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Back to Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by McMaster University

48,586 ratings
13,513 reviews

About the Course

This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. We’ll learn about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information. We’ll also cover illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects. Using these approaches, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life. If you’re already an expert, this peep under the mental hood will give you ideas for: turbocharging successful learning, including counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights that will help you make the best use of your time on homework and problem sets. If you’re struggling, you’ll see a structured treasure trove of practical techniques that walk you through what you need to do to get on track. If you’ve ever wanted to become better at anything, this course will help serve as your guide. This course can be taken independent of, concurrent with, or prior to, its companion course, Mindshift. (Learning How to Learn is more learning focused, and Mindshift is more career focused.) To join the fully translated Portuguese version of the course, visit: To join the fully translated Spanish version of the course, visit: To join the fully translated Chinese version of the course, visit:

Top reviews


Feb 04, 2016

I specially like the optional interviews. These learning case studies are quite insightful and you might just find a something that you can relate to, which might help in the grand scheme of things :)


Nov 23, 2015

First MOOC that I can accomplish, even in my busiest days, because I'm motivated to learn the lessons taught in it and I like the teacher and class format (small videos and always repeating concepts).

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201 - 225 of 13,245 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

By Raul G C

Jan 22, 2019

I guess I didn't want it to end because I kept extending the deadline. I wanted it to keep going and giving things to think about and learn. I am still processing everything, but I see myself using this information for myself and in my somewhat new career as an ESL teacher. Many thanks for everyone that made this course happen and made it so coooool!

By Osman K

Feb 04, 2019

Really well done course. Easy to follow along, the scripts were very useful. You can tell a lot of thought and effort went into the production of the course. The material is also very useful

By Mohammed M M A

Feb 04, 2019

very good course it helps you to understand your brain and how to use it perfectly

By S H

Feb 05, 2019

Extremely well laid out and presented course. So interesting and useful!

By Hari

Feb 05, 2019

Excellent course! Every body should take it. I wish I had read this when I was in college. I seem to have been using only my focus mode all along. I am looking forward to using the the tools that I learnt from this course! Thanks Dr Barbara Oakley and the other professors!

By Bas A

Feb 05, 2019

A very interesting and refreshing course. It learned me, to look at a different way to studying. Thinks I have to change to become a better student.

I already practice the things I learned, and it certainly improved my studying already.

By Martin P

Feb 05, 2019

Good course, easy to follow. Taught me skills which I found instantly useful. Wish I had studied this topic many years ago.

By Pedro R

Jan 23, 2019

I was very excited when I learned about the existence of this course, so I decided to take it. I must say it beat my expectations, not only because of the useful tips (some of which I was already applying unconsciously, but others I introduced in my daily routines), but also because of the clarity with which the materials are exposed.

By Elena S

Jan 23, 2019

My favorite

By Dani J

Jan 22, 2019

Fantastic course! Lot's of useful insights and tips.

By Iuliia U

Jan 22, 2019

This is a very useful course for everyone who wants to learn more effectively, understand complex concepts with less effort, retain information more deeply, and master subjects that even look frightening at first.

No matter if you are studying languages, physics, or programming, you will definitely find some simple and smart techniques for your everyday use.

I have just completed the course and I will definitely recommend it to my friends and colleagues.

By paolo g

Jan 23, 2019

It´s important. see it!

By Judith L M D

Jan 22, 2019


By Maggie M

Jan 22, 2019

I loved this course and can't wait to do another. I am still reading the recommended book, however, I was quickly able to implement what I learned in the course into my high school classroom.

By Alanoud A A

Jan 22, 2019

Student comment about their anxiety and depression are quite true I have and I almost quit my degree in pharmaceutical sciences this course is the most helpful course I've ever encountered thank you so much Dr.Barba!

By James D

Jan 22, 2019

Well done and very useful

By Enrique L

Jan 23, 2019

Easy to follow and understand. This course helped me understand my inadequacies in learning and how to improve on them!

By Lucy

Jan 23, 2019

I highly recommend this course to just about anyone as the concepts can be applicable to students, experienced professionals, instructors, researchers, etc. With today's rapid pace of technology advancement, I find it sometimes overwhelming to know where to even start to understand some new technologies and concepts that are outside of my profession. In fact, technology within my profession is rapidly changing owing to IoT, so I really want to understand these other technologies that are now working in tandem with my industry. I took this course in hopes that it would make approaching some of these new concepts easier. It greatly exceeded my expectations. Some are completely novel concepts, while others are things I've been doing for years, but didn't actually have a name for them (e.g. diffused mode of thinking). The course is very easy to follow and I really liked the professors. They seem to be genuinely nice people who want people to learn and succeed. I will end as I began. I HIGHLY recommend this course.

By Deleted A

Jan 23, 2019

It's great material, Dr Barbara and Dr Terrence are Awesome!

By Ana-Maria C

Jan 23, 2019

Barbara is super inspiring! I leaned so far lots of useful tricks to how to learn better. I also appreciate very much the extra reading lists.

Every course is easy to follow, it brings new info and it builds on previous knowledge.

By Brittany V

Dec 31, 2018

I recommend this course without reservation to everyone I meet. It has been one of the most transformative courses of my life. I'm a terrible procrastinator, and I've never yet had any of those self-help tips, books, apps, etc that worked. This course is the one thing that has me going steadily along the right track. Understanding the learning process is key to taking full advantage of it.

By Harpreet S

Dec 30, 2018

This course will change my life. I having been using all the methods that I shouldn't. Only through this course, I could find correct methods that are efficient and reliable. Huge thanks to the professors who put their time and energy into this course. Thanks for teaching us learning how to learn.

By Anees S

Dec 31, 2018

One of the best course ever I have learnt in my life.

By János H

Dec 30, 2018

This course taught me essential skills for learning. I recommend it to everyone, especially if you are young, starting a university and no one ever told you how to learn effectively.