Learning and Study Skills – The 4 Simple Steps of The Feynman Technique

If you’re currently enrolled in school, looking to pick up a new skill, or understand a new concept, there are no better study methods or learning techniques better than The Feynman technique.

For those who don’t know, the Feynman technique is named after Richard Feynman, the American theoretical physicist and Nobel prize winner. As well as being a great physicist, he was a great teacher and a great role model for students who wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Richard Feynman was a great explainer and he was able to break down extremely complex concepts and put them in simple language that other people can understand. He is one of those great scientists who is also known as a great teacher.

Although The Feynman technique is named after the famed physicist, you don’t have to be working on math or science problems to use this technique. Explaining a concept works to improve your understanding of that concept and the Feynman Technique can be used in any field.

The first principle of learning a new concept is that you must not fol yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. The ultimate way you can ensure that you completely understand all the small details of a concept in your head is to explain it to someone else.

This is the basic principle of the Feynman Technique, but the entire principle itself comprises of 4 steps.

The 4 Steps of The Feynman Technique

1. Write the Name of the Concept at the Top of a Piece of Paper

The first step is to simply get a piece of paper and write the name of the concept at the top.

2. Explain the Concept

The next step is to explain the concept in as simple a way as possible, in plain English, without using any complicated words or phrases. The idea here is to do it in a way that is easy to understand, as if you are teaching someone else. Work through examples and make sure you can use the concept and practice as well.

3. Identify Problem Areas

The next step in the Feynman Technique is to identify problem areas that you may have in understanding and explaining the concept to someone else. When you have identified these areas to work on, go back to your source and review it. Read your notes and get these areas solidified in your mind until you understand the concept fully.

Richard Feynman Lectures on Physics4. Simplify Complicated Terms

Pinpoint any complicated terms and challenge yourself to break down those terms and explain them in simplified and easy to understand words. The key here is to keep it simple. The act of explaining a topic to someone who has no knowledge of the concept is the ultimate test of your own knowledge in that subject.

These are the basic steps of the Feynman Technique. Using this technique is incredibly helpful because you can overview a concept and see where your knowledge is solid as well as helping you to pinpoint areas where you need to do extra work.

This makes this technique makes it a great way to review a concept in an efficient way.

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