In this video, I'm going to share some of my best or favorite study tips that will hopefully help you learn more efficiently.
NOTE: These tips have worked for me, but they may not suit your particular learning style perfectly. So don't take these as the ultimate truth of how you should study but more as suggestions on how to improve your learning.
1. Just keep learning!
Study something every day. If you can improve a little bit every day, it will turn into remarkable results over a long period of time.
Consistency also beats intensity. I prefer to study for a short time every day consistently rather do long study marathons occasionally and intensely. You can still do both! They don't rule each other out.
Slow progress is better than no progress. As long as you're moving forward with your studies, you're advancing - even if it's at a slow pace. So keep going!
2. Asking the "Why?"
Too often we focus on the how, instead of the why. When you learn a new protocol, the books often teach you how it works and how to configure it but it might not explain why we use this protocol and why it was implemented in a certain way. It is helpful to dig into the history and development of a protocol to understand the fundamental reasons that drove its creation. You don't have to know all the details but having a general understanding of the "why?" will help with mastering the "how?"
3. Minimum Configuration
When learning a new protocol or feature start with the absolute basics. Understand the bare minimum configuration needed to make the protocol work. Build from the foundation, and then move on to more advanced and complex scenarios or optional features.
4. Explain it. Simply.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein
Teach someone. It is an excellent test to check if you truly understand something. It is hard to explain a topic to someone if you do not understand it at a sufficient level yourself.
Another great way to challenge yourself is to use a limit - whether it's a time limit, a word limit, or a character limit, it doesn't matter. Having only a limited space to present a concept forces you to break down the subject into fundamentals and leave out anything unnecessary.
You need to lab. Reading is not enough. You can't acquire hands-on experience from books. Further, you will also not develop your skills in the most efficient way by rushing to the command line right away, skipping all theory, and start guessing or using the help tool furiously. The best result comes from learning some theory first and then solidifying your knowledge by implementing what you have learned.
6. Use the blueprint.
Regardless of whether you are studying for a specific exam or wanting to learn new skills, you can use the exam blueprint as a guideline.
A common method is to copy the topic list from the exam blueprint and paste it into an Excel sheet. This is a great way to not only follow the topics but also to track your progress.