Studying Smarter, Not Harder [5 ChatGPT Prompts]
Studying Smarter, Not Harder
[5 ChatGPT Prompts]
SUPERHUMAN SCORE: 8.38
“AI won’t replace you. A person using AI will.”—Zain Kahn
Most people only think about ChatGPT as a writing assistant.
But it can also be a powerful tool for personal growth (such as learning new skills).
Today, I’ll cover five surprising ChatGPT learning prompts. Steal them and get a knowledge advantage.
In every edition of System Sunday, I assess the featured system across three superhuman dimensions: impact, setup, and maintenance.
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A few benefits of supplementing your learning with AI:
- Reduce Time: Cut down on hours of mindless note-taking and repetition.
- Enhance Understanding: Get explanations in simple terms and from various angles.
- Tailor-made Assistance: ChatGPT adapts to your pace and understanding, providing bespoke study aids.
Now, let’s go on to the five savvy prompts.
1. Use the Feynman Technique to Understand Complex Topics
Prompt: “Can you explain the concept of [insert topic here] as if you were teaching it to a fifth-grader? Please use simple language and avoid jargon.”
Why this prompt: Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He believed subject mastery was achieved by 1) simplifying concepts, 2) teaching them to a child, and 3) returning to fill in knowledge gaps. This prompt challenges you to clarify your understanding.
2. Build the Habit of Studying Using the 4 Laws of Behavior Change
Prompt: “Imagine I want to develop the habit of [insert the desired habit here]. Can you provide creative ideas for each of the Four Laws of Behavior Change? Specifically, suggest a cue that will remind me to start the habit, a way to make the habit attractive and create a craving, a method to make the habit easy to perform as a response, and a reward that will make the habit satisfying.”
Why this prompt: James Clear's Atomic Habits teaches four laws to build a habit: 1) Make it obvious, 2) Make it attractive, 3) Make it easy, and 4) Make it satisfying. Get inspiration for how to build any learning-related habit—whether waking up earlier, taking notes in meetings, staying hydrated, etc.
3. Apply the 80/20 Principle for Efficient Learning
Prompt: “Based on the 80/20 Principle, what 20% of concepts in [insert subject or field] would give me 80% of the overall understanding? Please concisely explain the concepts.”
Why this prompt: The 80/20 Principle (a.k.a Pareto’s Principle) suggests that 80% of your learning outcomes or understanding can come from studying just 20% of the available material. By targeting the most critical information, you can achieve a substantial level of understanding with less effort.
4. Create a Spaced Repetition Study Plan to Retain Information Long-Term
Prompt: “Create a spaced repetition study plan to retain information long-term. I have the following topics I want to cover and the number of days left until my exam for each topic: Topic 1 – [x] days, Topic 2 – [x] days, Topic 3 – [x] days, Topic 4 – [x] days. I can study for up to 2 hours a day. Include how long I should study each topic per day and when I should review them for maximum retention.”
Why this prompt: Spaced repetition means reviewing material in short, systematic intervals. You'll learn at an optimal cadence (backed by science) for long-term memory.
5. Tailor Studying to Your Unique Learning Preference
Prompt: “Please provide a list of learning resources for [x] subject tailored to various learning styles, such as visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing learners.
Why this prompt: Learning modalities are the various ways people learn—typically categorized as visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. Unfortunately, the education system often takes a cookie-cutter approach.
Instead, you can stay motivated and retain more information by engaging in material that aligns with your unique learning style (e.g., videos, audiobooks, podcasts, interactive exercises, and textbooks).
Learning how to write prompts (a.k.a. prompt engineering) is a high ROI skill.
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BRINGING IT HOME
“Free education is abundant, all over the Internet. It's the desire to learn that's scarce.”—Naval Ravikant
The future belongs to those who blend the wisdom of tradition and the wonders of technology.
Dream big, study smart, and—most importantly—apply what you learn.
All systems go,
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