Concentration

In the pursuit of more and more knowledge, the student may develop a tendency to give careless answers and hastily jump from question to question in order to reduce the repetition time. There are no dangers related to fast repetitions on condition that the speed is achieved by simplicity of items rather than by negligence in providing answers. It is often possible to automatically answer a question without understanding its important implications. Instead of being semantic, i.e., based on the meaning, the repetitions become syntactic or literal, based on the automatic rendition of the item's wording. Not only is the thus acquired knowledge of little value, but what is more dangerous, the student may become disillusioned with the SuperMemo method because of inadequate progress in the development of desired skills. To prevent such an outcome, the student must constantly control the learning process by asking the following questions:

  • Is the given item truly important for the skills I want to develop?

  • Does the ability to answer the question truly ensure that I remember exactly what I want to remember?

  • If I have any problems with remembering a given item, is it truly formulated in the simplest and most univocal way?

  • If I have problems with a simple and univocal item, what mnemonic technique could I apply to eliminate my problem?

  • Are the following elements of the learning process suitably chosen?
    • The extent of the subject I want to master in the context of my learning capability and availability of time.

    • The degree to which I want to get into details of knowledge.

    • The retention level I want to reach.

    • The amount of time a day I can afford to spend on SuperMemo.

All these questions must recur again and again, and the student must constantly maintain the highest level of alertness and concentration. The degree of improvement obtained by mastering concentration ability is extraordinarily high and worth while. Sloppy work will produce little results and cause disillusionment.

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