The Graph of understanding and learning

The Graph of understanding and learning
The Graph of understanding and learning

Learning can be fun for some students while some may also find it tiring. But it does not really matter, since we are supposed to develop the habit to learn new things so that we do not find ourselves stuck in the future. At first, I was also disinterested in studying, but it did not take me long to realize how learning new topics and subjects can actually be fun and useful too. 

In this article, I will mainly talk about my experience during the tenth grade when I was preparing for the ICSE 2024 Board Exams. When I look back at my journey of study, I can make out a key observation. It was that if you are taught a new topic, you should not expect to fully understand it in one go. Well, there are a few exceptions, but most students find themselves utterly defeated when they face a new concept or topic. At these times, we should know that it is the natural reaction. We should always push ourselves to read the topic again and again till we finally get a hold of it.  


There are few more observations that I have found out while thinking how I felt when trying to learn and master new concepts:


  • If you are struggling to remember formulas, you can always skip learning them first. I used to write down the formulas in a small diary. When I sit to solve the problems, I would open the diary and see the formula from there and then solve the question. By solving questions, we write the formula multiple times, so we remember it fast and easily. I can still remember clearly that I was struggling to learn the formulas of Arithmetic and Geometric Progressions. At that time, my sir recommended me this way of learning them, that is learning by applying them in questions. I was able to learn all the formulas quickly.


  • While reading chapters, you can skip some part and jump to a particular topic to save time and learn efficiently. The explanations of the chapters in the textbooks can be quite long and it tends to be tiring to read the whole chapter. It is also common to lose the concentration while reading with results in students reading the text but do not understanding it. At times like this, it is wise to skip few paragraphs which contains introductions and jump right to the topic. The chapters are divided in several topics. I used to struggle a lot as I used to read the whole chapter from the beginning whenever I picked up my textbooks, this resulted that I blankly keep reading the sentences without making out what does it means. When looking for a particular topic, you flip the pages and may come across a topic which you have not read before, so it is beneficial and also while flipping the pages, you create a map of that chapter in your mind, which helps in further mastering it. It is also highly recommended to at least read the whole chapter once.


  • The same can be said about preparing notes. Students usually believe that if they write something down, they can learn it quickly. While it is true, it is also important to remember that writing down things without understanding them first is no better than blankly reading the sentences in the chapter. First, you should read and understand the sentence and try to write it down in your notebook in a different way, you can also take help of your teacher regarding this matter. 


That was all a little bit off the topic, but it was necessary to study efficiently. The main observation of this article comes from the graph of Understanding a new topic vs time.


When we move to a new class, we are already packed with a little bit of knowledge about the basics from the period class. Many students find themselves struggling when they notice that they are trying but they are not able to understand the new topics being taught to them. They tend to lose their interest in studies which results in further poor performances.


As it can be seen in the graph, the progress for a month or two seem to not change, but a steep rise can be seen just after the period of stagnation. There will be times when the topics become too difficult to understand in one sitting, but at these times it is important to remember that we should not lose hope and keep reading about the topic again and again till we are confident that we can teach it to a friend or junior of the time comes. 


There will also be the times when you might find that this particular topic is too easy, and you start to take it lightly. It should be avoided. This kind of attitude tends to be led us become overconfident in our skills and abilities and soon we find ourselves completely lost to what is going on in the class when the difficulty is raised a little bit.


Some students may not find themselves represented through this graph. I had a friend who use to grasp the new concepts way faster than anyone else in the class and he used to also learn them before they were taught in the class. At this time, we may find ourselves lost to them as we believe that this person is way smarter than us. We may also lose interest in studies and the feeling of competition may also fade.


We should keep in mind that everyone learns differently. Some prefer to watch YouTube videos than read a book to learn a new topic and some prefer the explanation provided by the teacher or they prefer to learn it by themselves to understand the concept better. We should always choose the way that is comfortable for us and should never try to adopt the learning techniques of others as they might not suit us. 


Learning can be actually very fun. The sense of competition the feeling when you beat your friends or lose with a narrow margin is best during the whole academic life. It should be enjoyed rather than stressed. Learning and growing is the way of human life and whenever we are stuck, we should just keep studying and practicing hard until we master the concept.

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