Sunday, December 30, 2007

Right Brained Learners -- Study and Test-Taking Skills

I took these notes a year or so ago when I was learning about Right Brained Learners. As one myself, I think the most helpful tips for me have been the speed-reading to get the big picture, and the idea of visualizing as I read. As to minimizing distractions, I am one of the subset who actually works better with some background noise. I finally figured out in college that the best way to write a paper was to go to a cafe, and my work improved quite a bit after that. I tell my kids to experiment with different environments and see which one works best for them.

Notetaking and outlining usually are difficult for RBL to use well either for studying or for writing. When I was in college I took notes on lectures, but they were almost useless to look at later. The only thing that helped, for me, was to physically rewrite the notes, preferably in a new format so I could think about them in a new way.

What works far better for me is a keyword map. This works for both studying and writing. I just jot down a phrase or vivid word here and there and use it as a “peg” for retrieval.

Anyway, here are the notes.


Don’t nag

Minimize distractions

Short, intense study periods

Speed-reading techniques — read quickly, to get the big picture, then read again to fill in the details.

Use visualization to memorize charts and things.

Outlines and notecards often not effective for RBLs in writing. Just sit down and write, then put in shape as you go along. For a young child, help him start by helping him write out the first bit.

Follow study sessions with a motivating activity, vary pace.


RBLs often do poorly in timed-test situation.

He should skim test until he finds a “sure bet”

If he is panicking, he should take a “mini vacation”

Save tougher questions for last

Avoid timed work when possible.