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Monday, February 9, 2015

How To Actually Learn A Subject

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Learning gets a really bad name. Just imagine you’re trying to convince everyone that you’re completely awesome, and then having public schools representing you for a decade of their life. Sadly, most people are forced to “learn” from public schools for the vast majority of their formative years. Of course, most people are going to hate learning. They’re forced to sit through boring classes for over a decade and they’re told that’s learning.

Phew… I got the rant out of my system.

My point is that learning is actually a pretty awesome thing. I know… you may not completely appreciate it because of the experiences you’ve had with what most people consider learning but give it a real chance and you’ll fall in love.

What I’m going to be going over in this article is not “how to get good grades in any subject.” That’s what the vast majority of this blog is used for. Go look through the archives for that. This article is for the people that actually care about learning a subject. Yes… there is a major difference.

Becoming thoroughly proficient in any subject is one of the most fulfilling things you can do with your time. That being said, in my experience, there is one very useful thing you can do to help to learn any subject.

Get It Out Of School

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School is one of the most inefficient ways that anyone can learn anything. If you want to learn a subject, you shouldn’t count on getting educated in school. Sure, there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to make the best of the school you have to go through but do not expect that to teach you well. The first thing you should do to actually learn a subject is leave the traditional schooling environment.

At first, learning outside of a school environment can feel a little crazy. You never know exactly which direction to research in. You could research forever in books, on the internet, and from millions of other sources. In most subjects, it’s a complete overload of information.

To get through the jungle of assorted information you need to find a guide. If you’re literally trying to learn a subject for school then use the information from school to get you started. After that, you can use resources that are highly regarded from a large selection of sources. (If 10 places say, this is the go-to-guide then you’re probably on track to finding a good resource. Of course, look for other verifications like author credentials too.)

For example, if you’re researching World War 1, you’ll be able to find thousands of potential resources. For a broad resource, google best books on world war 1. You’ll probably get led to at least a few different opinions on the subject. If you see a book mentioned a number of times. Check out the book’s Amazon page. Is the book well-reviewed?  Repeat until you find some good sources.


Most of the best sources you’ll find on the internet are not academic. That can sound like a disadvantage but in most cases, it’s actually an advantage.

Academic sources are designed to be completely accurate and non-offensive to the status quo. Sure, they’re not perfectly accurate but serious embarrassment can come to an academic that gets a bit too loosey goosey with his or her fact checking. That is good for an accurate source but it’s damn unproductive when you’re trying to be entertaining.

Guess what? Sources that will actually entertain you will use information in a more entertaining and less perfectly accurate way. History books, for example, that aren’t written for academic reasons are actually designed to provide entertainment value while remaining mostly accurate. (If you want to see a major difference. Compare a math non-fiction book to a math textbook. I hate most math stuff but there are some amazing books written on math.)

So what is better for learning, an unread textbook that’s 95% accurate or a read book that’s 90% accurate?

Even if you manage to force your eyes across the words of the average textbook, odds are, you haven’t put a quarter of the thought into it that you would have put into a book for entertainment.

As soon as you start reading, non-academic sources on a subject, the information involved in that subject becomes a natural part of your thinking processes.

Taking Learning Into Your Own Hands

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I realize that most of the readers of this blog aren’t going to spend hours a day reading into their school subjects from non-academic sources. If I thought you’d do that then I probably wouldn’t have mentioned this point in the first place.

It takes a whole lot of time investment to learn any subject. Considering, (assuming you’re in high school) you’re forced to spend 6 plus hours a day sitting in a boring classroom, I wouldn’t expect you to want to spend more to truly learn the subjects in school. That being said, there is always something worth learning.

Just because you don’t want to spend hours studying school subjects after school, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend some time looking into subjects that you care about. Don’t let the way school pretends to teach you interrupt your ability to truly learn. I know the word learning may give chills down your spine but spend a few days studying something you love and that chill will be gone.

Find somethings that you want to learn and dedicate some time to learning it.

The information I teach on this blog is meant to help you get school out of the way so you can actually learn what you care about. I teach tricks that mean you don’t need to invest much time in your classes. That leaves you with two options. Option 1, waste your life watching TV and searching the net. Option 2, become a better person.

I write this blog with the hope you’ll choose option 2.

Do you want to know how to study in less than 15 minutes a night? Check out the archives of this blog. Also, check out my books in the sidebar to get the whole shabang.

Do you want to learn the secrets about studying that the mainstream educators wont tell you? Follow this blog.

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