The Easiest Way to Study: The Feynman Technique
Don’t get too excited, this doesn’t mean you can kick your feet up, but thanks to a guy called Richard Feynman, there’s a fool-proof way to help you remember anything from genetics to economic policies.
The Feynman Technique is a mental model based on the theory that you learn by teaching topics using simple and concise language. In the words of Albert Einstein, “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”. So the idea here is to break down big ideas to make them easy to understand and remember.
Step One: Choose a Concept
Pick anything. Whatever you like. Now, write that concept at the top of a piece of paper.
Step Two: Explain the concept as if you are teaching it to a year six student
Write an explanation of the concept using simple language. Don’t just stick to words, throw in some examples or analogies to help you. Make sure it’s simple enough to be able to explain to a classroom full of rowdy, unfocused year six students!
Step Three: Go back to the source material and review
Now that you’ve written it out once, go back and have a look at any information you haven’t broken down simply enough and review the source material until you have a solid understanding of it. Now, go back and refine any areas of your explanation that resorts to using technical words and break it down.
Step Four: Review and simplify
Now it’s time to challenge yourself! See if you can go back and simplify your explanation even more than you already have.
Now you're left with simple, easy to understand study notes that'll make revision for your exams so much easier. The trick here, in modern terms, is to use the beloved K.I.S.S acronym – Keep It Simple Silly and you’ll be able to learn absolutely anything!
If you want to understand the background of this technique a little bit more, here’s a great little video!