Speed Learning


Al Bernstein

Signal Science, LLC



This is an outline of Accelerated Learning Techniques by Brian Tracy and Colin Rose1


















5 Keys to Adult Learning


1.)    Desire to learn subject

2.)    Motivation (What’s in it for me)

3.)    Relevance (Critical Success Factors) CSF’s

4.)    Anticipation (Hardly wait attitude)

5.)    Enjoyment of learning process; positive expectation














I.)                 Intensely desired goals makes you smarter

·          Create a vivid mental image of yourself achieving the goals

·          Write clear written goals on paper

·          Create affirmations to manage inner dialogue and enable progress towards goals

·          Plan time on long term, sub-goals, small action steps, use small time slots to learn

·          Carry index cards and reading materials with you to facilitate good use of time

·          Set deadlines for achieving goals and share goals with other people


II.)              Use relaxation techniques to create a receptive mind before learning session (mental warm up analogous to physical warm up)

·          Classical music enables learning

·          Breathing techniques to get into a deep relaxation state

·          Relax neck and shoulders


III.)           Modalities of learning

Learning Modality

Percent of learners













            Use multi-sensory approach and build on strongest learning modalities




IV.)           Get the big picture first by perusing the material, chapter heading and subheadings.

·          Write out what key points you already know

·          What I already know about his subject is ________. Fill in the blank with as many things as possible

·          State what things I need more help on and develop a learning map to the best of your ability

·          Break subject up into small steps

·          O.k. to roam around subject and find something of interest

·          Ask lots of questions and write them down



V.)       Mind Mapping





·          Can try different themes for a mind map and experiment. Mind map helps organize information and makes you more intelligent, creative, and organized in the process.

·          Core ideas and keywords only on the mind map

·          Requires practice


VI.)      Additional Techniques


·          Tick marks after interesting passages and pages

·          Underline new key information with a highlighter pen

·          Make things more dramatic to make information more memorable

·          Summarize material out loud

·          Sit quietly and visualize material (make it into a mental movie) especially before falling asleep

·          Walk around while relaxing or listening

·          Put key ideas on post it notes

·          Note making rather than note taking; create notes in own words

·          Take breaks, let information soak into the mind (absorption period)

·          Buddy system of learning; get a partner and dialogue a subject faster and deeper learning



Note: The more brain you use, the more you can use. Explore the subject leads to a deeper understanding. Explore around the subject in areas that peak interest.


7 Intelligences (Howard Gardner)


Intelligence Type



Plays, poetry, books, radio talk shows, languages, learn from books, write things down


Solve puzzles impatient with illogic, patterns and relationships, logical step by step manner


Notice things other people don’t. Good sense of direction, highly visual (minds eye), films, slides, and video tapes, graph, slider maps


Natural sounds, musician, hearing music, learn and retain lyrics from songs


Know how people feel, interested in how people think and feel


Daydream fantasize, individualistic, privacy –quiet, structural environment, explain decisions, thinks a lot, and goal oriented

Physical Intelligence

Natural mechanical ability, don’t like to sit still, tactile learning, sports games, physical exercise, remember from doing with hands


          The key is to use as many of the intelligence categories as possible.


Intelligence Type



Describe new subjects and ask questions aloud


Make a flow chart or diagram in a step by step manner


Create a strong mental image


Choose and play background music


Teach someone else; ask them what they think


Quietly reflect on subject

Physical Intelligence

Index cards containing main ideas, sort in logical order, take with you


Key: Exploration is a large part of learning


VII.)    Memory Techniques


Two types of memory short and long terms memory


Short term memory transferred to long term memory using associations to link data in long term memory to data to be learned. Associations can be described by learning maps.


4 R’s Memory

1.) Review

2.) Registration long term memory

3.) Retention keep in long term


4.) Recall recall on demand


Key: Exploration a better memory


a.)    Multi-sensory review; read it aloud, picture in head, jot down reminders

b.)    Imagine boss asked you to report

c.)    Imagine how to teach a course on this material

d.)    Imagine writing a book from a new viewpoint that is clearer


Key: Memory a library full of books


Mental Fitness Program (17 memory techniques)


  1. Make decision to remember
  2. Take regular breaks (we tend to remember the first and last things we did better)
  3. Review what you have learned/highlighted

i.)                  Learn material

ii.)                Review after 1 hour

iii.)              Review after one day

iv.)              Review after 1 month

v.)                Review after 6 monts

vi.)              Total time for all review sessions added together is 30min.


  1. Create multi-sensory memories
  2. Make visual interactions interact via exaggerated images, odd series of events, color, brightness
  3. Multi-sensory memory spelling

Chunk word into syllables psy chi a trist, see, feel, hear the word

7.)    Review new material with music create a review concert, play recording as you review, music provides association for memory.

8.)    Organize the material meaningfully; groups, categories that relate to each other. Memory maps are good for this.

9.)    Memory flashing

i.)                  Notes on learning map or key points

ii.)                Study carefully for a few minutes

iii.)              Put notes and learning map aside and write from memory

iv.)              Compare rewrite to original notes

v.)                Repeat iii.) and iv.) until rewrite and original are the same

10.)            Make flash cards (scientific formulas, index cards, or portable notebook)

11.)            Flash maps ring binder put all learning maps in binder (extension of flash cards)

12.)            Mnemonic to remember a word ACE ≡ (Attitude Commitment Excellence)

13.)            Let information sink in overnight. Try learning something right before sleep

14.)            Number points you need to remember

15.)            Whole learning (try learning an item as a whole)

i.)                  Read completely through

ii.)                Re-read it again

iii.)              Repeat re-read with more and more visualizations, actions, and movement

16.)         Over learn to remember an item better

17.)         Compress lots of information into an easily recalled format maps chunking

           and labeling

i.)                  Make notes in form of learning map

ii.)                Title each learning map with a single word

iii.)              Invent mnemonic to remember all titled words

iv.)              Review iii.) to remember titled words


VIII.)   Power Reading Strategies


Faster reading better concentration otherwise mind wanders

Hear words at 250 words per minute

See 2000 words/minute

Lots of filler words that can be skipped

See groups of words reduce words by 70%

Look at keywords only

Eye movement skips field of vision


Choose Reading material (look at date, insure that you want to actually read the material)



1.)    Read each line of print and look several words in from the beginning

2.)    Finish sentence several words before from end of the line

3.)    Move hand/finger across and down the page and increase reading speed much faster to read by sight only and not say words to self. Read each page in 2-3 seconds.



Power Reading 8 Steps


1.)                Overview of material (ask questions), look at date, Authors, index, and references.

2.)                Preview material – scan read 7 sec/page. Be selective in what you read – 3 min/chapter.

3.)                Sketch out everything you know about the subject in the chapter –  3 min/chapter.

4.)                Write down questions about the material – 3 min/chapter

5.)                Read text of each chapter – 15 sec/page – underline keywords and mark sections with ticks.

6.)                After view, re-read chapter slowing down at difficult sections 10/min chapter, read sections aloud.

7.)                Make notes in a learning map format – 10 min/chapter

8.)                Review notes 10 min next day, 10 minutes one week later, 10 minutes one month later giving a total of three reviews – a total of 30 minutes.


·             Notes:

·             Only read material that is interesting or relevant.

·             Refuse to read less important things.

·             Skim and scan magazines.

·             Use table of contents as a guide

·             Rip out articles of interest and throw the magazine away.

·             Explore and play with material to learn and keep in memory

·             Stop and reflect on key points and re-read.


IX.)           Review Techniques


Practice memory techniques


1.)  How to demonstrate what you have learned

2.)  How to reflect on the learning process so I can improve it the next time




Show that you know


1.)    Test yourself

2.)    Practice to be confident and fluent with material

3.)    Use material to make it a part of you and to apply it

4.)    Test myself regularly which gives me the opportunity to demonstrate what I know ≡ checking to see if I got it or not

i.)                  Go over memory map/notes

ii.)                Try flashing to see how much I remember (?)

iii.)              Test with flash cards

iv.)              Create a mental movie of what I’ve learned

v.)                Put what I have learned to use


Think about material to be learned consciously as I’m doing become an unconscious skill ≡ learning is easy and fun


Two ways to practice something before I use it


1.)                Mental Rehearsal see myself actually using what I have learned,

picture myself performing well in mind’s eye

2.)                Role Playing ≡ act out what you learn by yourself or with someone else

3.)                Use the Material independently away from where you first learned it (explain it to yourself or someone else)


Errors you make helpful feedback on progress

Progress taking risks making mistakes failures are only temporary


                        Evaluation of any Stage of Learning Process


1.)    What was the best and most effective part of the learning process? Which mode did I most enjoy?

2.)    How could I improve the learning process?


Keep a learning log ≡ record of achievement to track progress, record thought in learning process. This could simply be a notebook ≡ blueprint to where you want to go


3.)    Multi-sensory Learning ≡ Expand out of comfort zone and

experiment with techniques that will stretch and expand comfort zone