Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to Study the Scientific Way

How to Study ...The Scientific 5 SQR Way

What is 5 SQR?

The parents often become annoyed regarding study of children but they don't solve the question how should they study. The children are always inquirers regarding the way of study and soon they become uninterested when they do not get the proper answer. Most of the children leave study after senior secondary school as they do not get proper guidance. Like wise they also don't take any interest at college level. The parents can get rid of this situation if they train children in 5 SQR System after attaining the age of 5 years. Such children would be very sharp and intelligent. It is easy and useful to practice 5 SQR System up to the age of 15 years. After this age it is difficult to take this system in habit. So it is better if children adopt this system earlier. Another benefit of this system goes to those who take part in the competitive examinations. We enhance the possibility of success by many times by adopting this system. Let us understand 5 SQR System.

5SQR System

It is world level technique of study which is result of the scientific research of 50 years. This study method has been prepared according to absolute functioning mode of the brain which gives rise to wonderful results. We remember only 20% by common or conventional method of study. And 80% facts become the part of unconscious memory and we are unable to recall them. While we can remember 80% by 5SQR System and 20% which goes to unconscious memory can be made active. If we want to get 100% result in study, 5SQR System has not its parallel. Let us learn the latest technique of the world of study i.e. 5SQR System.

This is scientific method of study. It is based on functioning of the brain. It has inclusion of 11 elements of study having 5 steps which mean Set, Select, Survey, Structure and Solidify.

5Q means 5 Questions which are called 5WH (What, Where, When, Who, Why and How and 5 R means Read, Recite, Reflect, Record and Review).

Making an Effort to Remember

Set your Mind or Brain

The brain prioritizes by meaning, value and relevance. To have meaning, you must understand what you are learning. In order to remember something thoroughly, you must be interested in it and think that it has value and relevance in your life.

Intent to Remember

Your attitude has much to do with whether you remember something or not. A key factor to remembering is having a positive attitude that you get it right the first time. Attention is not the same as learning, but little learning takes place without attention.

Basic Background

Your understanding of new materials depends on what you already know that you can connect it to. The more you increase your basic knowledge, the easier it is to build new knowledge on this background.

Controlling the Amount and Form

Selectivity-You must determine what is most important and select those parts to begin the process of studying and learning.

Meaningful Organization

You can learn and remember better if you can group ideas into some sort of meaningful categories or groups.

Strengthening Neural Connections

Recitation

Saying ideas aloud in your own words strengthens synaptic connections and gives you immediate feedback. The more feedback you get, the faster and more accurate your learning.

Visualization

The brain's quickest and probably the longest-lasting response is to images. By making a mental picture, you use an entirely different part of the brain than you did by reading or listening.

Association

Memory is increased when facts to be learned are consciously associated with something familiar to you. Memory is essentially formed by making neural connections. Begin by asking, “What is this like that I already know and understand?”.

Allowing Time to Solidify Pathways

Consolidation

Your brain must have time for new information to establish and solidify a neuronal pathway. When you make a list or review your notes right after class, you are using the principle of consolidation.

Distributed Practice

A series of shorter study sessions distributed over several days is preferable to fewer but longer study sessions.

A System For Reading And Studying

First step is to Set-

We have to set 5 things

Set your mind prepare yourself for study

Set your body prepare your body for study

Set your place fix your place

Set your time fix your time

Set your senses use your all senses while studying

Set

What is SET?

The First Step of 5SQR is to Set.

First step is to set mind. We can set our mind by exploring the questions like what we need to study first. Why to study second? If we have answers, we can concentrate on study. Student should be clear about contents of study and benefit of that study. Before study we have to think over these two things qualitatively at any cost.

Set Your Mind

We need motivation to study if our mind is apt to study; we find that study is very easy and simple for this we can do the exercises given below.

Exercise No. 1

Why do you want to study? What will happen if you do not get good marks?

Exercise No. 2

Can you live better life on the basis of study? What are your dreams which you want to fulfill by studying? You write down your dreams, what will you feel if these dreams come into assistance? What will you feel if you are negligent in study and your dreams do not get real shape?

Read the answers of these questions every morning and evening of a day.

Set Your Mind For Success

Mental clutter, hyper-mind, head on overdrive—we've all been there. Here is some soothing relief.

Try these simple suggestions for slowing things down. Your concentration and memory will improve, you will gain greater perspective on your life, and you'll be able to think more clearly and with less effort.

Learn to relax your mind as you relax your body, to reap the benefits of less stress, and gain a more calm and mindful awareness of the present moment. You will be surprised how easy it can be.

1. Witness your thoughts. No one can stop thinking entirely; it is impossible. If you start trying not to think, you only end up thinking about how to stop thinking! What you can do, however, is to withdraw from your thoughts and become more of an objective spectator.

2. Picture your mind as a blank canvas or a dark sky. Allow your thoughts to come and go, but resist the urge to follow each one. Your brain will eventually slow down and you will feel less pressured.

3. Count. If you find it difficult to let go of your thoughts, try counting slowly as you breathe. Watch your thoughts and try to resist following them. Turn your attention to the count as you breathe out.

4. Pay active attention. As you work and think, try to keep your attention on the task at hand. Be strict with yourself and each time your mind wanders, return it to the task. As you keep refocusing your attention, your “mind stillness” will improve.

5. Still your body. One sign of fragmented attention is fragmented movement. For example, when you are at the theatre, it is easy to tell if others around you are fully attentive to the performance. People who sniff and sigh, move their heads this away and that, and wiggle in their seats are having some difficulty concentrating. Rapt attention is usually accompanied by still body posture.

6. Find a comfortable position and don't allow yourself to move. Concentrate on what you are doing or watching, drawing your attention away from physical distractions, and focus your thoughts on your task. After a while, you will notice that you fidget less and feel less physical discomfort. You are now channeled into mental exertion.

7. Interest your mind. Try to find interest in projects to help you concentrate. Taking up a new hobby can be a tremendous help. You should also try to find something interesting even in the dullest chore. If you are at a gathering, find someone and start a conversation. Be inquisitive and you might discover you have similar interests.

8. Open the mind. Just as strength, stamina and flexibility must be incorporated in your physical routine, the mind needs new and absorbing challenges to give it a change from its everyday journey. Notice something new on the same way home that you might not have noticed before. Buy a magazine on a subject you normally wouldn't look at, read it, and open yourself to new possibilities.

9. Know what is limiting you~ Do you like mysteries? Here's one that can change your life. Let's investigate. What beliefs are at the core of who you are? Pay attention for one week to self-limiting beliefs that show up. As a detective, be consciously aware. Keep a journal handy to jot down notes. Beliefs can present themselves as a label you place upon yourself partnered with an assumption such as Single Parent- there is only so much I can do. They can reveal themselves in a negative statement such as “I can't be ….”, “I can't do…”, “ I'm not good enough”, I'm not smart enough…”. Beliefs may be uncovered in an assumption such as “there's not enough time”, “that's too hard”, or “he'll say 'no'”. Write down the beliefs that are restraining you from what you want.

10. Get to the source of the diversion~ A good detective digs deeper. Whose voice is attached to the belief? How did this belief become attached to your life? Is it legitimate? Is it serving you? Or limiting you? Jot your notes. I have to warn you. We hesitate to go within because we subconsciously know what may be lurking at the source. That 4 letter word… fear! Write down the fears you discover that are holding you back.

11. Rewrite your limiting beliefs and fears with an unlimited confident attitude~ Turn “I can't” into “I am”, “that's too hard” into “I know I can do this part”, “I don't have enough time” into “I know what's important and I do that first”, and “Single Parent- there's only so much I can do” to “Single Parent- the world is my resource. It's abundant and lacks nothing.” Let me know if you need help with this. Reread your new attitudes daily until it becomes part of who you are. A simple task that makes an impact.

12. Stand strong and respond~ Do not give into self-limiting beliefs! When they show up mount up. When you hear “you will never be …” respond by saying “says who? I determine my value.” When you think “you are going to make a fool of yourself” , respond “and I will love myself for having the guts to try.” And when you believe there is no time left for your dreams, drop what's not as important and stand up for who you are.

Are you willing to do what it takes to set your mind for success? Will you do the detective work to gain access to your unlimited potential? What I want for you is to break out of the bounds of limits and become your own best Success Coach… Starting Now

Set Your Body

The body cooperation in the study is of much use. Active body will produce better results we mean with setting of body that we are not hungry, we have eaten according to the need and we are taking oxygen sufficiently to regulate the blood circulation properly. During the study we have to stretch our body at intervals and it is advisable to jump, dance, exercise, and meditate after the study of 2 to 3 hours.

So, take care of your body and set that before study.

Set Your Senses

To set our senses means to use all senses such as eyes, nose, ear, mouth and skin along with power of imagination all together. We should be active at high level at the time of study and it is not advisable to be silent and remaining inactive at the time of study. So we have to develop habit to use all these senses. Often students use only eyes and remain quite silent at the time of studying. It is scientific finding that we should study speaking the contents which we study that should be imagined and felt and main points should be written in intervals. By speaking we activate our hearing system which makes us more aware. Which we read and see, we listen to that and thus we remember more so, use all your senses.

Set Your Time

Suppose, you get 86,400 rupees daily and you have to spend this money within 24 hours. Here nobody would want that this money goes in vein without any use. Everyone will want to use this money 100% and we shall use every paisa in a proper way. The same thing happens with time. We get 86,400 seconds daily as a grace of God and it is our duty to take benefit of every second. So, Let us understand what time management is. We shall start it with a small test.

We have a biological clock of our body which determines the energy levels of body and brain for whole of the day. When we have high level of body energy and mind energy, we should study. The biological clock of body gets adjusted according to the work done by us.

For eg. we take our meal at a particular time for 10 days, we shall feel hungry at that particular time on 11th day as our body and brain records that time for apatite. Like wise if we fix particular time for study, our brain becomes accustomed of that time in 20 days. Thus, after 3 weeks at that time your brain will be apt for study and that is ready to accept information and stores the same with efficiency and we get better memory. So, we should fix proper time to study. Like wise it would be better if you divide the time for reading, writing and remembering separately.

Managing Time

Study time

Studying at any level usually takes up lots of time.

Most people would welcome more time for study.

You need to gain the maximum benefit from your time.

There are three possible approaches to this problem:

Find more time for study

Make more time available

? Use time more efficiently

Approach

You can chose one of these approaches, or combine all three.

Self-discipline and some sacrifices may be needed.

You'll learn more and remember more if you have regular study habits.

Treat your time as something valuable, and use it well.

Regular habits

Whichever approach you use, set aside regular periods of time for studying.

An hour every day is better than one day at the weekend.

Finding time

Finding more time

The simplest way is to draw up a timetable.

Look at each day, and note periods which are free - or can be made free.

Try to find regular periods of an hour or more.

One hour each day is better than one day a week.

Sleep

Do you spend quite a lot of time in bed?

If you save just one hour per day, this is an extra seven hours a week. You could either get up earlier, or stay up later.

Use that part of the day which suits you best.

Regularity

You'll remember what you learn if you work in regular periods of study.

Studying is like physical exercise: you need regular training for mental fitness.

Occasional spurts of study followed by lay-offs are not efficient.

Realism

Create a realistic timetable of work - then stick to it.

At first, set yourself easy targets - ones you can reach.

That way you'll achieve your aims - and feel more confident.

Targets set too high might make you feel stressed, then that will lead to your feeling worse.

Lifestyle

At first, be prepared for some changes to your lifestyle.

You may need to spend less time on some of your hobbies, or spend less time with your friends.

With practice, you'll be able to study for longer periods without feeling bored or tired.

This will be partly because you've practiced and partly because you are developing your skills.

Making time

Make changes

To make more time available, you need to examine how you spend it.

You might need to make changes to your lifestyle.

The changes don't have to be big, and you don't have to become a hermit, a nerd, or a killjoy.

Remember - you are only trying to find something like an hour a day.

Socialising

You could spend less time with your friends on social activities.

You could even decide to study or revise together as a group.

Do your studying or revision before you go out with your friends - then it's a reward to which you can look forward.

Television

People [in the UK] spend on average 25 hours per week watching television.

This is three-and-a-half hours per day available for studying.

Plan your viewing, and switch off when your program has finished.

Leave the room if others wish to continue viewing.

Never try studying in a room where a TV set is switched on.

Family life

Creating more study time amidst a family is not easy.

You might need to get up early or stay up late at night.

If you can do this you are less likely to be disturbed.

Some people are at their best in the early morning; others work better at night.

Decide which is best for you - and don't feel guilty about your choice.

Support

If you live in a family or among friends, explain that you need to be undisturbed from time to time.

Try to gain their support for what you are doing.

Ask them to respect your need for privacy.

Explain that you are not being anti-social when you need to spend time studying.

Confidence

Get used to studying whilst other people are relaxing or socialising.

At first this could make you feel something of an outsider.

But remember that many other people are students too, and that studying is a perfectly normal activity.

Using time

Innovate

You can combine some forms of study with the activities of daily life.

Listen to audio-cassette tapes whilst going to school or college.

For those using buses and trains, the travel time can be used for reading.

Listening

Take a lead from the Walkman-users.

Walking down the street can be used as study time if you listen to tapes.

You could also listen to appropriate radio programs.

Reading

Always take a book, whatever you do in daily life.

Waiting for a bus, a gap between classes, or a lunch break can be used for reading.

Don't waste time: even short periods can be put to use.

Read more

At first you might feel slightly odd, reading in public.

But many students and teachers often carry books or magazines.

They read over coffee, standing in a queue, or whilst waiting for someone.

Get used to the idea that this is perfectly normal, and an efficient use of your time.

Quick Strategies To Manage Time

A schedule is a plan that you create for how you want to spend your time. A good schedule can help you do both what you must do and what you want to do. A scheduled activity is more likely to occur than an unscheduled one.

I) When you make a schedule for yourself keep the following in mind:

Try to make each day balanced, giving yourself time for both work and play. Most people get their best work done by working intensely for a reasonable period of time, then resting or changing to something else.

Figure out when you are most awake and alert, and try to do your studying then.

We know that people work more effectively at different times during the day.

II) THE TIME

Set a regular time to study Not right after school - you need at least an hour breather to have a snack, a nap or get some exercise

Budget your time - can you get ½ hour or an hour before dinner?

What specific times will you allot after dinner?

Have a plan

III) AVOID DISTRACTIONS

No phone calls

No television, radio or stereo during study time

No friends dropping over

No family interruptions

No daydreaming

Set Your Schedules

HOMEWORK SUGGESTIONS

Set up a weekly homework and study schedule.

Do the work the day it is assigned. Make every minute count in class at the end of the lesson.

Balance your homework. Complete first what you find easiest and most interesting. This will make it easier to get down to work. Don't save the hardest work for the last.

Each night read over the notes of the day. Improve your notes where necessary, they may be sketchy or incomplete from class.

Get a head start on research assignments. Don't leave major assignments until the last possible date.

Pay close attention to keeping your notebooks in excellent shape on a day to day basis.

IF YOU HAVE NO HOMEWORK DUE THE NEXT DAY, REVIEW NOTES OR WORK ON LONG-TERM PROJECTS.

A. HOMEWORK RECORD-KEEPING SCHEDULE

Use your school agenda

Each day when work is assigned, record it at once.

Before going home check to see what books you need.

At night check your homework off as it is finished. No check marks tell you what work needs your attention.

B. WEEKLY SCHEDULE (Time-use Schedule)

Use your school agenda

Every Sunday record any activities you know for sure that will take place during that week and block off the times ex. sports activities, jobs, air cadets, etc. With regard to your homework and studying, record the subject and the amount of time you spend on it, at the end of each session.

C. MONTHLY CHART

Use a calendar page

Your chart should be kept at home over your desk or on a bulletin board. Mark down important events that are coming up which might require you to modify or change your weekly Time-use sheet. Keep this calendar current and examine it carefully when you are establishing your weekly program. You can also use a monthly chart to plan your studying prior to exams.

Set Your TIME

How much quantum of time we have, we should calculate and divide the time for different activities accordingly we should divide our syllabus on the basis of a day, week and month. A sheet of a week, month has been given which will help you to be concentrated and more active for your study.

Make a plan for a whole month. What and when is to be studied, write for separate week often such types of plans go in vain but we need not be depressed and continue making planning.

In case a plan fails, take it as another opportunity to make a new plan. So, make a plan and set on working. Don't waste unnecessary time in making a plan.

Now, make a plan of a week. If we study with a target, we get more success. Even if we fail thousand times we should continue our planning with high morale. Let us make a study plan of a coming week and become ready to study.

Daily Plan

Make your 3 hour planning

We make a blocks of 3-3 hours in a daily study sheet. In which block what topic and for how much time we have to study should be mentioned. Make such a plan for everyday.

Set Your Place

It is very important for us to know where are to be study.

We should fix a certain place for study and do not change it again and again by fixing a place, our brain gets used with the atmosphere of that place. It is like same when we go to any religious place we feel to worship and pray.

We should keep the place of our study neat and clean and managed properly. This place should not be much comfortable and should not be much panic. It should be airy with sufficient light. You can keep water for drinking near this place. This all will help you in fruitful study.

Select

After set we take procedure of selecting which makes brain more active. Select determines the activeness of brain regarding how much will you remember and in what time you will finish the job. So, if you want to study for 2 hours, divide this time into intervals of 30 to 45 minutes. Thus, make small targets and try to achieve that.

Thus, select makes us more alert and aware basically select means how much to study and in what time. By this we develop our capacities we can know our capacity to read and remember for each hour and we can increase in our capacity observing the results. So, don't remain ignorant of your capacities and limits. If you select efficiently, you will remember efficiently.

A Good Place to Study

Can Make All The Difference

Finding a good study space is an important part of effective studying. If your surroundings are distracting, you can expect to study very well. This doesn't mean that you have to find a place that's secluded and dead silent either. The most important thing is that you find a study space place that fits your specific learning style.

For example, some individuals are able to concentrate better with a little noise in the background while other are easily distracted by any noise at all. Some individuals can concentrated perfectly well in the middle of the library amongst dozens of people constantly passing by while others are able to concentrate better studying in a cubical where there is no vision distraction at all.

While each individual has their own personal learning style and preferences there a few suggestions we might make in order to improve your study time.

Create a Routine.

Assign yourself a specific place to study and set a regular time to study each day. Some people like to study in the library. Others find the library very distracting. Some people like to study outside. Other find studying outside difficult because they are tempted get up and "smell the roses". I like studying in my room but my friend hates studying in his room because he is always tempted to play video games. There is no perfect study place for everyone -- but there is a perfect study place for you. Your goal is to find it.

It may sound a little bit tedious but creating a set study routine will also improve your ability to study effectively. Studying at the same time each day or each week -- in your study place of choice -- will ensure that you develop a habit of studying and studying effectively.

Your study place should be comfortable

If you plan on doing a lot of studying you need to make sure that your study place is absolutely comfortable. If you don't you're likely going to find yourself looking for a new study space down the road. Set up your chair, computer and and desk in such a way that you don't hurt your hands, wrists, neck or back. Little discomforts can turn into repetitive stress injuries if they are not addressed. Also, stock your study place with all of the tools you'll need (i.e. pens, pencils, dictionaries, etc.) so you aren't constantly disrupting your studying.

You may want to ensure that your study place is has adequate lighting. Many people will find a comfortable study place but find that studying is difficult because they don't have adequate lightly.

Evaluate your study preferences

As we mentioned previously each individual has their only learning style and preferences. Before you select a study place you should try to figure out what your learning style and preferences are. Are your distracted by noise? Are you distracted by visual interuptions? Do you do study better for long periods of time or do you need regular breaks? Again, there isn't a strict rule for how you should study but it is important to discover your study preferences and evaluate your study space to make sure it is adequate for your needs.

Create study rules and follow them

If you're constantly being hounded by your parents when it comes to your study habits then we recommend that you (1) establish some study rules and (2) that you communicate those rules with your parents. For example, if one of your study preferences is to study for a period of time and then take a short break make sure to communicate this to your parents so that it doesn't not appear that you're slacking.

If the only person you answer to is yourself we still recommend that you create study rules and that you stick by them.

Find a good place to study, discovering your personal learning preferences and establishing a few useful study rules will go a long way toward ensuring an effective study experience.

Survey

After set and select we come to survey. Under this you do survey of the determined topic. We observe main points, tables, places and persons pertaining to that topic and sub-topic. Thus, by knowing the subject matter of the topic our brain becomes more active.

While doing a survey of paragraph, not those words which give answer to what, where, when, who, whose, which, how and why. You will find some words as written bold, concentrate upon them. If there is any picture, see it keenly and understand it. Thus, survey is a step which creates want of study in the brain and it is of much importance.

Whenever we study anything, we invariably become faced with a mountain of books and a huge list of recommended reading texts. Often this situation is overwhelming and instead of being a positive source of useful information it can be a huge demotivator. Wouldn't it be good to be able to zip through a book in about 15 minutes, get a good idea of what it is about and have a written summary of it that you could memorize quite easily? The sceptics amongst you will already be saying that it can't be done but if you bear with me, I'll show you how it can. Before you start you'll need:

1. Your text book

2. Plenty of book marks (use strips of scrap paper)

3. A timer

4. A positive attitude

Now take your text book and turn each page over and briefly look at it before moving on to the next. I tend to run my finger in a 'V' shape across the open book starting at the top left corner of the left hand page working down to the bottom right hand corner of that page and then up across the right hand page to its top right hand corner. You do this for every open page taking only 10 minutes for the entire book. Now you are not trying to read the book you are trying to get a feel for it by identifying:

1. How the book is put together (sections, chapters etc)

2. If there are any summary points

3. How comprehensive the contents and index are

4. What looks interesting

5. What looks relevant

As your eyes sweep across the pages every time something jumps out at you put in one of your book marks so that you can explore that section later. The key to this exercise is that you don't read the book, you are just analysing its structure and apparent relevance to you and you are identifying sections/chapters/graphs/diagrams of interest. It is very important that you keep to the 10 minute time limit. Now once you have done that make a Mind Map of the main points you have identified. If you wish, refer back to the text book to help you but it is best done from memory. Doing the Mind Map should take no more than 5 minutes.

Now once you have done that, if you review the mind map, you will have memorized the key issues in the book. To study the text in depth requires a different approach that I'll be covering in a later article but what you now have is a much better feel of the book and its relevance to you. This is useful for a number of reasons. First of all if you have 30 study texts but only need to focus on 5 or 6, in just a couple of days you can zip through all of those books to find which ones to concentrate on without actually having to read every single one. It also means that a 30 page key point summary at the back of a text book negates the need to read the whole volume. If you had started at page 1 of a 600 page book and read it "conventionally" first, I'd imagine you would be pretty upset to find that you did not need to read all 600 pages.

If you keep your Mind Map tucked inside the front cover of the book, it will also serve as a useful summary for future reference. By leaving the bookmarks in place you'll never have to search for long for the diagram or graph that is the key to your assay or project.

Try it, it works (but only if you use it).

STRUCTURE

To structure means to make a mind map or line figure of topic or sub-topics read at the time of survey. As we keep the books in order in almirahs of a library and use peg system to remember words, like wise when we study chapters we make a skeleton of topic and sub-topics in our brain and this skeleton helps us to manage the information and remember them easily.

Select

Time and Text

Survey

Important Topics and data

Structure

All topic and subtopics

Solidify

Learn all topics by association

Solidify

The procedure to remember the skeleton made by way of structure is called to solidify.

To make a strong memory it is necessary to drop all the information in a managed form in the brain. Solidification makes a base of the information which is east to store in a managed form and recall also becomes right and accurate.

How a topic is to be remembered you can learn it in Memory VCD No.2. Solidification gives topic and its links to the brain and this process is very beneficial in answering the questions in the examinations.

It is very useful for memory to remember the titles first to the topics. While studying the topic we should question ourselves about the contents of the topic. This will increase the curiosity about the topic so, it is very useful.

Questions

5 QS

We have to raise maximum questions regarding the topic and sub-topic which we have remembered through the process of solidification. We should raise more curiosity about that topic. If we talk of 5SQR the questions will be like how to read which kind of reading- Scan and Skim read, what is difference between these two, what is recitation? What is benefit of it. So, we have to put 5WH on the topic. This will make our brain full awakened about the topic and we become more eager to remember that. It is very useful for good memory.

5WH contains 5W + 1H

What What is this?

Where From where does it belong?

When When did it start?

Who Who did it?

Why Why was it done?

How How was it done?

Read

Most of the students start studying by opening a book and sitting looking at the book. The brain experts say that study process should be completed in 3 parts. When we read a paragraph then scan read that which means to read a paragraph at a glance and note a place, person, number, date etc. and concentrate upon these features. Thus, we get an idea of the subject matter of the topic. Then we skim read the paragraph which means to read first and last lines of the paragraph. Doing this we should concentrate on bold or italic words and any definition and a rule given in the paragraph. Now, you read complete passage and note down the notes.

Types of Reading

The way you read should be chosen to suit the task.

Don't use the same type of reading all the time.

This is one way to increase your study efficiency.

What follow are notes on different types of reading.

Rapid survey

Check what you are reading - a rapid glance is all that's necessary.

Is it what you need? up to date? right for the task?

Are all the contents relevant - or only some?

Are they written at the right level for you?

Answer these questions quickly.

This is also known as previewing.

Sampling

Explore the contents in a little more detail.

Look at chapter headings, or the introduction.

Skim read a page or two in various chapters.

Keep asking yourself "Is this book suitable for me?"

If the answer is "No" - move on to something else.

Skim reading

Make a rapid survey of the subject.

This may be to gain an overview, or to make a judgement about the book.

Glance through the book quickly and pick up the main points.

Try to get a general picture of what it is about.

This is a very useful skill which becomes easier with regular practice.

Search reading

Look for a single piece of information.

For instance, someone's telephone number.

Go straight to the contents, the index, or locate the page.

Look up the item of information (and write it down).

Put the book back - and move on without browsing.

Selective reading

Focus your attention on part(s) of the book.

Only one part is important for what your need.

Read the section, take its essence, and leave the rest alone.

Don't be distracted into browsing over more than you need.

This requires discipline, but it's a very useful skill.

Detailed study reading

This is reading to understand the content.

It is the most common approach in any serious form of study.

You should concentrate whilst reading.

You need to understand what the writer means.

You might also be taking notes whilst reading.

The reading may be part of your course work, research for a project, or preparation for an exam.

You might also need to read a book more than once to grasp the point.

Close reading

This is reading for artistic appreciation.

This approach is used in subjects such as literature and religious studies.

Every word may be studied in close detail.

The book is examined for any possible meaning it may contain.

The results of this approach are 'interpretations' of the book.

Rapid reading

This is reading to 'find out what happens next'.

For instance, when reading popular fiction.

You will rarely dwell on the book or study it closely.

This is reading for pleasure or entertainment.

You don't need to pay attention to every word.

Speed reading

Speed reading courses teach you ultra-rapid skim-reading techniques.

This may be useful for absorbing information at a superficial level.

It's not really suitable for understanding and retaining information.

It's unlikely to help if you are engaged in studying.

Study Read

Study read is to read a passage word by word. In this process you read as if you are a teacher of yourself. Use your hands, eyes and all face expressions. Repeat important facts and read them through speaking if needed go on writing the facts in the form of key words. Thus, study read is to grasp the subject fully and try to remember it thoroughly.

Once again

Choose your style of reading to suit the task in hand.

Don't think that all books should be read in the same way.

Keep in mind why you are reading. You'll get more done!

An Introduction to Speed Reading

If you are an average reader without any knowledge of Speed Reading Techniques your reading speed is probably in the region of 200-300 words per minute. You might feel a little smug at having what appears to be quite a reasonable reading speed but before you congratulate yourself, understand that despite being the average, this is extremely slow and way below what we as human beings are capable of achieving. Speeds in excess of several thousand words per minute as a minimum are well within the capability of most readers and what prevents us from achieving these seemingly incredible levels is first of all our technique, secondly practice and thirdly and probably the most crucial factor is one of belief.

Now I don't have time to deal with your beliefs but you can make some dramatic improvements in your reading speed and reading effectiveness simply by improving your basic technique ie the way you actually use your eyes and your brain to read words.

Many people when asked to explain how they think the eye moves across a page of words will describe smooth jumps from one word to the next and to the next, starting at the left hand edge of a line of words travelling to the right hand extremity of that line and then starting again at the first word of the next line and so on.

In actual fact what happens is that the eye will move from one word to the next, then the next and then it may wander off to some other line on the page before it returns to round about where it was. Then after a couple more words on that line it might retrace its steps a few times over a word or a sequence of words it has already covered before wandering off on another expedition to explore any line other than the one it is currently on. If it decides to come back it may retrace its steps once more before finishing the line and starting the next, perhaps after visiting yet another line or sequence of words elsewhere. From that description alone you can understand that the movement of the eye across a page as we read is quite chaotic to say the least.

This may sound a rather extreme description of your eye movements and it has been exaggerated somewhat to give you an idea of an excessive case of poor reading technique but I am sure that most of you can relate to going back over a few words for a second time as you read. This is called regression if you feel you have missed or misunderstood a word and back skipping if you have developed it as a habit. To give you an implication of the impact of back skipping and regression on your reading consider this. If each back skip or regression takes roughly 1/2 a second and you make an average one or two per line on a 40 line page you are wasting 40 seconds per page. Over a 300-page book, this will mean a waste of 3 hours 20 minutes as you read it - if you read a lot of 300 page books is there something else you could be doing with the accumulation of this wasted time? So what can we do to improve our reading technique?

You will recall that I said most people's description of eye movement is from word to word and this is the first area where we can get a significant improvement in our reading speed. Now for a little exercise - put your hands in front of you, palms together as though in the praying position. What I would like you to do is to pull your hands apart whilst wiggling your fingers. Extend your arms out either side of you until you can no longer see your fingers wiggling out of the corners of your eyes. When this happens, take a note of the distance between your hands. What you have just done is very crudely identified the extent of your peripheral vision. Now if you compare that distance with the width of the longest word you have ever had to read in normal 12-point font, you will see that there is a huge difference. My point is that with such a comparatively wide vision, why do we restrict ourselves to only reading

one word at a time when clearly with the width of our vision we could surely take in at least a couple more? The cause of this feature of our current reading style is that as children we got used to reading single words at a time either by recognizing them or by breaking them down letter by letter, sound by sound.

The only real development in our reading ability after that was that we started reading longer and more complicated words and more of them. So the first idea I am going to suggest you try is to read by taking in groups of words instead of single words on their own. This of course will take a little bit of practice but just think about it, if you suddenly started reading 2 words at a time instead of one, automatically you have doubled your reading speed. Now what happens if you take 3 or 4 words in at a time ….. Many of you at the moment may be raising the issue of comprehension. It is a common and popular belief that the faster you read the less you comprehend. Unfortunately, time prevents me from delving too deep into the argument but research is now showing that the brain takes information in more easily if it is grouped in meaningful chunks. Reading more than one word at a time is one way of doing this.

Now the next idea I want you to consider is related to the time it takes you to read each group of words. The only way the eye can see something clearly is by fixing its gaze on the subject in question either because the object is still or the eye is able to lock in and track the object as it moves giving zero relative motion. The only thing that tends to move during the reading process is the eye across the page and for it to take in words or groups of words it must be fixed on them. Research carried out during the training of First World War Pilots showed that the eye can recognize images (such as a word) in one five hundredth of a second. Taken to its logical conclusion this gives a reading speed of 60 sec x 500 giving 30,000 words per minute! Now I am not suggesting that you read at that rate but I am sure you can reduce the length of time that you fixate on a group of words. Of course it takes a little practice but this is another way that your reading speed can increase. In fact, just by combining these first two ideas, not only will your reading speed increase but your eyes will be doing less work (ie fewer and shorter fixates because you are taking more words in at once and spending less time on each grouping).

The final idea I want to give you is probably one that you used as a child but stopped using as you got older. If you look for a particular number in a phone book how do you tend to scan the page? Most people will run their finger down the page because it is easier to do this to work down through the numbers. As children we may have been taught to use our finger as we read but we quickly got out of this, probably because we thought it was childish or we were encouraged not to by parents or teachers who believed it was no longer necessary. You will recall earlier in this session I talked about the problems of back skipping and regression. Well if we use a guide as we read and it need not be our finger, it can be a pen or a pencil, then that can help eliminate these two problems.

So to summarize. If you want to increase your reading speed the three things that you can do are:-

Instead of reading single words one at a time, read them in groups of 2, 3 or 4.

As you fixate on each group by minimizing the time you spend on each fixation.

To overcome the problems of back skipping and regression use a guide such as your finger or perhaps a pen or pencil.

These ideas are very simple concepts that can have a powerful effect on your reading speed if you practice them and make them a habit.

Recite

When we find anything important while studying we have to speak little loudly and this process is called recitation. So that we may develop an audio memory of important information with visual memory. This audio memory helps in enhancing our memory. Now you remember that you wrote many questions before reading and wherever you find the answers of these questions, we should repeat those answers by speaking so that a video file may be stored in your brain. Scientists say that reading by speaking is always better than reading silently. American young President John A. Canady spoke so loudly while reading that a person could not sit in his room at that time. No doubt recitation loudly causes fatigue but this process is very helpful in enhancing our memory.

Reflect

This is very important process of study. In this process when we start to read new paragraph then prior to it whatever we have read should be spoken once as if you are teaching someone else. We should speak without seeing the paragraph at intervals as if you were telling all the things to your friend. Reflect makes retrieval path in brain. We should reflect after very programme so that its retrieval path may be made otherwise, you will remember that information once but you will not recall that and forget the same so do reflect after every paragraph. Thus, reflect after every paragraph and reflect after finishing the topic. After successful reflect you may start new topic.

RECORD

When doing reflect the information which you are unable to recall, write them separately for this you should mind map method. This is told elaborately in Memory and study skill VCD. No.6. The well managed notes are very necessary for success in any examination. Here record means to make notes which are very useful for development of memory. Often students are scared of making notes and if they make, they copy the contents word by word from the book. Such types of notes are not useful we have to write only that portion which we could not recall at the time of reflect. So, which you do not recall at the time of reflect, record that by mind map method immediately. This will be a great helping feature for your good memory.

REVIEW

Review is last step of 5SQR System which gives you the fruit of your labor. Review means to see again often students re read at the name of review i.e. they read again, this is misuse of time. Review means to see again your pictorial notes which you have made so that information may be refreshed in your brain for review 80:20 principle is very beneficial which is discussed in next step. To practice this principle in study is very beneficial.

You can utilize the mind's natural processes for learning information. Your memory and memorization skills (comprehension + memory = learning) will benefit from knowing how your brain best absorbs information (builds new neural connections). If you were to hear a list of 30 words and were then asked to recall them. You would be able to recall some words from the beginning of the list, some from the end but only a few from the middle of the list.

These effects are known as primacy (words from the beginning of the list) and recency (words from the end of the list). Unless you were applying a mnemonic technique, it is highly unlikely that you would recall all of the words. You would however be able to recall words that were repeated or connected in any way and any outstanding or unusual words (for example the word "Rhinoceros" in a list of underwear is outstanding just as the word "Underpants" sticks out in a list of large African Herbivores).

How can you use this? If you were to study for hours and hours and hours without a break, you would find that the dip in recall between the primacy and recency effects would be considerable. On the other hand, if we stopped every 5 minutes during a half hour we would not get into the flow of learning.

We need to find a balance between these two extremes. You need to take more breaks when you are studying. Split your study time into 20-50 minute chunks with 10 minute breaks in between when it is important that you relax or do something physical or creative.

The time chunks will mean that you create more primacy / recency high points and will remember more from your studying. The breaks will give your mind a chance to rest from learning and doing something different will actually stimulate it.

Instead of poring over your notes solidly for 3 hours, if you split the time up into 50 minute segments, you will actually remember more during your learning periods.

How do you recall this information after you have learned it? (transferring short term memory to long term). The ability to learn something once and then have the ability to recall it whenever you wanted?

It does require effort. Imagine that you went to a class, listened to the teacher, took your notes and at the end of the lesson threw your notebook into your bag. How much information do you think you would remember about what you had learned by the end of the following day? Ebbinghaus proved that within 1-2 days, we forget about 80% of what we have learned. ite a waste doesn't it? There is a way to overcome that problem.

At the end of an hour's learning, your mind integrates the information that you have just studied so that your ability to recall it actually rises, peaks after about 10 minutes and then falls off dramatically. Now if you review what you have learnt at that 10 minute point, you will reinforce the information at its strongest in your mind. (I will be writing about a suitable note taking technique to allow you to do this in future articles, so just bear with me).

Your ability to recall this information will remain at a high point for about a day before it begins to drop off rapidly. So it is a good idea to review what you have learnt again after a day. This second review will mean that your ability to recall what you have learnt will remain for about a week before it begins to tail off again so guess what we do after a week? Full marks to those who think we should review again.

If you are worried about all these reviews, don't be because with the right note taking technique, each review will only take a couple of minutes. After this third review your recall will last for about a month at which your fourth review will keep the information accessible by you for up to 6 months. A fifth review after 6 months will meant that the information is firmly logged in your long-term memory.

In summary then:

1. Study for as long as you like but make sure it is in 20-50 minute chunks with breaks of 10 minutes where relaxation and/or something physical and fun is mandatory.

2. Review what you have learned:

10 minutes after learning

1 day after learning

1 week after learning

1 month after learning

6 months after learning.

Review

80:20 Study Plan

Under this principle the scientists say that we should give 80% time to study. If you are preparing for an examination and studying 10 hours a day then you should study for 8 hours and do the practice of review for 2 hours i.e. 20%. Your weekly and monthly study plan should be like this. Like wise we should give full 1 day to review after studying 6 days in a week. We shall find that our self confidence goes on increasing after every review continuously and this is very important element in development of memory. The 5 SQR Systems can determine the success in study provided that you are mentally prepared 100% to do the practice of this system for 100 days.

Kamlesh Chandra

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    All should follow this technique

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  3. Sir, I have read this sound good but hard to follow.

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