Study skills
By Gregory Mitchell - Copyright © 2003
Chapter 1 - Introduction
It can take the shock of a calamity to open our eyes. A personal catastrophe like unemployment may provoke a dogged determination not to be left out of life. However, it would be senseless to await such events to drive us into action - we would do better to steer our own course. Take a few moments to think about your friends and acquaintances - you are likely to come up with several people who have succeeded in altering their lives quite radically, either in their work or their leisure. To do so, they inevitably needed to acquire new knowledge; they needed to become a student and to succeed in their studies.

To enter a new field of learning, however modest it may be, is to enter a state of change. We move out of a safe and predictable world into a new area in which we have to admit, we do not know all the answers. We need to acquire new skills, and to do that we need to study and make sense of the most appropriate information resources, either in the form of attended courses, books and videos, or personal tuition. The rewards for succeeding in our studies will almost certainly exceed the effort, not least in new self-esteem and self-knowledge.

When it comes to learning, we are inherently brilliant. We have all learned very difficult, complex tasks, such as learning to walk, to talk and to write. Information cascades into our brains from the moment we are born and we never stop learning and remembering. Just how much experience we store only becomes apparent when something jogs our memory - a picture, face, smell or sound conjures up those past times that are never actually forgotten.

As you read these pages your mind is submitting every word, every concept, to intense scrutiny by comparing it to your previous experience. It is looking for patterns and is trying to match these new ideas with those you may have encountered or decided upon in the past. However hard you think you are concentrating, your mind is in fact ranging far and wide, ceaselessly searching for associations, only a few of which may be selected for conscious attention.

Because this process of considering and learning continues without obvious effort, we scarcely acknowledge it is happening. We may readily deny we have any aptitude for learning at all. Perhaps this is because of our past experiences in attempting to study a new subject, perhaps in a classroom or with a book. Although these sorts of learning may employ the same brainpower as our natural learning, they call for a significantly different approach. We may need to learn how to learn, in particular how to study.

While the majority of what we need to know to survive and lead our lives came to us quite easily and informally, the crucial extra information and skills needed to open up a new career can come hard to those of us unused to study. The purpose of this course is to provide you with the necessary skills for you to succeed in your studies.


1. Introduction
2. Barriers to Learning
3. Setting Objectives
4. Reading Techniques
5. Key Word Noting
6. More on Note-Taking
7. Associative Networks
8. Asking Questions & Listening
9. Thinking Clearly
10. Word Definitions
11. Defeating the Decay of Memories
12. Physical Learning
13. Sight, Sound, Action...
14. The Decision to Fail
15. What's Next?


Copyright © 2004 Gregory Mitchell - Published by Trans4mind

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