Most people do not study effectively because they do not understand how the brain works. As a result they struggle to remember what they learn. However, there are some people who do not have this problem. This is not because they are smarter than everybody else, or because they work harder or because they know more. It is because they work with their brains and not against them.
This book teaches memory improvement and learning techniques that will show you the right way to approach studying and how to ensure that you can remember what you learn. The techniques can be applied to study for the Leaving Certificate easily and with immediate effect. The book contains proven methods to help you remember:
- Foreign language vocabulary
- Mathematical formulae
- Scientific information
- Dates and numbers
- Poetry and quotations
- Notes/Information on any subject
NOTE: This book does NOT teach "Study Skills", such as time managment or other organisational techniques that prepare you to learn. This book teaches you how to remember what you learn.
Here is the introduction to the book, to give you a flavour of what it is all about:
I have spent a lot of my life studying, and for most of that time I never gave so much as a moment’s thought to how to succeed in exams, or what the best method of learning is. I had no idea how my memory worked or why I forgot things and I never even considered whether the way that I studied made sense. I just did what every other student does: I made notes and then I read those notes over and over again hoping that the information would stick.
I never did very badly in my exams, but then I never did particularly well in them either. My Leaving Certificate results were just about good enough to get me into college. My college results were just about good enough to get me into the King’s Inns, and my results there were just about good enough to allow me to become a barrister. Every year when my exams were over, I would put them completely out of my mind and forget what I had studied. In my mid-twenties all that changed. I became interested in memory techniques and in how the brain works. I started reading psychology textbooks and trying to improve my memory. Most of all, I started to think about what it takes to get really good marks and about why some students are more successful than others.
The next set of exams that I sat was the Institute of Taxation Associateship exams. Although I was only one of a handful of people taking them who did not work in taxation, I finished first in Ireland and came away with the top mark in both paper I and paper II (out of four papers). I managed this not because I worked harder, in fact I did the same amount of study as I had done for any of my previous college exams. I managed it because for the first time in my life I knew exactly what was required to succeed and I knew exactly what techniques to use to be successful. I came first because I was able to memorise my notes on every subject quickly and accurately and because I was able to use that knowledge to gain the maximum amount of marks. I didn’t work harder; I worked smarter.
WHAT THIS BOOK WILL DO FOR YOU
This book will teach you all the different techniques and approaches that I used to come first in the taxation exams, specifically adapted for you to achieve success in the Leaving Certificate. These techniques will enable you to remember everything that you study perfectly with a minimum of effort and in far less time than it would normally take. This book will change the way that you study, the way that you remember and the way that you approach your exams. Most importantly, it will change your results.
This book will also tell you why some approaches to learning will work while others simply will not. Practically every teacher I ever had gave me advice on studying, and most of them contradicted each other. One teacher told me that I should make notes, and then make notes on my notes, and then make notes on my notes of my notes, and so on. Another teacher recommended throwing all notes in the bin once they had been made. Yet another advocated making no notes at all and instead focusing on reading and using a highlighter. Like most students, I ignored much of what my teachers said to me and just did what I saw every other student doing: I made notes and then I read them over and over again.
This book will explain how your brain works, how you remember what you study and why you often forget. It will then show you how to study in a way that works with your brain rather than against it. The reason behind every technique and every method is fully explained so that you can immediately see why the approach that I recommend will get you more marks for less work than any other method of studying.
This book will also teach you the most powerful memory techniques that have ever been devised, and will show you how to use them to memorise a wide variety of material, including History, Geography, Business Studies, Biology, poetry, quotations, definitions, foreign language vocabulary, foreign language grammar, numbers, dates and formulae. There are fully worked Leaving Certificate examples in every section so that you can see exactly how these techniques work, and how to apply them to memorise what you need to know for your exams.
This book is not like a “study skills” course. It does not teach time management or goal setting. It does not tell you to how to make study timetables, or when you should take breaks, or how to prioritise your homework. The techniques in the book do not teach you organisational skills that will prepare you to learn: they will teach you how to actually learn. This book will show you step by step everything that you need to do to maximise the amount that you can remember in the shortest amount of study time possible. It will tell you the right approach to take from the moment that you sit down to read a chapter of a textbook for the first time to the last revision that you do the night before the exam; all focused on helping you to retain what you learn and to use that knowledge to get as many marks as possible in the Leaving Certificate.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
It is very important that you work through this book in order, and do not jump from section to section. The first part of the book contains very important information about how the brain works, and also outlines the right way to learn and how to apply this method to studying for the Leaving Certificate. You really need to have understood this information to get the maximum benefit out of the memory techniques that are covered in the second part of the book. Chapter 5 contains a vital element of getting the right approach to exam success, though you can read it after you have learnt the memory techniques if you wish. If you are interested in the methods for learning foreign languages, numbers or formulae, then you must learn the memory techniques in the part two of the book first; particularly what is contained in chapters 6 and 7.
You should also make sure that you work through all of the examples given in the various chapters. There are not many of them, but they are vital to a proper understanding of how the different methods that are taught work. Unfortunately, you cannot learn how to study properly or how to use memory techniques just by reading about it; you need to actually do it. I have kept the examples short, and they will not take very much time to complete.
Much of what appears in this book is explanation. Wherever possible I have tried to give the reason behind what I recommend so that you can see that it makes sense. Once you have understood these explanations you should not need to read them again. There are summaries of the most important points at the end of each chapter, and you should refer to these occasionally when using the techniques. The techniques themselves are easy to learn and can be applied quickly to real Leaving Certificate material.
Finally, I have been teaching the techniques in this book to students for a number of years now, and I have seen the results that can be achieved when they apply them to their exams. You have a great opportunity here; the techniques in this book will change your life provided you actually use them. Do not just read through this book and then go back to reading your notes over and over again (or to some other form of rote learning). Think about how what I say applies to you and to the way that you need to study for the Leaving Certificate, and then put it into practice as soon as possible. You will be very glad that you did.