Tuesday, November 22, 2011


One day a young man studying in Higher Secondary class came to me and said that he desired to be a computer engineer but he scored only pass marks in the examinations. He wanted to improve his learning skills so that he could score high marks in the final examination. I gave him the following advice:
Human learning depends upon three important psychological factors.
1. Interest
2. Comprehension
3. Repetition
I. ONE should have interest in the subject. Then only he/she can learn that subject. The young man wanted to become a computer engineer. So he must be interested in basic subjects like Maths and Physics. But why should he be interested in subjects like Chemistry and English Language? He might not find interesting those subjects but he should create interest by self suggesting. He should suggest to himself that even though  the subjects like chemistry and English language are not very interesting for him he should learn these subjects along with Maths and Physics to score high marks in the exams as well as to improve the linguistic ability and general knowledge which may be indirectly related to the profession which he aspires for.
II. Human mind retains in memory only those matters which have meaning and which are comprehended well. Compare the following two sets of combination of three English letters or trigrams:


PIG     LIP    CUP    BAT   MAP   CAP  TAG    RIB     CAT   LOG

One can easily remember the trigrams in the lower line. In order to retain the trigrams of the upper line in mind one should have to repeat it several times  and spend much energy for it. Psychologists say the mind lives and breathes through meaning. So, the comprehension of the subject is essential for its retention in mind. Uncomprehending subjects are just like the trigrams in the upper line.

III. In order to retain the comprehended matter in the mind one should repeat it. There is individual variation in retention or memory power. Some individuals have to repeat the comprehended subjects ten times to retain them in long term memory. Others may have to repeat them only four or five times. There are people with extraordinary memory power. These individuals may have to repeat the subject only two or three times. Ordinarily one may have to repeat the subject five or six times. I suggest the following schedule of repetition of the lessons at home:
Day 1 - Read three times the subjects learned on that day.
Day 2 - Read three times the subjects learned on that day. + Read twice the subjects learned on Day 1
Day 3 - Read three times the subjects learned on that day. + Read twice the subjects learned on Day 1 + Read once the subjects learned on Day 1.
In order to score high marks in the examination one should find out enough time to repeat the lessons each day as scheduled above.



  1. thank u very much 4 the articles on memmory including that on seven sins of memmory.more of such items on science are welcome