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  1. Lesson One - Pre-reading

    The Power of Prereading - Part One
  2. The Power of Prereading - Part Two
  3. The Power of Prereading - Part Three
  4. The Power of Prereading - Part Four
  5. The Power of Prereading - Part Five
  6. Lesson Two - Single Tasking
    Single Tasking - Part One
  7. Single Tasking - Part Two
  8. Single Tasking - Part Three
  9. Single Tasking - Part Four
  10. Single Tasking - Part Five
  11. Lesson Three - Recognition and Recall
    Recognition and Recall - Part One
  12. Recognition and Recall - Part Two
  13. Recognition and Recall - Part Three
  14. Recognition and Recall - Part Four
  15. Recognition and Recall - Part Five
  16. Lesson Four - Question Logging
    Question Logging - Part One
  17. Question Logging - Part Two
  18. Question Logging - Part Three
  19. Question Logging - Part Five
  20. Question Logging - Part Four
  21. Lesson Five - The Testing Effect
    The Testing Effect - Part One
  22. The Testing Effect - Part Two
  23. The Testing Effect - Part Three
  24. The Testing Effect - Part Four
  25. The Testing Effect - Part Five
  26. Lesson Six - Taking Notes
    Taking Notes - Part One
  27. Taking Notes - Part Two
  28. Taking Notes - Part Three
  29. Lesson Seven - Foundational Learning
    Foundational Learning - Part One
  30. Foundational Learning - Part Two
  31. Foundational Learning - Part Three
  32. Foundational Learning - Part Four
  33. Foundational Learning - Part Five
  34. Lesson eight - Deep Learning
    Deep Learning - Part One
  35. Deep Learning - Part Two
  36. Deep Learning - Part Three
  37. Deep Learning - Part Four
  38. Deep Learning - Part Five
  39. Lesson nine - High Yield Learning
    High Yield Learning - Part One
  40. High Yield Learning - Part Two
  41. High Yield Learning - Part Three
  42. High Yield Learning - Part Four
  43. High Yield Learning - Part Five
  44. Lesson ten - The Testing Effect
    The Testing Effect - Part One
  45. The Testing Effect - Part Two
  46. The Testing Effect - Part Three
  47. The Testing Effect - Part Four
  48. The Testing Effect - Part Five
  49. Lesson eleven - active and passive learning
    Active and Passive Learning - Part One
  50. Active and Passive Learning - Part Two
  51. Active and Passive Learning - Part Three
  52. Active and Passive Learning - Part Four
  53. Active and Passive Learning - Part Five
  54. Lesson twelve - Study Blocking
    Study Blocking - Part One
  55. Study Blocking - Part Two
  56. Study Blocking - Part Three
  57. Study Blocking - Part Four
  58. Study Blocking - Part Five
  59. Lesson thirteen - Linking
    Linking - Part One
  60. Linking - Part Two
  61. Linking - Part Three
  62. Linking - Part Four
  63. Linking - Part Five
  64. Lesson fourteen - Interleaving
    Interleaving - Part One
  65. Interleaving - Part Two
  66. Interleaving - Part Three
  67. Interleaving - Part Four
  68. Interleaving - Part Five
  69. Lessons fifteen - Application Questioning
    Application Questioning - Part One
  70. Application Questioning - Part Two
  71. Copy of Application Questioning - Part Three
  72. Application Questioning - Part Four
  73. Application Questioning - Part Five
  74. Lesson Sixteen - Using Tables
    Tables - Part One
  75. Tables - Part Two
  76. Tables - Part Three
  77. Tables - Part Four
  78. Tables - Part Five
Lesson 5 of 78
In Progress

The Power of Prereading – Part Five

Stoicable July 10, 2022



  1. Set a goal
  2. Specify exactly what that goal is
  3. Look through the text and use the headings to organize it into a loose structure in your mind
  4. Skim through the text
  5. Write down the concepts you come across
  6. Wrap up with a five-line summary

It’s important to be mindful that when setting your prereading goals – or any learning goals for that matter – they must be realistic. We have a propensity to overestimate our progress. When setting a goal, always factor in twenty per cent longer. This is known as your “fudge factor”.

Building some kind of fudge factor into your learning plan gives you a buffer against unrealistic expectations. That’s just how we work as humans. We will always overestimate in the desirable direction. It’s not deceitful, either. Our brain really does believe the estimate it gives itself.

By building a fudge factor into your learning goals, you will avoid the disappointment of never reaching your daily targets. Add a note here about how we feel almost as much pleasure planning on doing something as we actually get from doing the thing itself.

You sit down to begin. You’re motivated, full of energy and ready to go. I can guarantee that you won’t be feeling like this in a couple of hours, even after thirty minutes, this is sure to change. This is why it’s so important to be precise with your goals. Define exactly what you need to get done. The more specific your goals, the more likely you will see them through when your motivation wanes.

Be specific so you can’t give yourself any room to move. You might be motivated now, but two hours of essay writing is sure to change that.

Goal setting is an important part of learning. But it’s more than that. Being able to effectively set and persevere towards goals is arguably one of the biggest indicators of life success. We will talk more about goal setting in a later lesson.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when setting your learning goals

  • Be specific – Say exactly what you want to do.
  • Be measurable – You should be able to measure the progress towards your goal. Choose a variable you can use to measure.
  • Create a deadline – give yourself an artificial deadline. This adds a sense of urgency to the process, which pushes you to keep moving even when your motivation falls
  • Put a carrot at the end of the stick – Give yourself a reward after getting your work done. You must have something to look forward to.
  • Begin with what’s important – Always start with what you need to get done first. Otherwise, your mind is distracted, knowing that this other task is hanging over your head.

This is where you apply some pressure to your memory.

Close your learning material and grab yourself a notebook. You’re going to summarise what you’ve just learnt in no more than five sentences. Five is your maximum.

This forces you to piece together your learning in a coherent mental narrative. It doesn’t matter if you come up with more blanks than a prop stage gun. The idea is to challenge your mind so that it’s primed when you begin your learning.

Finally, remember to take a break before you begin your summary. By allowing your short term memory to clear, you’re able to get accurate insight into your true recall of the material you’ve just skimmed.

Lesson Cards


Card 1

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Key Idea

Take a break before you write down your “big five” summary.

Card 2

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Key Idea

A goal without a date is just a dream. … Remember to set a deadline on any goal you set, whether it’s for the next hour or year. -Milton H Erickson

Card 3

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Key Idea

Setting lofty goals feels good in the moment, but the outcome tells a different story. You end up deflated after failing to reach your goals. It also changes the way you view your learning. You come to see learning as a barrier in the way of your goal instead of something to enjoy and be curious about.

Card 4

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Key Idea

Under-promise and over-deliver when it comes to setting your study session goals. Unrealistic expectations create momentary pleasure. Avoid getting sucked in.

Card 5

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Key Idea

Use your learning material’s headings to help you create your mental foundation of the material.


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