“Who are slow learners?”
The slow learner is a term used to describe students who can learn at a pace and depth below their peers.
In other words, slow learning is not a disability! The only problem with slow learners is that they need more time, repetition, and resources than the average people to grasp what they have learned.
There is no shame in being a slow learner. In fact, approximately 14.1% of the population are slow learners. You’re not alone, and you can definitely improve!
Did you know that Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Thomas Edison were slow learners? But that didn’t stop them from making great contributions to society!
So if you feel inferior or worthless, don’t be! You’re as capable as the average person does! You have the same potential, or even more, as your peers.
You just have to be patient and keep doing what you’ve got to do. But if you’re a college student who’s a slow learner and you don’t know where and how to start to improve yourself, we got you!
We’ve listed down some study tips for college students to overcome their learning issues as slow learners.
Here, you will learn:
- What type of learner are you?
- How to study based on your learning type?
- 8 study tips any slow learner should know
- And many more…
How can slow learners improve themselves?
Slow learners can improve themselves by destressing, playing to their strengths, using mnemonic devices, studying in short, frequent chunks, using examples, changing their approach, practicing, and using Feynman Technique in studying.
Little by little and through persistence, you can study efficiently and effectively by following these learning strategies and study tips.
8 Best Study Tips Any Slow Learner Should Know
#1: De-stressing helps slow learners
One of the most important study tips for college students is to learn how to de-stress. You have to stop worrying and overthinking simply because it won’t change anything. Worrying just adds unnecessary stress to your life.
If you’re upset or pressured, you won’t be able to give your best, as it can hinder your performance. Instead, try not to dwell on your negative emotions and thoughts so that you can function well and create productive results.
Practicing mindfulness can keep you grounded. Having a peaceful environment and a support group as a de-stressor will also help you focus on your tasks better and make you feel motivated.
Also, it’s worth noting that slow is not dumb. The human intellect can’t be measured by how fast a person can understand a concept. Just be patient and diligent, and you’ll be learning as quickly as the others in no time.
Besides, when it comes to studying, it’s not the speed that’s important; it’s what you’ve learned. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. So keep on striving, and don’t lose your grit.
#2: Slow learners should play to their strengths
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone has their preferred learning style. A study tip for college students is to know which learning style suits you best, so you can utilize it for your own good.
If you understand information better when verbally explained, you’re an auditory learner. Here’s what you can do to study effectively as an auditory learner:
- You can study aloud.
- Record your lectures for later listening and reference.
- Seek other resources you can listen to.
- Teach others verbally.
If you learn best by looking at and creating visual concepts, here are some study tips for visual learners like you:
- Since you’re typically organized, you may want to utilize diagrams, concept maps, charts, and processes when studying.
- You can also use color codes, cues, and pictures for better visual stimulation.
- Another study tip for visual learners is to write and rewrite your notes a lot to retain and process information better.
If you learn better by being hands-on or by actually doing things, then you’re a kinesthetic or tactile learner. This type of learner is action-oriented and is often good at sports or any physical activity. Hence, to comprehend concepts better, kinesthetic learners should:
- Get involved by partaking in events
- Physically complete a task
- Participate in hands-on activities
- Apply concepts and theories in real life (e.g., through practice, observation, experiments, etc.)
- Move around when studying (e.g., pace while you memorize, use a whiteboard when answering practice tests, etc.)
If you prefer to learn through reading and writing, then you are a reading/writing learner.
Although some of the study tips for visual learners overlap with the reading/writing learners, they are different from each other.
Reading/writing learners prefer learning by reading textbooks, handouts, articles, and notes. If you’re one of them, you can study better by:
- Reading texts
- Taking down notes
- Joining discussion boards online
- Looking up words and concepts you want to know online
If you resonate with two or more learning styles, then you can try a mixed learning approach when studying. Anyone can use multiple strategies to cater to their different learning styles and subjects.
If you want to speed up your learning, mix and match learning styles with whatever you aim to learn.
For instance, if you want to learn how to dance, you can apply kinesthetic and visual learning styles to improve in that field. Or, if mathematics bores you to death, try adding visual learning styles to your current learning style to make solving equations more fun and creative.
#3: Use Mnemonic devices
If you’re struggling with memorization, mnemonic devices can help. This study tip is perfect for students who need to remember and retain a lot of information.
A famous example of a mnemonic device is the acronym ROYGBIV which stands for every color of the rainbow in order. But acronyms are only one of the few types of mnemonic devices.
Imagery and visualization are mnemonic devices that use images instead of words or sounds to recall something. For example, if you’re trying to learn “sol,” or the Spanish word for sun, you can imagine the sun burning the sole of your foot.
Rhymes are also a mnemonic device. A popular example of this is the song “Do-Re-Mi” from the film “The Sound of Music.” The word “do” rhymes with “doe,” a female deer. “Re” also rhymes with “ray” and so they associate the word “re” with a drop of the golden sun in the song.
And lastly, chunking breaks larger information into smaller chunks. When memorizing an 11-digit phone number, we don’t usually memorize it straight as a whole. Instead, you break it apart like this: 0912-345-6789.
#4: Study in shorter chunks
Another study tip for students who are slow learners is to study in short chunks. Some students think that if they study longer, they will learn more and better than those who don’t. This, in general, is a myth. In order to grasp your learnings, you have to rest in between sessions.
It is better to study in small, frequent chunks than in big chunks occasionally. That’s why the Pomodoro Technique is a useful and effective tool for time management.
#5: Using examples helps slow learners
If you find understanding some concepts difficult, try thinking of and using examples.
If it’s a theory, think of real-life phenomena to which you can apply it. If it’s a math equation, look for other problems with solutions and try solving one or a few yourself. Assess how others write well and adapt their ways if it’s about writing.
When thinking of examples, you can refer to your past experiences and knowledge, the internet, your library, and even ask your friends, classmates, and professors if you need their thoughts.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help from other people, especially from your professors, if you need it.
#6: Change your study approach
Instead of dwelling on fear and anxiety by thinking of how difficult it is to grasp the material, change your approach into a more realistic one. Try asking, “what can I understand here easily?” and build your way from there.
#7: Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to learning in general.
Reviewing your notes won’t do much, but if you want to improve and study effectively, here’s a study tip for students like you. You have to apply what you’ve learned. You have to routinely test yourself.
Be it by answering a self-made quiz at the end of every study session or practicing your dance steps every day, repeated practice is a proven method that will help you retain information as long-term memories, making recall easier.
#8: Using the Feynman study technique helps slow learners
A study tip for college students who want to learn faster – use the Feynman Study Technique.
A quote says, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” In other words, if you want to know if you understand something well, try to explain it in the simplest way possible.
As you try to explain a concept, you will be able to know the areas where you lack understanding. If you can’t explain it, you didn’t understand it, at least well enough.
The Feynman Technique is named after Richard Feynman, a brilliant scientist who can explain complex ideas in simple, intuitive ways to others. This learning method is a simple but efficient technique that requires you to teach a concept to someone using plain language.
Here are the steps on how to practice the Feynman Technique when studying:
#1: Write or think of a concept you want to comprehend.
#2:Explain the concept strictly in your own words as if you’re teaching it to another person who doesn’t know anything about the idea. You can do this with or without a friend at your side.
Again, this uses only plain, simple language. However, when explaining, don’t limit yourself to a simple definition or a basic overview of the concept you’re trying to explain. Instead, provide an example or two to ensure that you have defined the concept well.
#3: Assess yourself if you have sufficiently explained the concept. If you feel like you haven’t noticed some areas you didn’t know or are not entirely confident that you know well, study those areas again until you think you’ve understood them well enough.
#4: Explain the concept once again. Bear in mind that you have to explain it perfectly this time. If you still think you can improve on some areas or still haven’t grasped the concept well, go back to studying and just repeat explaining until you’re satisfied enough with your explanation.
Note: The aim is to make sure that your explanation can be understood by someone who has no prior knowledge regarding the concept.
Tip: You can pretend to be teaching the concept to a child. In this way, you can think like a child and answer simple questions simply. You can also use flashcards or anything that will aid you in explaining the topic.