A really huge portion of the study tips you’ll get
from professors and other people who want
you to be better in school and maybe
that you’ll find here on YouTube are really basic.
They’ll tell you to sit in front in class,
scan your textbooks instead of reading every
Bring your cat to class to reduce stress
and so you get to meet the nice folks at animal
These tips, while they’re good,
they’re really really useful, they are basic.
Maybe you’re like me.
You’re a classical detail-driven nerd.
When I play fighting games I want to learn
about frame data and every single move sets
and all the match-ups instead of just playingthe game and”having fun.” So,
applying to study I’m the
same way and I want to find really advanced tips, ways
to hack my learning,
things that usually don’t come up when you get your basic study tips.
To that end, maybe you’re like me and want to get some advanced study tips,
and I am
happy to oblige.
In this video, I am going to give you 8
of those Advanced Study Tips, so let’s get started.
The first tip is to use the Corson Technique when asking professors for help. Now,
Dale Corson was the eighth presidentof Cornell University. Yes,
the same Cornell University that spawned the famous Cornell Note-Taking System.
He was also a chemistry professor.
He said that students
in chemistry and other science and math programs often have to really
work to crack problems one sentence at a time
as they go through their textbooks or problem sets,
but sometimes eventually you get to
a point where you just can’t crack the problem
on your own and you need to ask for help. So,
you go to your professor,
and what Dale Corson wants you to think about before you
actually talk to your professor is pause andask yourself,”What is it that I don’t understand? Truly,
what is it that I don’t understand?”
What he wants you to get away from is this thing
that a lot of students do is where they
go to their professors and with a”
general wave of the hand,” as
he says, they say,” I
don’t understand what I’m looking at.”
This is just confusing to me, I don’t getit.”
What he wants you to do is avoid that, rather,
pick apart the problem one sentence at a time
and figure out the exact point
at which you don’t get what’s going on.
Right here, I understand this, this process makes sense to me,
but here’s where I’m getting
a little shaky and I just don’t get this.
After that, I’m cool.
When you can pinpoint that,
you’re going to impress your professor with your preparation
and the amount of effort you put into the problem,
so you get some brownie points there,
but you’re also working to
practice the art of recognizing confusion and following it
down to its actual source.
This will help you immensely in all of your learning going forward.
Tip # 2 is to learn facts quickly with a technique called space repetition. Now,
space repetition is the art of studying things
at increasingly bigger and bigger intervals
of time and it’s a very efficient way to study,
but it also takes advantage of the way your
brain works. Basically,
space repetition is a system where you’ll study something,
and if you know that
individual fact very well,
you will not see it for quite a while, but the facts that you
don’t know well,
you’re going to see them more and more frequently.
The way that it works on our brain level is
that you are trying to recall information.
You’re forcing your brain to pull it out
at the closest time possible to when you are
about to forget it,
so your brain actually has to work as hard as it possibly can to
recall this information and it encodes it better,
so its more efficient and you can
actually learn a lot faster.
The best way to take advantage
of this is to use an SRS or space repetition software
to do your studying for you instead of using index cards or something. Now,
when I was studying Japanese,
and I will be doing this again soon, I used one called
WaniKani that was very,
very efficient and helped me learn hundreds of Kanji and Japanese
There is actually a free and generalized one
called Anki and you can find it on AnkiSRS.
where you can actually create your own card sets
for any type of data that you think you
would want to study
with SRS or you can actually find shared card decks from people who have
already made things. So,
definitely check that out.
I think the preparation aspect
of making your own card decks is very useful, but simply
going through and studying them using
space repetition is usually going to be more efficient
than using just typical linear flashcard studymethods on paper.
We’re getting a little more advanced here,
so this one is to try out the Method of Loci for memorization.
The Method of Loci goes back to the
Greek and Roman times and it is a memorization technique
that has been used by memory champs for along time.
It essentially takes advantage
of your brain’s ability to remember spatial information very well.
It’s all about visualization.
The classic way to do it is to associate certain sets
of the set of data you’re trying to memorize,
certain groups of that with different roomsof a house.
Let me give you an example.
This is the Kanji for king in Japanese,
and the pronunciation, the way that you say king
而 Oh 是一个十分简单的发音
in Japanese is”Oh,” and”Oh” is really simplepronunciation.
It doesn’t really lend itself too well to mnemonics,
which is a shame because mnemonics
is a great way to learn Kanji. Now,
what if I want to adapt the Method
of Loci to learning this Kanji along with lots
What does a king sit on, a throne,
or as we could say,
the toilet, and I am not averse
to using 5-year-old humor here.
What do you say when you smell the toilet,”Oh.” Yeah,
work with me here. Also,
the Kanji for king looks like a towel rack
so I can associate king with the bathroom
in a house, and if I really want to make this study technique useful for me,
I would go
into the bathroom and I would put up flashcards
on the walls and then I’d walk through my
house and study this. Now,
the Method of Loci is difficult to use.
It’s an advanced technique and usually you’re
going to be better off with SRS or mnemonics
if you have a smaller set of data,
but if you’ve got a lot of work with and nothing
else has worked for you, it’s something thatyou can try.
Tip #4 is to hack akrasia.
Akrasia is a term that has been written
about for centuries and it goes back to Plato, and
it’s essentially a lack of command over oneself.
There’s another even more complex term called picoeconomics,
which talks about this hyperbolic
discounting that we do. Essentially,
we discount the value of a task the more it is delayed,
the more the reward
is pushed off into the future,
which in short means that we tend to procrastinate and do
fun things that don’t really align with our values
in the short term, and we avoid doing
things that really do line up with our values because the reward is delayed.
The way you can hack akrasia or avoid
becoming a victim to it is two-fold. One,
use a commitment device,
bind yourself to getting your task done on time, and the
way I do this is by using an app called Beeminder,
which I’ve talked about before.
I absolutely love Beeminder and I’ve been
using it to ensure I publish three things
a week for quite a while now.
If you look at my graph here, which I’ll throw up,
you can see that I have been actually
publishing much, much,
much more frequently than I was before, and it’s largely because
I use a commitment device to buy myself todo this. Now,
another way that you can hack akrasia,
the second part of the fold, is to add a shorter
term reward to completing a task.
The classic way, you’ve probably seen this image before,
is to put gummy bears on your textbook,
and as you read paragraphs you allow yourself to eat them,
but you can do all sorts
of other things.
Let yourself watch an episode
of Game of Thrones once you finish an assignment or maybe use
a tool like HabitRPG and give yourself some
experience and goals when you finish the study,
problem set or something.
Just find a way to make sure
that the only reward isn’t that far-off delayed one that
Tip #5 is to improve the Pomodoro Technique.
You may have heard of the Pomodoro Technique,.
Everyone talks about it, but in case you haven’t,
那我告诉你 它是一个简单的方法 设置一个
it’s simply a technique where you set a timer
for about 25 minutes classically,
and then you work only on one task during that 25-minute
I think a lot of people do this and it’s very useful,
but there are some areas for improvement
that I don’t a lot of people take advantageof. So,
let me just rapid fire give them to you.
Number one, and I’ve talked about how much I’m a fan
of the Beeminder app, and the Beeminder
blog is also a good resource for productivitytechniques and experiments.
One of things that they talk about is this thing they do called Tocks.
ATock is essentially a Pomodoro session except
they use about 45 minutes and then take 15-minute breaks instead
of the classic 25-minute, 5-minute
The tip here is to experiment with the timeintervals.
Don’t just set yourself to 25 minutes
and assume that’s the only potential interval
that you could study at.
Find what works for you.
The other one is to put a piece
of paper next to you during your Pomodoro session, and whenever
anything that comes up that distracts you,
maybe a phone call or the urge to check Facebook
or something, write it down.
This lets you do two things. One,
you can remember what the distraction was and
if it happened to be something urgent
you can take care of it during your break time,
but two, as you continue to lots of
Pomodoro sessions over months and months,
you start to see what are the common problem
What comes up a lot that distracts you,
and then you can take steps to prevent these things.
Maybe it’s your phone, you forget to put in do not disturb mode; well,
you can do that
If its a certain website that you really want to visit
because it’s just so distracting
and draws you in,
then you can use an extension like Stay Focused on Chrome to block it during
“Stay Focused on Chrome”网站
your study session.
Very useful stuff.
Tip # 6 is when learning new concepts,
use both focused and diffused thinking.
This is a concept that I learned about
Thinking in Numbers的书上学到的
in a book called, Thinking in Numbers.
看这个人 Magnus Carlsen
Look at this guy, Magnus Carlsen.
He is currently the # 1 chess player in the world,
but back in 2004 when he was just 13
years old, he played Garry Kasparov,
who was considered the best chess player in the world
a couple of decades ago and who was
often considered to be the best chess player of
He played Garry to a draw,
and look at what he does from these screen shots here.
During the match he actually gets up and walks around,
looks at other tables, and what he’s doing,
what the author of this book has pointed out,
is he’s using diffused thinking.
So focused thinking really takes advantage
of your prefrontal cortex to focus on one
specific set of data, one specific problem,
and it really concentrates on one that thing,
but it doesn’t let the rest of your brainbecome activated.
A lot of ideas come from different nodes
of your brain connecting different completely
unrelated ideas in new different ways,
and that’s the diffused mode of thinking.
When you’re leaning something new,
you want to use diffused thinking, so you can grock it,
you can tie it to other nodes
in your brain and understand it.
If you only try to focus on the problem and do nothing else,
you’re going to have a lot
harder time solving the problem. Now,
focused thinking is very,
very good for problems you already understand, for processes
that you’ve gone through before,
and that’s why you want to use these two modes of thinking
in combination. Now,
tip # 7 and I’ve talked about this before
in terms of textbooks is to gauge your classes,
and the specific area I want you to think
about here is gauge the speed at which your
professor moves and at which you’re able tounderstand.
If your professor tends to go too fast
and you can’t really understand everything he’s
Maybe he writes too fast and you can
take notes fast enough or he just moves through
the material too fast
for you to really understand it and give time to process in your brain. Then,
you want to take some steps to mitigatethat problem.
One thing you could do is to read through the chapter before a lecture.
Maybe if you have some material that outlines
what’s going to be in the lecture, you can
use that to look at the most relevant parts
of the textbook and prime your brain for the
One other thing you can do if the class pace is just too fast,
and I can’t really emphasize
this enough is to simply ask your professor
for help or ask questions in the middle of
Professors are there to help you and you should take advantage of that.
My 8th and final tip is to start your problem sets alone.
When I was a sophomore I had a statistics class,
and I actually had a partner and she
would come over to my dorm basically every
time we had a homework assignment to do and
we would do it together. Now,
I realize that this isn’t really thebest strategy. Now,
I got a pretty good grade in the class anyway,
but going forward, I wouldn’t do this
Here’s the reason why.
When you do a problem set with a partner,
you’re robbing yourself the opportunity to
really pinpoint gaps in your understanding
because two people going at the same problem
at the same time,
if one person is able to do the entire thing and the other person can
kind of get where the first person’s comingfrom. So,
if you don’t really understand
a problem or maybe there’s one tiny little section that
you wouldn’t have gotten, but your partner does,
you’re going to latch onto their answer.
You’re going to say,” Yeah,
I sort of get that,” and you
‘re going to move on, but if
you do it alone,
then you’re going to be able to pinpoint those areas of confusion and shore
them up before you get into a group and finish the assignment,
so start them alone.
Those are my 8 Advanced Study Tips.
I know this video is a bit longer than normal,
but if you’ve got any questions about these
and want to learn more about any specific ones,
then be sure to leave a comment below
and let me know. Otherwise,
I will see you in the next video.
Hey guys, thanks so much for watching my video on Advanced Study Tips. Now,
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