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Learning Concepts: How do you do that in the best possible way?

You’ve probably been in this situation: you’re in an exam and suddenly you read a certain concept you’ve seen before, but cannot remember the meaning of at this very crucial moment. To avoid frustrating situations like this, it is important to learn and understand concepts. But what is the best way to learn concepts? Stuvia offers you a step-by-step plan so you can learn concepts quickly and easily and thus better understand the text.

Why is it useful to learn concepts?

Before we tell you more about the best way to learn concepts, it is important to understand why you need to learn them. Learning concepts is important to better understand texts on different subjects. For example, when you read the word 'inflation' during an economics exam, you need to know whether this means that the prices of a product are getting higher or lower. It is therefore essential to learn the meaning of concepts so that you can talk about the subject involved and show that you understand what you are talking about. Did you know that flashcards help you master concepts 7 times faster?

If you still have difficulties learning concepts, you can set yourself learning goals. This will help you focus and succeed without stress.

How to learn concepts? A step-by-step plan

Learning concepts can be a difficult task, especially if you have to learn a lot at once. This step-by-step plan will help you understand how to learn concepts in no time.

Step 1: Write down the concepts

First look at all the concepts given in the paragraphs you have to learn. You can often recognize these concepts because they are printed in bold or italics, or are shown in a separate block. Some textbooks also offer an extra list of concepts after a chapter, or at the back of the book.

Step 2: Check if you understand what a concept means

Before looking up the definition of a concept, try to describe the concept yourself. By checking beforehand which concepts you already know, you can identify which ones you need to learn.

Step 3: Look up the definition of the concept

Look up the definition of the concepts in your textbook or study guide you don't know yet. Also, run through the concepts you already know, just to be sure. This way, you test yourself and make sure you learn the concepts correctly. .

Step 4: Write down concepts and meaning

Complement the concepts you already know with information from your textbook. For concepts you don't know, copy the full description. Make sure you describe the concepts in such a way that the meaning is immediately clear to you.

Step 5: Make digital flashcards

Did you know that Stuvia has a tool to learn concepts easily? You can do this by making flashcards.

Step 6: Fill in the concept at the 'question’ section

Start creating your flashcard by filling in the concept at the 'question' section. So, going back to the economic concept of 'inflation', fill in 'inflation'.

Step 7: Add the definition/explanation at 'answer'

Define/explain the concept in the 'answer' box. Repeat these two steps until you have filled in all the concepts. An appropriate answer in the case of 'inflation' could be a 'general increase in prices of goods and services'.

When doing this, always try to apply your own learning style. After all, some learn better with short sentences, while others prefer examples.

Step 8: Start practicing

Start practicing the concepts. When you see a concept, try to explain aloud what it means exactly. Then turn over the flashcard.

Have you given the right answer? Then click the thumbs up. Did the meaning still not come to you? Then click the down arrow. Afterward, you can see exactly which concepts you have mastered and which still need more attention!

Step 9: Repetition, repetition, and more repetition

Repeat the concepts on different days before your exam. Repeating the concepts and their meaning will make sure you don't lose track of them. It can be useful to use the Pomodoro technique so that you learn as efficiently as possible.

Step 10: Sell your flashcards

Did you know that you can link your flashcards to your uploaded study documents? That way, you can charge even more for your documents. So don't wait any longer and start uploading right now.