How to Not Forget What You Studied?

As it ever happened that you read a book and then some time later you have difficulty explaining the fundamental concepts of that book? So, how can you not forget what you studied?

This is a common problem, as we were not as well educated to study as we should. One thing is reading fluency and a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT thing is understanding the text. But the good thing is that there is a way to read well and understand everything.

How to read and fix everything that is important?

The first important thing is to make it clear that in order for us to make our reading productive, we need to be aware that it is not enough to read just once. But let’s talk about that later.

I propose a test exercise. You are reading the book and found an important concept that made you understand what is happening. At that moment you close the book you just read and then try to think, without reading, without consulting, and try to reproduce that in your head so you can explain what you just read.

You read it, shut the book and presently you need to make sense of. As though I were conversing with another person. In the event that you can’t make sense of it, it implies, to put it plainly, that you didn’t figure out that substance.

This means that you read, you were fluent, but you didn’t actually generate the necessary neural connections for that content to actually be incorporated into your intelligence. This exercise really strengthens your intelligence.

How to Not Forget What You Studied: What about re-reading?

ereadings bring some pitfalls. We almost always assume that, when we re-read that content, we will see it again, as well. The problem is that reading has a passive aspect that can be very dangerous for our intelligence.

It’s as if you wanted to learn how to bake a cake, for example. No one will imagine that just watching someone make a cake over and over again will be able to learn, but that’s not true, because we need to practice.

And this is the same with intelligence. This exercise that was proposed is uncomfortable, causes laziness, but it is something that you need to exercise. Otherwise you run the risk of reading, reading, reading and never really learning.

You may feel comfortable being fluent, following the author’s reasoning, but you are in every way evading the exercise of thinking for yourself and incorporating those ideas.

It is essential to reflect and articulate these ideas in your own words, that is, in a much more active way and not in a passive way.

How to remember everything you studied?

Our memory has some dynamics. We have short, medium and long term memories. For long-term memories, a permanent strengthening exercise is required.

Until it reaches a point where it becomes natural, it becomes something automatic, that is, when you read it for the first time it will be enough to remember. This is because our brain generates a certain amount of connection quality.

However, if you don’t regain this knowledge soon, it will disappear. So if we learn something, but don’t practice it in a short period of time, it disappears, it is forgotten.

Therefore, an appropriate (and actually extremely efficient) way for us to understand is to revisit that content, whether explaining it to someone or repeating it to ourselves, or taking a test.

It’s not rereading, which can be a trap, but actively resuming this content so that it repeats itself and this repetition will exercise your intelligence and make the content better stored in your intelligence.

By applying this technique at regular frequencies (we always indicate periods of 24 hours, 7 days, 14 days and 30 days), whatever the subject studied, it will be recovered very easily.

An example of this is the ease with which we recover language. We don’t need to remember grammar rules all the time because this is already incorporated, this is already routine, this is already automated with knowledge.

Explain to learn: the infallible technique

That’s why teachers have some advantages when it comes to this skill. Because it’s not enough to know the content, you need to know enough to explain it to people who may have never heard of it.

We all learn a lot when we explain, because sometimes the very act of explaining causes a series of dynamics to contribute to our learning, that is, explaining is not just an act of teaching, it is an act of learning too.

In the same sense (and for the same reason), another trap that is very dangerous is underlining. I like to emphasize it, but you have to keep in mind the trap that can set in.

It is having the illusion that the act of highlighting is synonymous with understanding. We emphasize and assume that it is enough, we feel comfortable, and we don’t do that exercise that is essential.

Close the book and remember that concept and reproduce it in your own words, explain it to yourself.

So underlining books can be a trap if you are lying to yourself. Underlining is very useful when you are doing research and you later need to consult that book to find quotes or to remember certain points in the book.

In this case, that’s fine, but you need to be aware and not fool yourself into imagining that highlighting is enough.

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