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Kwik Study Tips for Long-Term Retention

My name is Jim Kwik, the founder of Kwik Brain Universe, author of the best-selling book LIMITLESS and host of the #1 brain performance podcast, Kwik Brain. I am a world leading expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning. After a childhood brain injury left me learning-challenged, I made it my life’s mission to create strategies to dramatically enhance mental performance. Once I was able to turn my own learning challenges around, I dedicated my life to helping people like you unleash your true genius and brainpower to learn anything faster and live a life of greater power, productivity, and purpose.


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How do you effectively study to retain information long-term?

No matter what age and stage you’re in, sometimes you’re presented with a situation where you have to learn a lot of information in a short period of time. Maybe it’s for a sales call, a last-minute meeting, or an unexpected test. But once you give the presentation or take the test, what happens to all that information in your mind? It usually disappears.

In today’s episode, I will go over simple techniques to help you study large amounts of information quickly, effectively, and efficiently. There’s a difference between studying to remember and cramming to forget.

Listen in as I give you some Kwik study tips on learning anything faster and retaining more information. Whether you’re going for a degree, are a parent looking to support your students, or are simply a student of life, this episode is for you.

***If you’re inspired, I want to invite you to join me in my brand NEW 7-day course, specifically designed to boost your confidence. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I give you step-by-step guides using the accelerated learning model to make you unstoppable in a short time. Visit kwikconfidence.com to join me today.***

"Make learning fun, fall in love with your brain, and unleash your amazing genius."

Jim Kwik

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Prime Your Brain

  • One of the first keys to learn anything faster is to have a goal.
  • You want to ask questions and have a target in mind.
  • A lot of times, you don’t learn something because you don’t know what you’re looking for.
  • Questions are the answers, so remember to ask yourself numerous questions.
  • You’ll notice that in our Limitless book, all of our chapters start with primer questions.
  • The right questions stimulate the part of your brain called the reticular activating system.
  • The RAS directs your focus and awareness. And once you’re alert, you can find the answers.
  • Remember: All learning is state dependent.
  • Information by itself is forgettable. But information combined with emotion becomes unforgettable.
  • You have to add emotion like joy and fun to your studies.
  • How you make studying interesting and exciting varies for everyone.
  • Maybe you like listening to music or have a studying soundtrack.
  • Having a certain song may help you get in the focus zone, where you’re motivated and excited.
  • Or maybe moving your body by doing jumping jacks or cartwheels helps.
  • Even something as simple as putting a smile on your face can put you in a better mood.
  • If you try to learn something in a bored state, it will be much harder for you to remember what you’re studying.
  • The information won’t get encoded as strongly into your long-term memory, which makes it difficult to retrieve.

Optimize Your Environment

  • It’s not just your internal environment, you also have to optimize your external environment as well.
  • You want to create a separate workspace.
  • If you can, avoid working or studying from your bed.
  • The environment that you’re learning something in gets encoded with the information and the emotions you feel in that environment.
  • This means you can actually create sleep issues when you work in bed.
  • Your brain has a difficult time differentiating between working or studying and going to sleep.
  • And if you associate your bed with sleep, you’re not going to be able to study very efficiently, making it a lose-lose situation.
  • Remember that you may never have the perfect environment.
  • You might have kids around or other noise and distractions. You just want to do the best you can.
  • The important thing is to have a dedicated environment so that when you go into that space, you’re immediately in the zone for work.
  • Certain environments are triggers for specific behaviors. You go to the gym to workout. Turn on your iPad for entertainment. Having a dedicated work or study space does the same thing.
  • You want to be sure this space has good lighting.
  • Fluorescent light has been shown to make people tired and induce eye strain.
  • Indirect sunlight is the best if you can find it.
  • Temperature is also important to your work or study environment.
  • For the most part, you want the temperature to be slightly on the cool side, so it keeps you alert and doesn’t put you to sleep.
  • Oxygen is important to your cognitive processing, so find a place with good air flow as well.
  • The final thing in setting up your ideal environment is limiting distractions.
  • Tell your family, friends, co-workers, etc. that this is your focus time.
  • Lock the door if you can, or put up a do not disturb sign, turn off your phone and all your notifications, close your browser tabs.
  • You want to eliminate everything that could distract you.

Maximize Your Study Session

  • When you actually sit down to study, you want to have a notebook ready to take notes.
  • If you’re not familiar with my Capture-Create note-taking method, you can review, here.
  • You want to set a timer for 30-45 minutes.
  • This is called the Pomodoro technique.
  • Research has shown that after a certain amount of time—usually 25-45 minutes—your focus and concentration starts to dip.
  • Your energy drops and you need to get reenergized.
  • It’s also easier to study in shorter intervals than to try and cram through a five-hour power session.
  • Breaking your session down into thirty-minute intervals with five-minute breaks gives you more energy and increases your concentration.
  • It also creates something called primacy and recency events.
  • Primacy is the idea that you remember something in the beginning.
  • If you go to a party and meet twenty people, you’re more likely to remember the first people you met.
  • When you get a list of words to memorize, you tend to remember the first ones you heard.
  • That’s primacy. Prime means first.
  • Recency means that you tend to remember things that are more recent, or towards the end.
  • So at that same party where you met twenty people, you’re going to remember the first people you met and the last people you met.
  • On that list of words, you’ll remember the first words you heard and the last ones.
  • If you study for eight hours straight, you’ll remember the things at the beginning and the end of the study session.
  • But you’ll have a big dip in the middle.
  • If you take that same eight hours and take a break every 30-45 minutes, you’re creating more primacies and more recencies. Which means you will remember more information.

Take Brain Breaks

  • During your five-minute brain break, you want to do a few things.
  • The first thing you want to do is move.
  • When your body moves, it creates brain-derived neurotrophic factors, which is fertilizer for the brain.
  • Next, you want to hydrate.
  • Your brain is mostly water and just staying hydrated can increase your reaction time and thinking speed upwards of 15-30%.
  • Third, you want to flex your eyes.
  • When you’re studying, you’re looking at a book or a screen that’s roughly 6 to 12 inches away from your face.
  • During your brain break, you want to go outside and look at the horizon or off into the distance.
  • It gives you some visual depth because if you’re visually fatigued, you’re going to be mentally fatigued.
  • Your visual focus directs your mental focus, so you want to move your eyes in addition to your body.
  • Finally, when you’re outside, take some deep breaths of fresh air.
  • Part of the reason you get brain fog and mental fatigue is you’re not breathing enough.
  • The lower 1/3 of your lungs absorbs 2/3 of your oxygen.
  • When you’re sitting down, your posture tends to collapse, which means you’re not getting enough oxygen to your brain.
  • Practice some deep breathing exercises.
  • Try something simple like box breathing. Inhale for four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold for a count of four. And then repeat.
  • Your brain is only 2% of your body mass, but it requires 20% of the nutrients and 20% of your oxygen intake.
  • Deep breathing really works to clear out the mental cobwebs, so be sure to do breathing exercises regularly when studying.

Remember To Review

  • The final tip is practice active retrieval throughout your study or work session.
  • We know through studying the human brain and understanding adult learning, that you don’t learn best just by consuming information.
  • You actually learn better through creativity and creation, where you’re not pushing information inside your mind but actually pulling information out.
  • There are three stages to memory: you encode information, store information, and retrieve information.
  • If you’re familiar with our programs and our podcast, you know we use the location method, the peg method, chain linking, the PIE method.
  • These are all taught to help you encode, store, and retrieve information.
  • But when you actively work on retrieving information, it actually helps you learn it better.
  • One simple thing you can do at the beginning and end of each study session is to quiz yourself.
  • Whenever you’re wrapping up or coming back after a brain break, review and recall what you learned in the last session.
  • This will add to your primacy and recency as well.
  • It’s a way of forming active retrieval or retrieval practice, to help really make sure the information is there and accessible to you.
  • Another thing you can do to learn anything faster is to learn with the intention of teaching someone else.
  • In psychology, this is called the explanation effect, where you remember things more when you have to repeat or teach the information to someone else.

Upgrade Your Learning

  • I just went over a lot of Kwik Tips today.
  • These tips will help you learn more rapidly with better comprehension, better organization, and better retention.
  • Imagine spending thirty minutes a day with me, where we go over how to focus and study more efficiently, how to win with exams, how to support your children, and how to learn anything faster at any age or stage of education.
  • If you want to go deeper and really gain the Kwik Student advantage, we’ve developed a program specifically for students.
  • In this program, we’ll spend 30 days together, where I dramatically help enhance your focus, concentration, ability to read faster, improve your understanding, and retain information even better.
  • Not only will I be your coach and help you enhance and level up your learning, you will also be joining a global community of other students.
  • Remember, how do you become limitless in a limited world? We do it together.
  • Visit KwikStudent.com and join today.
  • Be sure to check out the unedited, extended episode on YouTube, here.

Share With Us

  • Take a screenshot, tag me (@JimKwik), and share your favorite study tip.
  • I’ll share my favorites and send a few lucky listeners a copy of Limitless.
  • Don’t forget to visit KwikStudent.com today to unleash your amazing genius.


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