The Feynman Technique

Hey friends,

I have been going through these newsletter editions and I noticed that I have not written much content direcrly related to studying and I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on the topic. I believe most of my subscribers are students and since the pres are coming up I thought I'd share a handy little study technique.

First I will give you two good quotes:

"The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks."
"Anyone can make a subject complicated but only someone who understands can make it simple."

The Feynman technique has 4 steps

  1. Choose a concept you want to learn about
  2. Explain it to a 12 year old
  3. Reflect, Refine, and Simplify
  4. Organize and Review

1. Choose a concept you want to learn about

Generally this can be anything although it is most likely going to be a topic that you have done in school.

2. Explain it to a 12 year old

Feynman has used the example of a 12 year old but this can be anyone. The idea is that you will try to teach and explain the topic you are trying to grasp to another person (if possible) who dosen't understand the topic very well. This is best because he might be confused, ask you to rephrase, explain it in a different way or better yet ask questions. This is very useful to you because it strengthens your understanding of the topic. Hence why Feynman suggested you use a 12 year old approxiamately though that may not be possible.

3. Reflect, Refine and Simplify

It is very possible that after you have thought somebody that they didn't quite get certain things or they asked you a question you did not know the answer to. This is gold dust because it will allow you to go back and patch the holes in your understanding that you didn't even realise were there.

4. Organise and Review

I recommend that while you are conducting your lesson that you take notes on your "findings" be it on a sheet of paper or on your phone but make sure you keep it safe. You write down everything they ask, what they were confused about what you explained poorly, any other feedback they have etc etc. You can then look through this after and check to see that you are happy with your understanding of the topic. When you are revising this topic again you can look over your notes and see exactly what your weeknesses were before and check if they are still there whilst maybe repeating the exercise again and trying to improve.


I hope this method works for you and you derive success from it if you choose to use it. I understand that it is not possible to do this all the time as it would be very time consuming and you may not have somebody available to you. I also know that this method does not work for subjects like languages however for certain use cases where it is applicable I would highly recommend you try it out. Worthwile also mentioning that it isn't a complete waste of time completing this exercise with an inanimate object as ridiculous as that sounds but only if you do it out loud. This can be effective as you have to articulate the point you have to give in simple terms however you cannot get any feedback or questions which is why a person is always better.

I hope this finds you useful,

Have a great week!


❤️ My Favourite Things This Week

  1. Book - This week I have decided to read ahead in the Book To Kill a Mockingbird that we are reading in school. The ending is very good. I will not spoil it in case you have already seen it but I recommend you give it a read.

✍️ Quote of The Week

"Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets… it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done."