Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

May 18, 2013

Study Smarter, Not Harder : Book Review

Today I am reviewing Study Smarter, Not Harder by Kevin Paul, 2009, 3rd edition. The book has a lot of useful tips for students at all levels.

First all of, here come tow major findings from the book.
  1. No stress, full emotions ----------> good learning
  2. Meditation ---> Gamma waves ---> good learning


Causes of good memory are :
  1. Learning through multi-senses, multi-channels e.g. see, hear, do, touch, smell
  2. Similarity
  3. Association, links
  4. Emotions
  5. Intensity, vividness, sharpness
  6. Repetitions
  7. Mnemonics
  8. Chunking: primacy effect (you remember most what you notice first), recency effect (you remember most what you notice most recently.)
  9. Linkage
  10. Reviews: After every hour, After every half day, After every whole day.

Stages of Reading

  1. Read clues to know what to expect, what to look for, what to focus.
  2. Slow reading to facilitate real, deep learning
  3. Summarize and sketch.

Taking Lecture Notes

  1. Key words, in your own words.
  2. Key patterns
  3. Diagrams, graphs.
  4. Flexible, non-linear arrows to link points.
  5. Spaces to fill later: With what you might have missed, With our own insights, etc.

If You Have to Cram, Cram Five Days in Advance

  1. Focus on the possible. Cut back your ambitions.
  2. Try to do just 2 new topics per day.
  3. Practice output activities i.e. write, speak, present, demo etc.
  4. Stop new input as the target date nears.


  1. If you study a lot --- the wrong way,you will learn the wrong things.