How To Study Effectively?

Up to now, I am still wondering upon study technique. Since I was kid, I’d been reading so many books about study technique, brain gym, and quantum intelligence. But the problem is none of them worked for me (or I never really had an intention to make one of them works? I am not sure).

You must have known several styles of learning. In fact, I once took a test of it while I was in elementary school. The result said I am a kinaesthetic learner. Honestly I was not so sure about that. A few months later, I had to undergo psychological test as a selection procedure to enter accelerated class. At the time I took the test, one of the most fun parts is the spatial visualization section. Moreover, the result said I have an above average spatial visualization ability. Since then, I had an idea of me being a visual person. But too bad, I don’t think I dream in color, and if it is in color, I think it doesn’t have a good colord depth.

When I entered university, I once found a do-it-yourself test on learning styles. I tried to take it once again. I don’t know whether I mistook it or not, but the result is I had a similar score for all styles. Since then, I thought I could study well using any techniques. In other words, I should not bother about this thing.

But now that I got a very poor performance in the last semester, I started to wonder again how to study effectively. So, I got this conversation with Amril a few weeks ago. Amril pointed out something really important. It’s all about mindset!

“Fik, orang pinter juga kalo kagak belajar nilainya bisa jelek. Lo tuh di atas rata-rata, harusnya lo bisa.”(Fik, even a smart guy could score very badly if he doesn’t study. You are an above average guy, you should be able to do it.”

“Kalo lo nggak ngerti ya harus cari tau, meskipun itu yang basic sekalipun. Kalo lo nggak cari tau ya berarti ada yang salah sama mindset lo.”(If you don’t understand something, even a basic thing, you should try to find out. If you don’t try to find out, there must be something wrong with your mindset)

And then I realized I never studied that hard. I never put real effort on something except on emergency time. It’s a bad habit and as a Ph.D student, I have to change this bad habit. Well, for me the situation status is now an emergency. So, I started to do things which I never tried to do before, like reading textbooks, trying to read lecture notes before the class, and try the exercises which are given in class. It turned out so amazing. Last week, I felt like I had an exceptional experience after doing so.

One thing which really impressed me was when I read a same topic in two different textbooks. It turned out that every textbook has its own way to explain something. In my case, last week I read about Adaptive Filter. One of the textbooks, which is very popular and being the main reference in the courses, was very boring and hard to understand. But the other books, in the contrary, could explain about adaptive filter concept in a fun example like a guessing game. When I read it, it’s like a joke. But later, I thought it was smart way to learn adaptive filter concept. It’s like explaining DoA concept with human ears analogy.

Well, I think I spent quite a lot time for writing this blog. I should start to study again. I hope I could preserve my commitment to study hard. For me it’s really hard to do because I’m not a person which could focus on something for a long time.

You are in emergency state, Fikri! You have no choice!


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