How to Learn Effectively; 8 steps

By on

images (6)Students who don’t ace tests are often labelled as lazy or inattentive. If you aren’t doing well inschool, or are struggling, then don’t dismiss yourself as dumb, or the teachers as useless – it may be a variety of subtle things that are drawing potential away from your learning.

Make things more interesting for you and you will start learning more effectively. Simple things, like learning to listentaking notes and being more organized can maximize your learning potential more than you’d ever imagine.


  1. 1

    Figure out which learning styles work best for you. The basics are learning byseeing, doing, and hearing. Think back on something you remember well from class; was it a hands-on activity? Did the teacher give you a detailed essay? Were you given a handout? Once you know how you learn it can be done better. There are also tests available on the internet to determine your learning style.

  2. 2

    Benefit by doing. Hands-on activities are great, as they stick in your memory and help you more:

    • When you perform experiments in class, make sure that you concentrate.
    • Actually write down notes, even when they’re not required during a lecture. The moreopen your mind is, the faster information will stick.
    • Alternatively, instead of taking notes, record the lecture on a mini-recorder and devote your attention to listening; use the recording to create notes afterwards. This extra step takes time, but makes use of what psychologists call the “dual-coding hypothesis”, where you are more likely to learn something if you experience it in two different ways (i.e. listening and writing, in this case).
  3. 3

    Rid yourself of distractions while learningCell phonesmusic, and your chatty partner distract you from your instructor. Sit in a suitable place, as classes are for concentrating, not talking to your friends. Keep valuables in a bag, or far away enough for them not to attract your attention.

  4. 4

    Establish good relationships with your teachers. If you hate your teachers, then you will have a lot of trouble learning. Be polite and show respect, and put in some effort, and your teachers will hold a liking for you that will make classes more pleasant.

  5. 5

    Set small goals for yourself. For example, take notes during class, and at the end of the week, see if you can write a short essay based on the material you’ve been learning. Before you begin a new unit, write down some questions on the topic, and at the end of each lesson, see how many of them you can answer. Each time you accomplish a goal, reward yourself by buying a CD or item of clothing, going out and having fun, or just taking a break.

  6. 6

    Make things more interesting by figuring out a way to make classes more pleasant. Finds ways to motivate yourself:

    • Find something about the topic you are learning that interests you and focus on learning as much as you can about it. The more you want to learn, the more you willlearn.
    • Find a “study buddy” – that is, a friend or classmate to study with. Hold small tests/quizzes for each other, discuss things you don’t understand or that interest you, or take notes together. Having someone’s company can motivate you more.
  7. 7

    See if you can summarize what you learned into a little notebook after class. Jot down a sentence or two that you can look back and recall the day with.

  8. 8

    Ask for help if you’re struggling. Many people don’t do this. If you find you are struggling, know that almost all teachers want to help you catch up. See if your school has a resource room you could use during study halls or go directly to your teacher.


ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

[email protected]

A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

view all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson  

ABOUT 233TIMES is a Ghanaian media house which serves as a major source of exclusive interviews ,music and video downloads, news and more. reports on major events,news covering entertainment, politics, sports, etc from within Ghana, Africa and beyond.

We have a platform for the amateur artistes to portray their staggering talents ...more...


facebook twitter youtube google plus linkedIn

To advertise with us or make enquiries, please visit or call +233249455142 (Selorm), +233248185848 (Nana Kwesi)