Life-changing knowledge does typically require advanced learning techniques. In fact, it’s been said that the average adult only uses 10% of his/her brain. Imagine what we may be capable of with more advanced learning techniques, learning process might be slow or fast but it should be worth learning, learn slow or fast but the most important stuff is to keep remembering it. To add even more variety, each person has different learning styles and preferences.
Take two ideas and ask yourself how they relate. They can be ideas within a specific field (short roads) or between two completely different fields (freeways). By doing this you create a roadmap for traveling between information in your brain. I suggest reading my article on holistic learning if you want to find out more.
Most people take notes in a linear fashion, writing one statement after the next. Fluid notes may look less organized, but involves you drawing connections between ideas and writing in all directions across the page. Remember the point of note taking is to encourage learning, not just record what was said.
A bit more efficient than rote memorization is to use mnemonics. Acronyms simplifying memorized information are a great way to do this. When I used to lifeguard, I had memorized all sorts of acronyms for various procedures such as RED or ABC. Make up your own acronyms to store arbitrary info.
Consider this individual brainstorming. Write down all the ideas, thoughts and information you can think of. A brain dump to get it all out on paper.
Opposite to the immersion method is the learn-as-you-go method. This works great when the learning is for a field where mastery isn’t important. I used this approach when learning the technical matters of blogging.
Ever sat next to one of those annoying kids that asked “Why?” to everything you said? Maybe it’s time you became that annoying kid and started asking why to more of the information you are supposed to learn. When information forms a logical pattern it becomes far easier to remember.
My final suggestion is to stop thinking about classes in terms of grades and degrees. Think of school as just one facet of the larger self-education in your life. Find reasons to learn information for its own sake, instead of just to pass the class. While this may sound obvious, I believe it is the most important tip on this list and the one few people actually use. Study to learn, not just to pass.