Here’s something to inspire students as they gear up for classes again. Scott Young specializes in rapid learning. His latest experiment was to complete and pass an MIT Physics class in 4.5 days!

He had a threefold strategy:

  1. Watch lectures at 1.5x speed
  2. Work early. finish early (6am to 7pm, including a 25min midday nap!)
  3. Relate everything to the subject

And his big three tactics were:

  1. Deliberate practice
  2. The 5-year-old method
  3. Visceralization

The last one sounds a bit scary, but you can read his explanation here. The one that resonated most with me was “the 5-year-old method.”

My best method for that was to write on a blank piece of paper the name of the concept and write out an explanation to myself in terms even a 5-year old could understand.

This is something I often do in sermon preparation.

His three takeaways from this experiment were:

  1. Have a clear strategy
  2. Never memorize what needs to be understood
  3. Clearly separate work from time off

I’m not suggesting Scott’s method as the best long-term educational approach; there’s a significant difference between passing an exam and learning. However, he’s pushing the boundaries of intellectual possibility and providing us with valuable and challenging lessons in the process.