How to read and fix everything that is important?

The first important thing is to make it clear that in order for us to make our reading productive, we need to be aware that it is not enough to read just once. But let’s talk about that later.

I propose a test exercise. You are reading the book and found an important concept that made you understand what is happening. At that moment you close the book you just read and then try to think, without reading, without consulting, and try to reproduce that in your head so you can explain what you just read.


After finishing the reading, you must now provide an explanation. Like I was speaking to a different person. In other words, it indicates that you didn’t comprehend the material if you are unable to express it.

This means that you read, you were fluent, but you didn’t actually generate the necessary neural connections for that content to actually be incorporated into your intelligence. This exercise really strengthens your intelligence.

How to Not Forget What You Studied: What about re-reading?

Rereadings bring some pitfalls. We almost always assume that, when we re-read that content, we will see it again, as well. The problem is that reading has a passive aspect that can be very dangerous for our intelligence.

It’s as if you wanted to learn how to bake a cake, for example. No one will imagine that just watching someone make a cake over and over again will be able to learn, but that’s not true, because we need to practice.


And this is the same with intelligence. This exercise that was proposed is uncomfortable, it causes laziness, but it is something that you need to exercise. Otherwise you run the risk of reading, reading, reading and never really learning.

You may feel comfortable being fluent, following the author’s reasoning, but you are in every way evading the exercise of thinking for yourself and incorporating those ideas.

It is essential to reflect and articulate these ideas in your own words, that is, in a much more active way and not in a passive way.

How to remember everything you studied?

There are some dynamics in our memory. Our memory spans are short, medium, and long. An ongoing strengthening exercise is necessary for long-term memory retention.

Until it reaches a point where it becomes natural, it becomes something automatic, that is, when you read it for the first time it will be enough to remember. This is because our brain generates a certain amount of connection quality.

However, if you don’t regain this knowledge soon, it will disappear. So if we learn something, but don’t practice it in a short period of time, it disappears, it is forgotten.

Therefore, an appropriate (and actually extremely efficient) way for us to understand is to revisit that content, whether explaining it to someone or repeating it to ourselves, or taking a test.

It’s not rereading, which can be a trap, but actively resuming this content so that it repeats itself and this repetition will exercise your intelligence and make the content better stored in your intelligence.

By applying this technique at regular frequencies (we always indicate periods of 24 hours, 7 days, 14 days and 30 days), whatever the subject studied, it will be recovered very easily.

An example of this is the ease with which we recover language. We don’t need to remember grammar rules all the time because this is already incorporated, this is already routine, this is already automated with knowledge.

Explain to learn: the infallible technique

That’s why teachers have some advantages when it comes to this skill. Because it’s not enough to know the content, you need to know enough to explain it to people who may have never heard of it.

We all learn a lot when we explain, because sometimes the very act of explaining causes a series of dynamics to contribute to our learning, that is, explaining is not just an act of teaching, it is an act of learning too.

In the same sense (and for the same reason), another trap that is very dangerous is underlining. I like to emphasize it, but you have to keep in mind the trap that can set in.

It is having the illusion that the act of highlighting is synonymous with understanding. We emphasize and assume that it is enough, we feel comfortable, and we don’t do that exercise that is essential.

Close the book and remember that concept and reproduce it in your own words, explain it to yourself.

So underlining books can be a trap if you are lying to yourself. Underlining is very useful when you are doing research and you later need to consult that book to find quotes or to remember certain points in the book.

In this case, that’s fine, but you need to be aware and not fool yourself into imagining that highlighting is enough.

An even mAs if I were talking to someone else.ore dangerous trap

Another illusion is to make a copy of the book, the famous xerox. We copy a book and think we have already mastered that content, just by the act of having copied it. This can even happen unconsciously.

Nowadays, with downloads, it can be even worse, because you may think that the act of having those books around makes you feel empowered to discuss those authors.

You always need to be alert to check if you really understood that content or if you were just pretending to yourself and fell into one of the traps. It is important that we all use smarter strategies to deal with knowledge.

How to Not Forget What You Studied: Conclusion

This is not the time to be lazy, this is not the time for disguised procrastination. Have a more active relationship with knowledge. This change, as it is a little more laborious, may cause resistance.

But take the test. Try the techniques we suggest in this article for a month or two and compare your performance before and after. I guarantee you will be VERY surprised.

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