therefore the be-all and end-all. Learning experts like Markus Nini even recommend starting around two months before the respective exam to thoroughly sift through and structure the material. "A structured schedule should focus on concrete and, above all, realistic learning stages," advises Nini. "An insurmountable mountain of learning material thus becomes manageable portions and at the same time there is free space for things that are fun." How much time you want to allow yourself for the individual stages should be recorded in advance in the plan.

Everyone learns differently

Whether index card systems, permanent running back and forth or study groups - there are many methods to consolidate the subject matter. In general, four types of learners can be distinguished: Auditory learners perceive the information best by listening. Motor skills have to move or eat constantly while studying. By pacing up and down, facial expressions and gestures, they manage to memorize things better.

The communicative type, on the other hand, learns most effectively in a study group through conversations and discussions. Those who easily memorize pictures and tables just by looking at them are more of the visual learner type. The learning material is translated into pictures and bridges are built to it. Most of the time, however, the learner type cannot be assigned so clearly to a group, because many of us learn through multiple channels. Which approach makes it easiest for me to keep things is best for me to try out for myself.

Lark or owl?

It is not just the type of learning that is crucial, but also the time. Because not everyone learns equally well at all times. For example, early risers, the so-called larks, are usually most productive in the morning. Night owls, on the other hand, only get really fit towards the evening and can then work late into the night. So there is no point in trying to learn against your nature - it is best to use your internal clock here as well.

However, our type of temporal learner does not stay the same throughout life. Over time, most people's rhythm shifts forward. Anyone who is a night owl as a teenager or student can later find out that they are most receptive in the mornings.

Also important: no matter when we study, we should definitely make sure that we get enough sleep. Because the new information is only sorted and permanently stored when the brain is resting. What you have learned, such as vocabulary, then migrate from the hippocampus, the brain’s buffer store, to long-term memory during the deep sleep phase. After such a sleep phase, what you have learned is only really memorized.

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