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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

46,345 ratings
12,975 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


Apr 29, 2017

This was a great course! I learned a number of different techniques and strategies for learning more effectively that I can't wait to implement in my studies. I highly recommend Learning How to Learn.


Nov 14, 2015

I found this course to be incredibly helpful. I am 33 and wish that I would have been taught a more efficient way of learning many years ago. There are definitely some great takeaways from this class.

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12576 - 12600 of 12,712 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

By Терещенко В О

Aug 01, 2017

A good course, but the tests in it are terrible and incompetent

By Beat S

Jun 03, 2016

Accessible introduction to basic learning techniques.

By Eyob

Mar 19, 2017

kind of like an ad

By Tik F C

May 20, 2017

first two weeks is great, but kind of falls off later

By Tony L

Sep 23, 2017

对我有所帮助 谢谢

By Nicolas V

Sep 16, 2017

In general, it gives away some practical advices and techniques on learning and studying, however, half the lessons I found to be slightly repetitive and probably oriented for colleague students mostly.

By Mohamed S

Jul 12, 2018

not good as i want

By Alberto G G

Feb 01, 2016

The course is interesting, and packed with some easy to understand, easy to apply techniques. On the other hand, the real theory behind why these techniques work is deliberately omitted from the videos. This creates the feeling of a bit of esoteric knowledge, or, what it is worse, a feeling of trial and error techniques, like the ones anybody can develop on his own... Also the total lack of exercises makes it a little bit boring to follow at times. Overall, a good experience.

Quick note of speaking speed: I understand that reading slowly is best sometimes, but Prof. Oakley is EXTREMELY slow, so much so, that I watched the videos at 1.25x and still felt like she was speaking at slightly slower speed than a normal person..

By sandeepbvnr

Jun 14, 2018

Not so informative.Lot of self branding

By Jake E P

Sep 22, 2016

What was helpful to me was: the discussion on spaced repetition, which boosted my confidence in applications like Duolingo and Memrise, and helped me discover Anki. The pomodoro technique is nice to know about, though I have rarely used it so far. I think I was already at the point where I don't need an actual pomodoro timer to get into that mindset. The best two things I probably got from the course was changing my way of thinking from focusing on product to focusing on process (though not always possible of course), and using recall to test myself on what I know rather than reading things over and over and just hoping it's gone in.

What I didn't like about the course was the presentation style, the pace, the content density (very low in my opinion), the irrelevant information, the hand-wavey explanations, and so on. The absolute worst of it was the full recommendation for using analogies but with no attempt on explaining how to make *good* anaologies. This is key. Most analogies I come across are misleading for all aspects of a thing but their very narrow scope, and sometimes the thing itself too (after all, you usually make them when you're first learning about a thing, unless you're teaching) and so without knowing how to make good anaologies while they are good for memory they are on average bad for understanding, and I don't think that can be stressed enough.

By Mark C

Aug 16, 2015


I appreciated the new perspectives on learning, and the smaller chunks of video and assignments (which allowed me to spread the work out over the week).

The "Thanks for Learning about Learning" phrase was fine for the course introduction and the final module, but became annoying as the closing phrase. of. every. video.

Dr Sejnowski's skills are reading a teleprompter distracted me - I suggest doing some practice and redoing the videos when the TP won't be such a distraction (watching his eyes track back and forth didn't do it for me).

By Melquisedec G d S

Aug 16, 2015

Well presented, great communication and relevant content. The course was well designed and coordinated.

By Marcel M

Oct 14, 2016

This course is way too much concentrate on studies for students, not well correlate with studies for everybody

By Neil M A

Jan 04, 2016

Interesting, although course content and test questions were very easy.

By Maxime H

Oct 07, 2015

Very easy, but probably helpful

By Ziv B

Oct 31, 2016

kinda boring

By Joshua M

Apr 05, 2016

Very basic information, focused strongly on test-taking strategies. Nothing bad here, but not really specifically adapted for lifelong learning. If you're a student and don't feel like you have effective, robust study strategies, check out this course as there are handy tips and tricks and some may be new to you.

By Aimen Z

May 01, 2016

It's good till now.

By xiety

Feb 29, 2016

Too sketchy

By Ashlesha A

Mar 20, 2016

The beginning sections of the course were interesting as they were descriptive of some pragmatic approaches towards thinking and learning like the POMODORO technique (excuse me if spelling is wrong). The later portions could have been better although they weren't that bad either. Overall, I learned how to learn!

By Marta Y

Jan 29, 2016


By Mohan S A

Aug 16, 2015


By Robert L

Sep 03, 2016

Good stuff. I learned some useful techniques

By Aldrin B

Feb 04, 2016

Good content, well presented. Just too short, and should provide more content.

By Yana

Sep 03, 2016

I've been enrolled to this course for over a year already. I abandoned it after the first couple of classes presented by extremely boring teachers. I wouldn't say that their way to deliver the message about efficient learning is motivating.