Improving learning skills

7 Secrets to Improve Your Ability to Learn (For Students of All Ages)

No matter what your age, throughout your life you will be learning. Your formal education ends with high school, but for many the learning never ends. You may attend a university, trade school, night school, community college or adult school. You may enhance your knowledge via business seminars, lectures, books, e-courses, and whatever else shows up in our information society. So wouldn’t it be helpful to have some good study habits and some tools to increase your ability to learn?

Although you may not be studying information to get good grades, retention of what you are learning can help your career, your parenting skills, your business, your relationships, your hobbies, and so much more. So it makes sense to acquire good learning skills sooner than later. Skills such as speed reading and good comprehension are useful for all the great information you want to take in.

Here are some more secrets for improving your ability to learn. Most apply to classes, but you can adapt them to any learning situation.

1. Be Prepared. If you’re taking a class online or at a school, study the curriculum in advance so you know what to expect. Engage in necessary prep work like downloading software, getting a workbook, or setting aside the dates for the course.

2. Get and Stay Organized. If you’re a computer note taker, make sure you set up a file folder system that will enable you to find what you need when you need it. Learning good computer organizational skills will save you a lot of time and headaches. If you take notes by hand, keep them in a labeled binder so you can review them later. Keep any other course papers in the binder as well.

3. Be On Time. If you’re taking a teleclass (this is a class conducted via telephone), call in five minutes early. Clear your desk, and have your pen and pad or a new computer file open. For live classes, show up a few minutes ahead of schedule. When you’re on time, you will have your full attention focused on the class, and not on “catching up” with yourself and what you may have missed.

4. Take Good Notes. If you’re unable to listen and write at the same time, just listen and then write notes after the class is over. If it’s recorded, you can review the class and take notes then. You can also ask the teacher for his/her outline, summary, or notes. Review your last class notes before your next class.

5. Establish Your Learning Style. Which is your best and preferred learning style: visual (reading), auditory (listening) or kinesthetic (doing)? When you know your learning style, take classes that incorporate that style. For example, audio learners keep CDs in their car to turn traffic jams into productive time. Book learners may keep a notebook handy to take notes and read as they exercise on the stepper machine or treadmill. When you study, do you need silence or do you enjoy having music playing in the background? Knowing how you learn best improves your effectiveness.

6. Ask Questions. If you’re taking a course online or in a school, make sure to jot down questions as they come up and ask them when you have a chance. I’ve always believed there are no dumb or silly questions. If you need clarification, you won’t continue learning until you have your questions answered. Most instructors see questions as a sign of an alert, intelligent mind.

7. Complete All Assignments. Stay current with your assignments and complete each one. If you’re reading a self-help book, do all the exercises. If you miss a class, find a way to get the assignments–from another student or the teacher. Online classes are often recorded, so make sure to listen to the recording if you can’t make a class.

With information coming at us from so many directions and in so many formats, it’s difficult to sort out what’s important. It’s even more difficult to retain data with so much to store in our brains. Ultimately we have to be more selective in what we choose to learn, and we need in order to develop effective learning habits. Having good study habits can help.

Do you have any tips that weren’t mentioned above? Please share them in the comments below.

This article was written by David B. Bohl – Husband, Father, Friend, Lifestyle Coach, Author, Entrepreneur, and creator of Slow Down FAST. For more info visit his blog at Slow Down Fast blog.



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

37 Responses to 7 Secrets to Improve Your Ability to Learn (For Students of All Ages)

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a ton! Really helpful for me….

  5. Ogbariemu akpesiri says:

    Thanks it really helpful.

  6. Mike Mison says:

    thanks ! hope these will help me improve the way I think and learn things.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you it help me alots…

  8. David NU says:

    Thanks for sharing these amazing tips, really helpful for many students. I would love to share this article at, a platform for students, teachers and other related people to discuss their thoughts and experiences on learning and other topics.

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  10. So touchy. I hope things works for me.

  11. Thanks for sharing these amazing tips, really helpful for many students. I would love to share this article at, a platform for students, teachers and other related people to discuss their thoughts and experiences on learning and other topics.

  12. thanks for this article. this is very helpfull for me .this article is not only for students but this is also for everyone who learn everything .thank you for this .

  13. Sekwat Marsuk says:

    Brainstorming with friends to expand every possible ideas out of any topic, this will help to shoot the breeze as there are no wrong answers when brainstorming- to talk and capture ideas, and review afterwards.Including practicing what one learned as practice makes perfect.

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. naruto says:

    thanks a lot… will try all yur tip’s n hope they will work n plzz also give a point on how to get elf interest on studies

  16. Beauty says:

    Thanks for the tips

  17. Sukhpreet Kaur says:

    Thanks for sharing these heart touching tips we will try our best by applying these tips practically in our life

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  20. Although I’ve been teaching for over 40 years, I ‘ve benefitted greatly from your tips. Thanks very much.

  21. Kanyin says:

    Well honestly this is really good but I think it will be better if we added to always study so they can be on the top

  22. Kanyin says:

    And also thanks it will help me improve in my studies

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  24. arif says:

    all the way is helpul..

  25. Mohammad Nasim Jamali says:

    you have pinpointed very useful tips, thanks a lot.

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  27. mj says:

    cooperative learning may help

  28. Laernm laso says:

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  30. Makhotso says:

    Thanks for your brilliantinformation
    I got what i was looking for thanks again

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  32. thabiso tharaka says:

    this is so helpful i really thank who ever wrote this

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  34. deco leee says:

    This is what i have be lacking, thanks

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  36. Thank you.
    It really helped me to move forward and I would love to learn more on it.

  37. Grace says:

    Thanks!I hope this will work for me

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