The Feynman Technique Of Learning Anything

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Richard Feynman was a Nobel prize-winning scientist and he was also known as “Great Explainer”.

Feynman Technique, also known as Feynman Mental-Model is known as a technique to help you learn pretty much understand anything – to understand concepts you always struggle to deal with, to remember stuff you have already learned, or to study more efficiently.

The Feynman Technique is explained very clearly in James Gleick’s 1993 biography, “Genius: The Life and Science of  Richard Feynman“.

The technique can be broken down into 4 simple steps:

Step 1

Write the name of the concept at the top of a blank piece of paper. Keep adding to that page every time you learn something new about it.

Step 2

Pretend you are teaching it to someone else (e.g a new student or a 10-12 years old kid).

Write down an explanation of the concept on the page keeping that young kid in mind.

Use plain English.

Try to teach it to someone who does not know anything about that subject.

if the other person is able to understand it. See if you’re getting stuck somewhere during the explanation of that concept. If yes, this pinpoints the gap in your knowledge of that specific concept, maybe you need to learn more.

Step 3

Review the gaps in your own learning. Go back to the source material, re-read, and re-learn it.

Repeat Step 2.

Step 4

If you are using overly wordy or confusing language.

Try again to simplify. Use some simple analogies in explanation.

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