Foundations
Beginner's Overview on Smarter Studying
Building a meaningful study system
Exploring basic learning psychology
Extension

Kickstart

Congratulations!

You’ve started your first real step to seriously levelling up one of the most important skills you can develop: learning.

And I’ve got good news. It’s not that hard! We will give you the steps to succeed on this path less trodden.

🤔 What can I expect?
In our experience, we’ve found that the vast majority of high-school and early university students can see improvements in studying efficiency of at least 50%. For students receiving tailored coaching, we sometimes see improvements of over 400%.

Introduction to the course

Note: In the video I refer to the basic vs advanced learning courses. These have now been merged into this single course in a revised, more effective structure 😎

Common problems

To kick us off, here are a few common issues that students face when trying to improve their study efficiency and the relevant solutions.

ProblemReasonSolution
“It doesn’t seem like these techniques are working as efficiently as I had expected.”You’ve may have years of bad studying habits to overcome! Progress takes time, especially at the beginning. Expect at least a couple weeks before you feel any change.Just like when you start playing a new sport or instrument, calibrate your progress on doing the right process. Build the correct habit first!
Not being consistent/diligent/persistent/feeling like its not having the same effect as the course explains it should have.Most of the time, for self-directed students (i.e. no coach), this is because of rushing ahead too quickly. We’ve found that students tend to try to finish this course ASAP, but it doesn’t work that way!Building solid foundations is not just a preference when it comes to efficient learning. It’s completely required to progress at all.
Being afraid to ditch a previous method or style of learning that feels safer or more comfortable.We tend to avoid discomfort. It’s perfectly normal!We have to understand that the way you have been studying is probably already near max efficiency for that particular system of techniques. It’s a dead-end road. Changing at least offers the opportunity for improvement.
“I’m not completely convinced that this works as well as you say it does”It’s very common for people to be sceptical about the results that are possible. In fact, it’s good critical thinking to question claims that seem exaggerated.The contents of this course account for only about 10-15% of our total academic coaching arsenal. It is only the most evidenced techniques, taught in a way that our experience shows works the best.

Classroom

You can interact and ask questions with our academic coaches using our online classroom, for free!

Access to this Classroom is for students who have access to either our coaching services or our Study Smarter courses. While we would love to answer questions from all students (which we do during our drop-in clinics), most questions are answered in these courses already.

Online classroom

Disclaimer: We love helping you figure this stuff out! If we feel that your question is likely to be more complex than meets the eye, we will do our best to explain it, but may also suggest that you book in for a personal coaching session.

However, as part of our strict ethical code of practice, we will never try to sell you something that we do not genuinely believe is in your best interests.

Navigating the course

Explanatory Redundancy

We’ve found that certain concepts are best understood when explained from multiple different angles over a period of time. Therefore, this course has a built-in redundancy model. This means that certain fundamentals are explained multiple times. A difficult concept that can be easily misunderstood may be explained two or three further times throughout the duration of the course.

💡 Surprisingly, we’ve found that most students perceive the same concept a different way each time, taking away a valuable new insight into the same technique.

Progress speed

After working with countless students, we’ve clearly found that students who rush through the course improve significantly less than students who take their time! There are many reasons why this is likely to be the case, but we hypothesise that it boils down to three things.

Students who rush are more likely to:

  1. Have much less sampling and interleaving. Learning is much faster and easier when information is absorbed from multiple angles and applied in multiple ways. Rushing means there is too much information going in, and not enough application to make sense and find the importance in it. Studying smart is a nuanced topic and can’t be crammed!
  2. Be in an information-consumption mindset, instead of a knowledge-application mindset. Following on from the first point, information that needs to be memorised for an exam is very different from subtle concepts that need to be applied in life. Learning for the purposes of the latter requires a conscious effort to constantly see how the information will be applied! This is actually the foundation of several more advanced learning techniques.
  3. Miss subtle details and nuances. By now you should realise that learning to learn isn’t as straightforward as memorising MRS C GREN. Some aspects will seem straightforward and easy to understand, but students rarely actually make meaningful changes in their own practice after learning about it. This tells us that the student is learning simply to “cover content”, rather than “develop skills”.

Kickstart Checklist

  1. Join our Academic Coaching online classroom via the link above. This your channel to ask questions and even test your own understanding by answering other people!
  2. Identify what type of learner mindset you have going into this course. How does it need to change in order for you to maximise it? You may look down on this step, but if it wasn’t important, we wouldn’t bother typing this!
  3. Create a learning and application schedule. When will you learn new skills through this course? When will you experiment and reflect on it? You should create a rigid structure for learning and experimentation to massively increase your upskilling speed.

Got a question?

Talk to our tutors and other students anonymously through our online classroom. We aim to answer every question within 24 to 48 hours.

Find the link to this topic's classroom in the Online Classroom module at the beginning of this course.

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