Learning How to Learn: Week 2 Notes


Week 2 Notes

The Importance of Recall

Recalling is mini-testing and is more effective than re-reading the material.
The Recalling process helps build in hooks we can hang ideas on.
Re-reading only helps when increase time b/w reading and make it a more of a spaced repetition.

Illusions of Competence

  • Test yourself
  • Minimize highlighting
  • Mistakes are good (you can find where you lack competence)
    Only looking at a solution and thinking you know it is a common delusion of learning. You must have it persistent in your memory.
    Highlighting material can trick you into believing you know the material.
    A good rule is one highlighted item or one per paragraph. Writing in the margin is a better idea.
    A Chunk is…

    Focused Attention

Chunks you learned in one area can help you learn chunks in other areas.

Scott Young Interview

Dude compressed 4 years CS at MIT into 1 year of self-learning. He spent the next year travelling to 4 different countries to learn the languages via full immersion.


  • Get into problems and try to be wrong as quickly as possible.
    • MIT problem sets without having the solutions check after only you feel the stress and the grind.
  • Read bio of Richard Feynman
  • Blank piece of paper and writes a todo manual. Gets to a point where you can not be too precise and you can go back to the notes and textbook and figure out you are missing.
  • Being bad at subjects is mostly not having the experience in the area.
  • Don’t be disappointed by setbacks.
  • Always have a mission
    • you need motivation and concrete projects that are exciting.
  • MIT opencourseware
  • Highly focused time
  • Anki for flash cards
  • Personally, Scott studies 3 to 4 hours per day to learn languages.

    Interview with Dr. Norman Fortenberry

    Quote: Engineering is a team sport, and you have to make sure they are serious about their studies as well.
    In Engineering School, you are part of a team. The expectation is that there are course notes and course bibles. You have to make sure you make the connections to the people that have the resources that you need.

    Amy Alkon – writer

    Work every day little by little on a piece that you are doing. and while you are doing something other than writing the information has a chance to have a change to assimilate in your brain.
    How to fight procrastination
    Your brain wants to do anything other than writing. She sets the Pomodoro timer and tries to lose herself in the work during this period.
    How to approach books
    Like a buffet. Take pieces there and there that you want. You can pick and choose where to start, where to stop.
    It’s important to be a critical reader.
    How to remember key points
    Write down main points and have it around for you to see while you are in diffuse mode.



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