10 Rules of Studying

10 Rules of Good Studying

  1. Use recall. After you read a page, look away and recall the main ideas. Highlight very little, and never highlight anything you haven’t put in your mind first by recalling. Try recalling main ideas when you are walking to class or in a different room from where you originally learned it. An ability to recall—to generate the ideas from inside yourself—is one of the key indicators of good learning.
  2. Test yourself. On everything. All the time. Flash cards are your friend.
  3. Chunk your problems. Chunking is understanding and practicing with a problem solution so that it can all come to mind in a flash. After you solve a problem, rehearse it. Make sure you can solve it cold—every step. Pretend it’s a song and learn to play it over and over again in your mind, so the information combines into one smooth chunk you can pull up whenever you want.
  4. Space your repetition. Spread out your learning in any subject a little every day, just like an athlete. Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
  5. Alternate different problem-solving techniques during your practice. Never practice too long at any one session using only one problem-solving technique—after a while, you are just mimicking what you did on the previous problem. Mix it up and work on different types of problems. This teaches you both how and when to use a technique. (Books generally are not set up this way, so you’ll need to do this on your own.) After every assignment and test, go over your errors, make sure you understand why you made them, and then rework your solutions. To study most effectively, handwrite (don’t type) a problem on one side of a flash card and the solution on the other. (Handwriting builds stronger neural structures in memory than typing.) You might also photograph the card if you want to load it into a study app on your smartphone. Quiz yourself randomly on different types of problems. Another way to do this is to randomly flip through your book, pick out a problem, and see whether you can solve it cold.
  6. Take breaks. It is common to be unable to solve problems or figure out concepts in math or science the first time you encounter them. This is why a little study every day is much better than a lot of studying all at once. When you get frustrated with a math or science problem, take a break so that another part of your mind can take over and work in the background.
  7. Use explanatory questioning and simple analogies. Whenever you are struggling with a concept, think to yourself, How can I explain this so that a ten-year-old could understand it? Using an analogy really helps, like saying that the flow of electricity is like the flow of water. Don’t just think your explanation—say it out loud or put it in writing. The additional effort of speaking and writing allows you to more deeply encode (that is, convert into neural memory structures) what you are learning.
  8. Focus. Turn off all interrupting beeps and alarms on your phone and computer, and then turn on a timer for twenty-five minutes. Focus intently for those twenty-five minutes and try to work as diligently as you can. After the timer goes off, give yourself a small, fun reward. A few of these sessions in a day can really move your studies forward. Try to set up times and places where studying—not glancing at your computer or phone—is just something you naturally do.
  9. Eat your frogs first. Do the hardest thing earliest in the day, when you are fresh.
  10. Make a mental contrast. Imagine where you’ve come from and contrast that with the dream of where your studies will take you. Post a picture or words in your workspace to remind you of your dream. Look at that when you find your motivation lagging. This work will pay off both for you and those you love!

10 Rules of Bad Studying

Avoid these techniques—they can waste your time even while they fool you into thinking you’re learning!

  1. Passive rereading—sitting passively and running your eyes back over a page. Unless you can prove that the material is moving into your brain by recalling the main ideas without looking at the page, rereading is a waste of time.
  2. Letting highlights overwhelm you. Highlighting your text can fool your mind into thinking you are putting something in your brain, when all you’re really doing is moving your hand. A little highlighting here and there is okay—sometimes it can be helpful in flagging important points. But if you are using highlighting as a memory tool, make sure that what you mark is also going into your brain.
  3. Merely glancing at a problem’s solution and thinking you know how to do it. This is one of the worst errors students make while studying. You need to be able to solve a problem step-by-step, without looking at the solution.
  4. Waiting until the last minute to study. Would you cram at the last minute if you were practicing for a track meet? Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
  5. Repeatedly solving problems of the same type that you already know how to solve. If you just sit around solving similar problems during your practice, you’re not actually preparing for a test—it’s like preparing for a big basketball game by just practicing your dribbling.
  6. Letting study sessions with friends turn into chat sessions. Checking your problem solving with friends, and quizzing one another on what you know, can make learning more enjoyable, expose flaws in your thinking, and deepen your learning. But if your joint study sessions turn to fun before the work is done, you’re wasting your time and should find another study group.
  7. Neglecting to read the textbook before you start working problems. Would you dive into a pool before you knew how to swim? The textbook is your swimming instructor—it guides you toward the answers. You will flounder and waste your time if you don’t bother to read it. Before you begin to read, however, take a quick glance over the chapter or section to get a sense of what it’s about.
  8. Not checking with your instructors or classmates to clear up points of confusion. Professors are used to lost students coming in for guidance—it’s our job to help you. The students we worry about are the ones who don’t come in. Don’t be one of those students.
  9. Thinking you can learn deeply when you are being constantly distracted. Every tiny pull toward an instant message or conversation means you have less brain power to devote to learning. Every tug of interrupted attention pulls out tiny neural roots before they can grow.
  10. Not getting enough sleep. Your brain pieces together problem-solving techniques when you sleep, and it also practices and repeats whatever you put in mind before you go to sleep. Prolonged fatigue allows toxins to build up in the brain that disrupt the neural connections you need to think quickly and well. If you don’t get a good sleep before a test, NOTHING ELSE YOU HAVE DONE WILL MATTER.

These rules are excerpted from the book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, July, 2014. Feel free to copy these rules and redistribute them, as long as you keep the original wording and this citation.

lesson learned, life, notes

Galih Maulana

Tulisan dibuat semata-mata sebagai catatan bahwa saya pernah menjadi korban penipuan, dan tentunya dengan harapan agar catatan ini berguna bagi siapapun di masa depan yang kemungkinan terjebak dalam situasi yang sama dengan saya saat tulisan ini dibuat.

Tulisan dibuat dengan kesadaran penuh bahwa saya adalah penduduk Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia yang punya hak dalam kebebasan berekspresi. Hal ini saya baca dalam buku berjudul Kebebasan Berekspresi Panduan Bagi Jurnalis dan Aktifis Kebebasan Berekspresi (Asosiasi Jurnalis Independen / AJI, cetakan pertama Maret 2010).

Tulisan tidak dibuat dengan tujuan untuk menyudutkan maupun menjelek-jelekkan (upaya pencemaran nama baik) pihak manapun.

Tulisan ini dapat diakses siapapun, dimanapun, kapanpun, dan bebas disebarluaskan tanpa terlebih dahulu meminta izin kepada saya. Tetapi saya tidak bertanggungjawab atas efek samping –dalam bentuk apapun– yang tidak saya harapkan dari penyebaran catatan ini.

Saya juga tidak bertanggungjawab atas segala bentuk peristiwa yang mungkin terjadi di masa depan yang mungkin saja diakibatkan oleh catatan ini.

Apabila pembaca menemukan ada informasi yang tidak valid, dan bisa membuktikan hal tersebut, silahkan kontak saya melalui kolom komentar.

Pembaca yang tidak menyetujui isi disclaimer ini sangat tidak disarankan untuk melanjutkan membaca.

Pembaca yang menyetujui disclaimer ini sebaiknya membaca catatan secara utuh.

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notes, technology

Opera Software: Bali Blogger Meet-up

Pernah terpikir ga sih browser semacem Opera dapet duit darimana?

Dulu banget (pas gw masih bocah) kudu pakai keygen supaya bisa pakai browser yang satu ini. Yes, waktu itu browser inovatif ini berbayar sebelum kemudian muncul versi gratis yang dibubuhi iklan di ‘navigation bar’-nya. Berbayar karena Opera ini *sangat* inovatif, dan merupakan pionir browser dengan tab.

Pertanyaan tadi terjawab Rabu (17 Oktober 2012) malam lalu di acara Opera Browser Bali Blogger Meet-up, tepatnya di Warung Made Seminyak.

Daud Irsan Aditirto (Business Development Director, Opera Software Indonesia) membocorkan salah satu sumber pendapatan Opera browser. Doi jelaskan bahwa tiap pencarian yang dilakukan pengguna melalui kotak pencarian di sudut kanan atas Opera browser bernilai beberapa sen. Google sebagai default search engine ternyata punya kontrak kerjasama dengan Opera. Cool!

Sebelumnya gw sudah pernah baca bahwa browser lain juga punya deal dengan Google. Nilai kontraknya juga fantastis! (di acara meet-up kemarin, gw sebut angka USD 1 juta yang ternyata salah besar. my bad).

Selain pendapatan dari kotak pencarian, doi juga jelaskan bahwa ternyata Opera Software sudah memasuki pasar yang tidak dimasuki browser companies lain: mid-to-low end mobile handheld devices. Bisa dikatakan rata-rata “hape Cina” yang beredar di pasar saat ini punya Opera browser di dalamnya.

Hal baru yang menurut gw gokil adalah fakta bahwa browser ini tidak terinstall di atas operating-system melainkan implanted di chip! Murah, cepat, dan memenuhi kebutuhan (serta limitasi) device di level tersebut. Sangat cerdas.

Gw sendiri pengguna Android, dan kebanyakan waktu menggunakan stock browser. Tapi, seperti yang kita ketahui koneksi data provider telekomunikasi kita kacrut banget. Emang sih dapetnya 3G, tapi 3G ecek-ecek. Efeknya? Mau browsing aja terkadang bisa nambah stres.

Opera browser (Opera Mini dan Opera Mobile, tepatnya) punya pendekatan berbeda. Kebanyakan pengguna awam mungkin tidak sadar bahwa browsing dengan browser ini ‘lebih cepat’. Hal ini memungkinkan karena hape kita tidak terhubung langsung ke website yang ingin kita kunjungi/buka, melainkan kita terlebih dahulu terhubung ke proxy server milik Opera, lalu Opera-lah lah yang mengambil konten dari website tersebut dan mengirimkannya ke browser. Lihat gambar di bawah ini, atau baca halaman Wikipedia ini untuk detailnya.

Namun ada satu pertanyaan lagi yang ingin gw tanyakan: lokasi proxy server Opera ini dimana? Apakah ada di Indonesia? Karena letak geografis sangat mempengaruhi kecepatan. Apalagi ketika website yang kita akses adalah website lokal yang servernya juga berada di jaringan Internet lokal Indonesia (IIX/OpenIXP).

Ada banyak lagi teknologi bagus yang dimiliki Opera browser, semacem Opera Turbo, Dragonfly, dsb. Penasaran? Dateng ke meet-up berikutnya! :P

Tapi seperti kebanyakan teknologi, Opera browser tidak dibuat untuk semua jenis pengguna. Kita masing-masing punya preferensi. Tinggal memilih solusi yang tepat untuk masalah yang tepat.

Satu hal yang sangat disayangkan ketika meet-up kemarin adalah minimnya peserta yang datang. Cuma ada gw, mas @kojaque, dan @adisetiawan.


Ternyata di Bali ada tanggal tertentu yang menurut kepercayaan lokal sangat tepat untuk melangsungkan pernikahan. Bloggers yang awalnya berminat untuk hadir mendadak berhalangan karena harus menghadiri rentetan undangan pernikahan. Hari yang ngenes buat event apapun (dan para jomblo :P).

Well. Ini blog post pertama gw yang disponsori oleh perusahaan browser. Disponsori segelas bir bintang dingin :D


lesson learned, life, love, notes, work

End of 2011

I can’t recall the last time I spent my new year eve with my parents. It is sad that I don’t miss them that much. I wanted to be there, but I don’t have tendencies to do so. -_-”

It is the last night of 2011. Eight o’clock sharp, as I’m writing this post. I had no one asking me out. Had no where to go. No gig to hit. No whatsoever. I am totally on my own.

This is a bad year. (Though, I must admit that 2010 is worst ever.) Few remarkable things:
1. three times switch jobs
2. ex-es got married
3. being an ignorant single for the whole year


But anyway, I also met with a whole lots of new people this year. Friends and enemies that I met, I’m glad to met you people. Thanks for shaping me up.

One thing I regret is my decision to go back to Jakarta. I should have stayed in Bali. Fyi, I only stayed there for two months. And those two months was spent working. That’s what I’m regretting the most. But yeah, I know. Things happened for reason. I should go there next year, for holiday.

As for the ex-es. I can’t imagine how happy they’re right now, with their new family. I hope they really are.

Talking about jobs. No, not job actually. I met with this guy on twitter, he offered me a job. I took the chance and get back to Jakarta and joined the company. This, Balinese guy, I personally respect him. He is an ignorant bastard who talked very big, but also a freakin genius. His attitude is at his worse. But on the otherhand he is the most responsible team leader I’ve ever met. Salute for you, bro. You know who you are.

At almost the same moment, within the same company, I also met an ‘enemy’. It’s not an enemy actually. It’s just, different people came up with different agenda, and me decided to stepped back. I did wrote a post about this. Lets skip this.

About being single. I had no idea. Really had no idea.

To wrap it all up. I wish all you people a happy new year. Lets hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Yeeehaaaw.