I was doing B.Sc. in Computer Science and M.Sc. in Mathematics currently.

My current position is that best learning is highly dependent on the environment (this is similar to why “poor people do not save” is a rational behavior). If your school is too fast-paced and demand extreme precision, rote memorization and retrieval learning might be just the right way.

In my case, when I was doing CS, I found the lack of feedback and guidance very burdening since I was newbie at that time. On the opposite, I had strong background of math before starting my degree, so I can self-study by building connections between concepts (from chunking, examples, teaching, exercises, multi-modal). I don’t find time-based methods such as interleaving suitable due to time constraint and mental exhaustion. I utilize alarms extensively for starting and ending learning (often something like 10 mins), in order to break procrastination.


Having a trusted system for managing your knowledge base. I took LOTS of great notes over the 15 or so years I spent in college and grad school, but those notes are all “stuck” in hundreds of notebooks, files, margin notes, etc. They are very inaccessible! I now keep a zettelkasten, and wish I had started long ago so I could benefit more from everything I’ve studied.

Do you use a specific software for zettlekasten? I’ve never heard of this method before, and as someone in the last year of PhD, I should really get a grip…


Haha that is when I first started trying to get a grip too >_< I use a neovim plugin I wrote, but really any wiki software works. Vanilla vim works too. It doesn’t take much to implement a zettelkasten, really. The key is having a setup that fits your needs and workflow. Do you have a preferred editor and/or OS? I may be able to recommend some things to check out.

For my academic work, I tend to use either Mac OS or Windows (not by choice unfortunately). Text editor would be Atom. I’m seeing some musings online that it’s possible to use Obsidian…


I don’t know much about Obsidian, but I know it is a popular choice. On my wife’s Mac I tested out a markdown editor called Zettlr which is designed for managing a zettelkasten. It seems like a good option. A lot of the tools people seem to be using for zettelkasten use markdown, so you could potentially migrate among them with minimal adjustment.

  • Find people on your course that can help you and that you can help. Teaching something you know to classmates helps you learn. There is a saying “one teach, two learn” and it is true.
  • Try to review the content of a lecture before attending the lecture. Even if it is a fast 5 minute skim of the material it will help you
  • Try to get an overview of the course at the start, again a quick skim might take an hour or so, but the content will be more familiar when you get around to it.
  • For maths and science Khan academy is really useful.
  • There is a short course on Coursera called ‘Learning how to learn’ that includes some of the above points, it is worth checking out.

I went to UCSB for five years and learned almost everything on =\

The techniques in Cal Newport’s book on college, also the ones in A Mind for Numbers, the ones from Project Zero’s Visible Thinking Routine Toolbox (and the book that explains them), and The Happiness Trap to handle anxiety and shit like that.

I learned about the last two books (Visible Thibking and The Happiness Trap) way too late. Before reading them, my grades were meh. After, straight As.

Don’t have a fav learning technique, but it’s a big advantage if you have connections to older semesters, so they can share advice & notes with you

I know this doesn’t answer the question. But in India, at least in my state, the best way to learn something authentically is by not going to college and wasting your time there. Its all a sham for anyone who can’t get into the top two institutions, which is most Indians. Everything trickles down from there on. Your health and your academic integrity, all of it gets compromised in a college environment in here.

I went for Comp Sci. (B.Sc, two M.Sc. and a PhD). The most important part ist finding your own personal learning type. Theres a distinction between those who learn best listening to lectures, reading textbooks, explaining a topic to others, etc. Start by finding what suits you best.

Here are the things that helped me most (after years of trial and error):

  • Going to all appointed lectures and exercises (treating Uni like a job, basically)
  • Actually doing the assignments of my Prof gave me
  • Avoiding my Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone at Uni. I uses a thin notebook for each lecture and wrote my notes with a pen (more focus on class)
  • Using flashcards (I wrote them by hand, but there are software alternatives) for topics, that require a lot of fact memorization
  • Making friends with fellow students to help explaining topics to each other and share notes

Avoiding my Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone at Uni. I uses a thin notebook for each lecture and wrote my notes with a pen (more focus on class)

I have an e-ink tablet (Boox Max 3) that I use for note taking with a stylus. The advantage is that I can organize all of my “notebooks” in one device while being less distracting than a laptop. Because it is nice and large, I can read PDF’s and manga on it very comfortably. It is an Android device, so I can also run apps like Google Docs, which I use for recipes. It’s possible to use it with a keyboard, but I’ve never had great success with that setup.

Making friends with fellow students to help explaining topics to each other and share notes

So much this. I wouldn’t have gotten through school - especially my toughest topics - without friends to discuss the material with.

Why did you do two M.Sc. ?

One was in general Comp Sci., the other focused on Statistics and Data Science, which was a brand new (basically unknown) field at the time. Good thing was, I was able to transfer more than half my credits to this program, so I only had to do the few math/statistics focused ones (and a second thesis).

Is it possible to use the credits that were already used for one degree again for a second degree? I thought this was prohibited?

That is highly dependent on your University / program. I went to a German Uni where you can often show Professors your transcript of classes and they can acknowledge them for the program.

It helped that both Masters were at the same department and many courses / Professors overlapped.

Create a post

A loosely moderated place to ask open ended questions

If your post is

  1. Open ended
  2. Not offensive
  3. Not regarding lemmy support (c/lemmy_support)
  4. not ad nauseam inducing (please make sure its a question that would be new to most members)

it’s welcome here!

  • 1 user online
  • 108 users / day
  • 160 users / week
  • 239 users / month
  • 514 users / 6 months
  • 19 subscribers
  • 610 Posts
  • Modlog