Some Easy Ways to Get Smarter

This post contains all tried and tested methods by me. Being a psychology enthusiast, I have made a detailed study in each of the methods, so can rely before following them. Personally, I average IQ 140, and I have tried most of the things possible and available for improving intellect.

There are three important aspects of getting smarter.
– Identifying Patterns
– Memory
– Calculations

Everything listed below is tried and tested by me for 7 years. There are valid reasons provided to understand the concepts. Hopefully it helps.

See how it works ->

Observation Skills :

I live close to Dadar, where there are tons of shops around. I always choose the window seat in the bus. If not, then peek outside. Why did I peak outside? When I was 5, I used to read as many hoardings, ads, shop names,even addresses and numbers as possible in the bus that’s in motion. I get less than 0.1 seconds to read each of them. I tried to read them first. The nest step was to read and remember. Before I turned 7, I had memorized names, owners’ names and even phone numbers of more than 100 shops. With pin point geographical location.

I did the same with textbooks, completed most of them faster than most kids.

Color Coding :

Remembering the patterns is a crucial aspect! Solve puzzles. A lot of puzzles,really! There are no shortcuts here. Colors help most of the times if you are trying to remember. For example, you meet 15 random people at a party. Remembering by visual sense is quicker (Dress/face etc).
Identifying patterns also include, space and numeric type of problems. Like you might have seen problem listed below several times in an IQ or an aptitude test. So what we want is the bulb to glow faster in your head and when is that going to happen, when you are good in calculations (for maths) and spot the differences (for the visuals).

How to get good at both ?

1.  Maths –

You have to work for maths. (Sorry for the bad news). Unless you find numbers fun you are not going to score well in aptitude tests. Getting smart is not a recipe, its a lifestyle. You have to adopt some norms to be able to fit in that lifestyle. So how to make numbers fun? Hmm…not a big deal. As a kid, I had a habit of calculating bills, at the grocery store or restaurant. My goal was to sum up the amount to be paid before the cashier hits ‘Total’. This is somewhere you can start from. Then advance, to speed solving (amazingly all sorts of intelligence are somehow linked with each other). So getting better in Identifying patterns in maths will simultaneously make you better in calculations and improve your speed.

Speed Solving :

Solve maths, as much as you can. Start with basic operators
Observation skills also include quick thinking and decoding of chain of clues. Solving crosswords, sudoku are worth it. Spare 30 mins everyday.

Quick_Save Memory :

Faster memory is directly related to reading skills and observation skills. As I already discussed in maths section about identifying patterns and speed. And how each ‘type’ of intelligence is subtly related to other types. Here is an example for the same.

If you see the image on the right, its easier to remember because you just have to remember one unit it and multiply, while in the left there is no pattern , so you cant remember it faster as you cannot identify the pattern.

2.Similarly for space,

Here the pigeons are arranged in a series that is identified as fibonacci series. You can identify it, if you are good in maths. But there is no real calculation here, it just happens in your mind. Thus if you have to redraw this image you don’t have to think long, because you decoded the pattern.

The Dual memory twist :
We have dual memory, one that stores temporary info, like a phone no. and other that saves the longer and important information, like memory. Photographic effect and faster reading skills are fundamentals of better memory.

The amount of information that is going to be stored in our permanent memory is dependent upon following cone : Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience.

Image Courtesy :
Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience

But there is a catch, not all people necessarily follow this cone. Some people learn faster by reading, some by listening and some by writing things down. You have to take the pain to discover what ‘kind’ of learner you are. And then plan your strategy to get smarter.

Here are some ways for each type of learner :
You guys are lucky to be in this list! Seriously! These people are the fastest learners. because you can read more words than you can write or listen to per second. All you have to do is increase your reading speed and stamina. Video games based on attention help (CS, DOTA etc). Or else, you can try that hoarding trick if you don’t get bored easily. Plus, there are hell lot of methods, because your visual senses are more developed, try painting and and other games/arts like word puzzles, spot the difference etc.

The faster you listen, the faster you memorize. Well that includes by hearting Eminem’s lyrics too. Jokes apart. For faster listening, you should first know to talk fast. Not in public of course. So go in your bedroom and read loud and as fast as you can. After a session. Take pen and paper and write what you understood. At first shot maybe you are 60% close. It  depends upon the size and complexity of the topic. Improving understanding while listening is a great great skill. Participate in family discussions. Throw your PC/laptop for at least two hours and talk to people. Exchange of ideas grows faster and stronger neuron connections. The rate at which newer connections are formed is the magnitude of smartness you have achieved. You may fail several times, to catch up but keep trying. Listening is a precious skill.

For all those nerds, who have the dream notebooks, which each student in the class conspires to steal before tests, this is your deal. Writers are basically dreamers. They love to paint and visualize stuff. They learn
only when emotions flow through their mouth or words. There is nothing much I can tell them. they know their job as people of this type are generally gifted.

The Doers are the ones who learn when in an activity. Like dancers, actors etc. If you have discovered that, you belong to this type I believe you concentrate on your fine arts and sports club events rather than mathematics olympiads. The more you play, the smarter you get.

There is a general myth that people who do maths are smart. That’s completely untrue. Leonardo da Vinci and Diego Maradona both are genius but in their own fields. You cant expect Roger Federer to be a space scientist. So the most crucial part while training your brain is to identify what type of a person you are, What are your natural skill sets and what pleases you. Its not just the IQ that’s going to make you great. Passion and dedication are equally if not more important.

Frankly speaking even if my IQ scores are 140, I have a bad spatial memory, and 3D visual ability due to which I cant be a good artist. But my maths and verbal skills are far above average. Now that’s because I analysed what are things I am naturally good at and concentrate on developing them.

Lastly, practice. You have to repeat the process periodically and consistently for at least 6 months to see visible difference in your aptitude. Nothing is coming easy your way. Even if you are naturally good at something you still need practice.

It took me 4 years to improve my skills. You have to work for it to be good.

Please give a review on this answer. I’ll edit as I get some more points to add.

PS : Play brain games like scrabble, jigsaw puzzle, rubix etc. As an adult it seems weird but do it.

Especially action packed video games, it boosts following factors :
– Reflex timing
– Memory
– Decision Making Skills and
– Concentration Power
Just A link to give you information about the same :
Action-Packed Video Games Really Do Help Us Learn Faster, Study Finds.

Quora Linkalgebra


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