This is a very important article for every student pilot who will start his/her training very soon or is already in training, but also for anyone who wants to learn some very useful tricks to remember something very easily.
Nowadays, the airline pilot training lasts usually only 24 months which is not that much as compared to other jobs. The most painful part of the training is obviously the theory… of course we all want to fly! But we can’t avoid this part which gives us the basics of this job. Anyway, student pilots need to remember a lot of stuff during a short period of time and it can really be painful and hard if you don’t have good methods of learning information by heart.
The idea is to BUILD A SKELETON, or let’s say a pattern, of what you have to learn and then to fill in that skeleton with the core information you need to remember. The trick is to build such a skeleton that will remind you of the core information so that you’ll have to remember only the skeleton.
I will give you here my best advices to build up easily a pattern to assimilate a big amount of information in very little time, which will help you to study in a more efficient, less painful and even more funny way!
1. Listen to yourself
Do a break only if you feel the need! In my opinion you shouldn’t try to stick to a planning or a schedule you made for your revisions. If you feel that after 2 hours of studying you’re still productive and you can still learn efficiently…don’t stop! You may lose this focus after the break and finish playing hide and seek with your hamster for the rest of the afternoon. Really…it’s important to ask yourself “Can I still study, or do I need a break?”. Answer to yourself honestly and trust yourself.
In the same way, if you feel that after 20 minutes of productive studying you need a break…just do it! You will come back after 5-10 minutes to focus even better for another 20 minutes and so on. Trust me…studying 20 minutes by 20 minutes will be thousand times more efficient than studying for 3 hours being concentrated only 1 hour.
When you tell yourself that you have to study for 5 hours today it’s already somehow discouraging as it seems very long. But if you just start studying and you see that today you’re efficient only for 30 minutes and then you start to lose your focus, do a break and come back for another 30 min. You’ll definitely study your planned 5 hours overall and probably more… being the more efficient possible. Don’t stay melting in front of your computer for hours just to tell yourself that today you studied for that amount of time…it doesn’t really work like that….
2. Avoid disturbances
You probably already heard this many times before but it’s always good to remind this crucial element. Forget your mobile phone, social medias, your guitar, your hamster and whatever can disturb you during your studying!
Checking your Facebook or Instagram feed takes only a few seconds, but it simply blows away your concentration that could maybe let you work for one more hour. It’s really a stupid way to mess up a studying session and probably all the students already experienced this.
Very simple things to do to deal with this problem would be to throw away your mobile phone and focus on your work.
These small breaks where you could allow yourself checking your phone will be like a reward and will motivate you to go back studying in a better way.
3. Count the items
This is the first mnemonic to build your needed skeleton.
If you have to learn for example a list of terms, let’s say 15 words, counting the terms you have to learn can help you to remember more easily your list.
You can try this by yourself: try to learn a list without counting it and another one by counting the words. You’ll assimilate the needed words more easily because you’ll structure the way of remembering these words. In the first case you just learn random spread words whereas in the second case you’ll have to follow a pattern that will remind you how many words you have to remember.
4. Split into several parts
We can also make an easy pattern to remember easily by splitting into several parts the amount of information needed to be learnt.
Let’s take again our list of 15 words and divide it into 3 parts of 5 words.
Now, every time you’ll have to remind yourself of this list you’ll know that you divided it in 3 parts. This can also remind yourself for example how many words you had in this list and give you even more details about it.
5. Make associations
This technique is very useful when you have a last part of something to remember. Imagine you successfully learnt 14 words but there’s still one left that is just impossible to remember, it just doesn’t want to remain in your brain!
You can easily remember it by telling yourself it’s the word you can’t remember, you will associate it to this situation. When you read again the list say it loudly “this is the word I can’t remember” and think about it.
I’m talking here about a remained piece of information, but you can definitely use this mnemonic for everything. Just pick anything that surrounds you and put in your words and any other information.
What if I need to remember that there’re stratiform and cumuliform clouds… I can find near myself a table which is flat and long like a layer… just like the stratiform clouds. Then, over my head there’re some light bulbs…round shape, defined edges etc.… just like cumuliform clouds. Now I know that clouds are divided into 2 categories: stratiform (the table) and cumuliform (the light bulbs).
6. Make it funny: Remember the Initials
This is the last mnemonic and my favorite one.
What do you think about learning 10 words just by remembering ONE WORD!! I don’t know you but for me it’s quite exciting and interesting to do.
What you have to do is to take the first letters of each word and put them together to MAKE A WORD. If you have 10 words to remember you’ll have a word of 10 letters. If it’s more…guess what… SPLIT that into two or as many parts you need to remember the respective number of words related to the parts you made.
If you have several words starting by the same letter, remember the second letter as well. Another thing you can do is to remember those words as the ones starting by the same letter…Good association isn’t it !?
Why is it funny? Because sometimes you have really weird words. But don’t underestimate them! By being weird and funny you’ll relate them to the information you need to remember! When you’ll try to get your stuff, you’ll say: “Oh I know that these terms were in that funny stupid word that made me laugh the last time”.
As you can see you have to switch between all these techniques to make it easier to remember your information. I took as an example here a list of words but of course you can apply these mnemonics to build your pattern for a paragraph or whatever you have to learn. The first 2 steps are very banal, and you probably heard this thousands of times but trust me they’re ESSENTIAL!
This is how you build up an efficient and easy to remember skeleton where you can put all you need to remember.
What do you think about these mnemonics? If you found it useful and it helped you somehow tell me in the comments or write me on my social medias, I really want to know your opinion! Don’t forget to share it to let others benefit of these tips!
Atricle source: Panda the Pilot blog