When was the last time you needed to learn a a concept for a school test? How long did it take you? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? Half an hour!?!
Everyone has their own unique way of trying to learn something, which is also why some of us sometimes take longer to learn something compared to others. However, it must be said that learning something off by heart is a completely different thing compared to learning something by truly understanding it.
Of course, this is completely fine if you’re suited to that. However, what if I told you there exists a technique that can help you tremendously with your learning? Something that’s so effective and simple, it has been one of the key contributors to me transforming from a struggling C grade student to a relaxed A grade student in a majority of my tests? That’s right, I’m talking about the legendary Feynman technique.
For those who don’t know, Richard P. Feynman was a phenomenal, Nobel-prize winning physicist known for his astounding work in quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, and more. He devised this technique as a way to explain some of the most complex and confusing ideas in the simplest of ways.
Now, without further ado, let’s move on to how exactly you can use this technique as well!
Step 1: Choose a concept to learn
While this technique can be used to learn many different things, it works most effectively with concepts (so with subjects like science, geography, business etc), although it can also be used to learn grammar rules in languages and more.
First of all, let’s grab a blank sheet of paper and write down the concept we are trying to learn.
Step 2: Explain this concept to a young child
Now this is the crucial part.
Here, we must now imagine we are going to explain our concept to a young child, who has absolutely no idea what it is about.
Obviously, unless we use the simplest of words, the poor child will most likely have no idea what you’re on about. This is why, when explaining, we need to use accurate but also easy-to-understand words to describe our concept. It’s also best practice to work through a few examples just so you can absolutely nail your explanation.
Step 3: Identify problem areas
It’s safe to say you probably struggled with that explanation. That’s good though! Now, you need to find out what areas in your explanation you struggled with, outline them, and attempt to understand them better.
This can be done by swapping out some of the confusing language for your own words, looking up different types of explanations for it, or simply approaching it from a different angle, for example giving a real life example of this concept.
Step 4: Repeat WITH Refined Explanation
Finally, let’s put our new and improved, simplified explanation into action!
Once again, you’re going to explain this concept to an imaginary young child in the hopes of them somewhat understanding it. This time, you’ve gained an understanding of areas you have previously struggled with, and are able to explain it without much of a problem!
If you are still struggling with some areas of your explanation, go back to step 3 and try to grasp a better understanding of it.
Before long, you should soon see an improvement in your understanding of this concept quite quickly if you consistently use this method!
Questions? Feel free to leave a comment if you still have problems with your learning and I’ll try help you as best I can!