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

All Weeks Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects Quiz Answers

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 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.)

Enroll on Coursera

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

Quiz : Introductory Quiz (An easy, quick review of relevant info)

Q1. I need a reliable internet connection to submit my quizzes and assignments, and it’s a good idea to keep a backup copy of my work to prevent it being lost.

  • True
  • False

Q2. I am invited to participate in the discussion forums, where I can ask questions and share my opinions, but I must not make abusive or spam-like posts.

  • True
  • False

Q3. I must not post the questions or answers to the quizzes in the discussion forum or anywhere else. This would be a breach of Coursera’s Honor Code.

  • True
  • False

Q4. Learning How to Learn is also available in Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese language versions. This means the webpages and quizzes are all translated, as well as captions on the videos.

If I would like to take quizzes and submit assignments in a language other than English, I should sign up for Learning How to Learn in one of the following languages:

  • True
  • False

Q5. All quizzes, readings and assignments for this version of the course are in English, but videos often have subtitles in many languages.

  • True
  • False

Q6. I can turn subtitles on by using the little subtitle icon on any video. This is at the bottom left of the video if I’m using a desktop computer or the top right of the video if I’m using the Coursera app.

  • True
  • False

Q7. I can complete this course using the Coursera website or a Coursera mobile app, both allow me to take in-video quizzes (these quizzes do not count towards my grade, they are just to help me learn).1

  • True
  • False

Q8. I can usually resolve video playback problems myself, because problems are most often caused by an internet connection issue, using an unsupported browser or mobile device, or forgetting to update the Coursera app on my mobile device.

I should check these problems myself before reporting a problem on the course forum. Coursera’s Learner Help Center has articles to help me with video playback issues.

  • True
  • False

Q9. Learning How to Learn is a free course. However, I may choose to purchase a “Course Certificate”, which verifies my identity. If I am unable to pay for a Course Certificate, I can apply to Coursera for Financial Aid.

  • True
  • False

Q10. In order to be eligible for a Course Certificate, I must have had my identity verified on the Coursera platform. This entails submitting a photo and government-issued photo ID so that Coursera can verify my legal name, country, and date of birth. This identity verification on the platform only needs to be done once.

I can learn more about identify verification at the Learner Help Center, at ID Verification.

  • True
  • False

Q11. Before I can submit each graded assignment, I must acknowledge a clear warning that explains the consequences of violating Coursera’s Honor Code. I will learn more at Coursera Honor Code.

(The blue text box below is shown only to provide clarity here, you won’t see it in your quiz).

  • True
  • False

Q12. Quiz questions with square check buttons (also known as “check boxes”) allow me to select one or more answers, while quiz questions with round check buttons (also known as “radio buttons”) allow me to select only one answer.

These are two examples!

  • True
  • False

Q13. Some quiz questions – the ones with square check buttons – such as the one below allow me to select more than one answer.

I must select all correct answers – and no incorrect answers – to get ALL the points for the question. After I make my submission I will be awarded all the points, zero points, or partial points for the question, as shown below.

Note: The blue text boxes below are there only to show you how grading works, you won’t see them in your quiz results.

  • True
  • False

Q14. There are no penalties for missing quiz deadlines, you can complete quizzes any time before your session of Learning How to Learn ends (quiz deadlines have been created simply to help you pace yourself through the course).

  • True
  • False

Q15. If you do not complete all quizzes before the end of the course, you can switch into the next session of the course, and your completed quizzes will be moved into the new session.

  • True
  • False

Q16. Peer-reviewed assignments in this course are optional unless I am trying for a certificate with honors. If I choose to submit a peer-reviewed assignment, I should also review the assignments of three or more of my classmates

  • True
  • False

Q17. If I choose to submit the optional peer-assessed assignment, and review the work of my classmates, I will do so thoughtfully, offering helpful suggestions and compliments in the feedback I give my peers.1

  • True
  • False

Q18. Dr. Barbara Oakley enjoys eating guinea pigs.

  • True
  • False

Q19. Dr. Terrence Sejnowski ran the 400 meter dash in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

  • True
  • False

Q20. There is no free certificate or Statement of Accomplishment offered in this course, but my final grade will be shown on my Coursera Accomplishments page.

  • True
  • False

Quiz : What is Learning?

Q1. Select which methods can help when trying to learn something new.

  • Bash your brain against the wall
  • Metaphor
  • Use focused and diffused modes at the SAME TIME
  • Analogy
  • Get stressed

Q2. Select any true statements regarding the Pomodoro technique.

  • The Pomodoro technique involves setting a timer and working intently, without interruption, often for a period of 25 minutes.
  • Multitasking while doing a Pomodoro—for example, having your cell phone turned on so you can catch critical messages, is okay. The main thing is not to worry about the distractions and to return to work immediately after you might be distracted.
  • Immediately after finishing a Pomodoro you should do another Pomodoro, and another, as long as you possibly can with no breaks or rewards. This helps build your mental stamina.
  • When you are doing a “Pomodoro,” you want to set out as large a task as possible to be completed. For example, you might decide that you want to finish an entire homework set during your Pomodoro, even though the homework set might ordinarily take half a day or more. By imagining that you will complete a big task, you will do far more than you would ordinarily be able to do.

Q3. In the __________ mode, the brain makes random connections in a relaxed fashion.

  • diffuse
  • spread out
  • focused
  • weight-lifting

Q4. Select the following true statements regarding procrastination.

  • After you “do a Pomodoro” session, a reward isn’t very important.
  • Everybody has some issues with procrastination.
  • When you don’t want to work on something, a sense of neural discomfort arises. However, researchers have found that not long after you might start working on something that you find unpleasant, that neural discomfort disappears. So an important aspect of tackling procrastination is to just get yourself through that initial period of discomfort. The Pomodoro technique helps you do that.
  • While you are “doing a Pomodoro” session, it’s all right to take a quick look at other less urgent things such as instant messages or emails.

Q5. One of the first videos described the difference between the focused mode and the diffuse mode. According to this video, the focused mode is affiliated with (check all that apply to the concept of focused mode only):

  • A direct approach to solving problems that you are rather familiar with.
  • The type of intense concentration you need to work through a problem, step-by-step.
  • A way of pretending to understand used by Shakespearean actors, as one of the videos discussed in detail.
  • A pinball machine that has bumpers which are very far apart, so the pinball (the thought) can go a long ways before bumping into a bumper.

Q6. Select the following true statements about sleep, according to this module’s videos.

  • Taking a test without getting enough sleep means you are operating with a brain that’s got metabolic toxins floating around in it—poisons that make it so you can’t think very clearly.
  • Dreaming about something doesn’t improve your ability to understand it.
  • Sleep has been shown to make a remarkable difference in your ability to figure out difficult problems and to understand what you are trying to learn.
  • It’s better to go without sleep and cram what you can into your brain–you can usually rely on short-term adrenaline to help propel you through a test.
  • When you sleep, your brain cells shrink, which allows toxins to be more easily washed away.

Q7. Select the following true statements about memory, in accordance with the information in this module’s videos.

  • Research has shown that if you try to glue things into your memory by repeating something twenty times in one evening, for example, it won’t stick nearly as well as if you practice it the same number of times over several days.
  • Long term memory is like an inefficient mental blackboard.
  • Repetition is needed so your metabolic vampires—natural dissipating processes—don’t suck the memories away.
  • “Intense paleo learning,” where you rub a fossil while trying to learn something new, is an excellent way of lodging something into your memory.
  • Long term memory is like a storage warehouse.

Q8. Select the following true statements about practice, according to this module’s videos.

  • Neurons become linked together through repeated use. The more abstract something is, the more important it is to PRACTICE in order to bring these ideas into reality for you.
  • Practice in general isn’t that important as long as you understand what’s going on.
  • Practice is less important for abstract ideas such as those in math and science, because it will kill your creativity.
  • Practice helps make memories more permanent.

Q9. Check the activities below that would be more apt to arouse the diffuse (rather than focused) mode:

  • Calculating the tip for your waiter in a restaurant.
  • Tag along in the passenger seat of a car, looking absently out the window while someone else is driving.
  • Dancing in a relaxed and free form manner, without concentrating on anything.
  • Giving step-by-step directions for how to get to your friend’s apartment, which you’ve been to several times before.

Q10. Exercise (check all that are true):

  • Helps improve your ability to learn and remember.
  • Research is showing that exercise seems to be just as important as an enriched environment in allowing the brain to grow new neurons and remain healthy.
  • Has been removed from schools, and it’s a good thing, because it allows more time for learning activities.
  • Is NOT a time for diffuse type thinking.

Q11. This module’s videos have tried to make some important points about your ability to learn. Which of the following points do you think were among those being made?

  • You cannot change your natural talents–if you’re not good at something, you should avoid it.
  • Stepping back and learning how to learn can help you maintain a flexibility and openness that can help you in many areas of your life.
  • Don’t just blindly follow your passions–also work to broaden your passions by keeping yourself open to learning new things, even if you feel you don’t have a talent for them.
  • We ordinarily think of learning as something we do when we sit down to study a book. But actually, being able to learn more easily and deeply involves many important facets–including not only periods of focused concentration, but also periods of relaxation, and even times when the body is simply out getting exercise. Your brain can be busy figuring things out during times when you have absolutely no conscious awareness of it.

Q12. The __________ mode involves a direct approach to solving problems using rational, sequential, analytical approaches. It is associated with the concentrating abilities of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, located right behind your forehead.

  • focused
  • diffuse
  • Dali

Q13. According to Dr. Sejnowski’s video, what happens in your brain during sleep that helps you remember new experiences

  • You dream of electric sheep
  • Your brain forms new synapses (connections)
  • Your brain switches off like a lightbulb.
  • Your exhaustion motivates your brain to reboot.

Q14. Select the true statements about the human brain.

  • Sleeping helps the brain form new synapses (neural connections).
  • Brain connectivity is dynamic (that is, it changes), not static.
  • Adult brains can’t form new synapses.
  • Once brain connectivity is set, it can’t change.

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects Week 02 Quiz Answers

Quiz : Retrieval Practice

Q1. [Select the word that belongs in the blank space.] “_________” is the idea that a chunk you’ve mastered in one area can often help you much more easily learn chunks of information in different areas that can share surprising commonalities.

  • overlearning
  • interleaving
  • transfer
  • chunking
  • recall

Q2. Three steps were mentioned as being vitally important in making a chunk. Pick those three things out from the list below.

  • Practice to help you gain mastery and a sense of the big-picture context
  • Focused attention
  • Simple memorization
  • Understanding of the basic idea
  • Physical activity
  • Spending time away from the material

Q3. Which statement best describes “deliberate practice”?

  • Focusing intently on the parts of the problem that are more difficult to you.
  • Actively reviewing material when you are doing something else.
  • Varying your learning by switching between types of problems or taking a break.
  • Using the “generation effect” of recall of a body of material instead of re-reading the material.

Q4. Select which of the following statements are true about chunking:

  • Concepts and problem-solving methods you might learn for physics can be very similar to chunked concepts in business.
  • When you are trying to figure something out, if you have a good library of chunks, you can more easily skip to the right solution by—metaphorically speaking—“listening” to whispers from your diffuse mode. Your diffuse mode can help you connect two or more chunks together in new ways to solve novel problems.
  • As you gain more experience in chunking in any particular subject, you will see that the chunks you are able to create are bigger—in some sense, the ribbons are longer.
  • “Chunking” involves compressing information more compactly–this is part of why it is easier to draw a “chunked” idea or concept into mind.

Q5. Select the following true statements about learning, as discussed on this module’s videos.

  • Interleaving your studies—making a point to review for a test, for example, by skipping around through problems in the different chapters and materials—can sometimes seem to make your learning more difficult. But in reality, it helps you learn more deeply.
  • Although practice and repetition are important in helping build solid neural patterns to draw on, it’s interleaving that starts building flexibility and creativity. It’s where you leave the world of practice and repetition and begin thinking more independently.
  • Once you’ve got the basic idea down during a session, continuing to hammer away at it during the same session doesn’t strengthen the kinds of long-term memory connections you want to have strengthened. Worse yet, focusing on one technique is a little like learning carpentry by only practicing with a hammer. After a while, you think you can fix anything by just bashing it.
  • One significant mistake students sometimes make in learning is jumping into the water before they learn to swim. In other words, they blindly start working on homework without reading the textbook, attending lectures, viewing online lessons, or speaking with someone knowledgeable. It’s like randomly allowing a thought to pop off in the focused-mode pinball machine without paying any real attention to where the solution truly lies.

Q6. The neuromodulators acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin were mentioned as affecting specific areas in Dr. Sejnowski’s video. Select the three true statements below, based on Dr. Sejnowski’s video, about which areas these neurotransmitters affect.

  • Serotonin signals in relation to focused learning and attention
  • Acetylcholine affects focused learning and attention
  • Dopamine signals in relation to focused learning and attention
  • Serotonin affects social life and risk-taking behavior
  • Dopamine signals in relation to unexpected reward
  • Acetylcholine affects unexpected reward

Quiz : Chunking

Q1. As discussed on this module’s videos, which THREE of the following six options have been shown by research to be generally NOT as effective a method for studying–that is, which three methods are more likely to produce illusions of competence in learning

  • rereading the text
  • testing yourself
  • highlighting more than one or so sentence in a paragraph
  • deliberate practice
  • recall
  • concept mapping

Q2. [Select the word that belongs in the blank space.] “_________” is the idea that a chunk you’ve mastered in one area can often help you much more easily learn chunks of information in different areas that can share surprising commonalities.

  • transfer
  • interleaving
  • chunking
  • recall
  • overlearning

Q3. Which of the following statements are true about chunks and/or chunking?

  • As the videos explained, chunking is a result of the brain’s inability to work smoothly between the two hemispheres.
  • Only punks chunk.
  • Chunks are NOT relevant to understanding the “big picture.”
  • One of the first steps toward gaining expertise in academic topics is to create conceptual chunks—mental leaps that unite scattered bits of information through meaning.
  • Improvising a new sentence in a new language you are learning involves the ability to creatively mix together various complex minichunks and chunks (sounds and words) that you have mastered in the new language.
  • Chunks can help you understand new concepts. This is because when you grasp one chunk, you will find that that chunk can be related in surprising ways to similar chunks not only in that field, but also in very different fields.

Q4. The videos used the analogy of an octopus to help you understand how the focused mode reaches through the slots of working memory to make connections in various parts of the brain. Which of the following observations related to the “octopus of attention” analogy are true?

  • The diffuse mode involves the use of the “octopus of attention,” which makes intentional connections between various parts of the brain.
  • As one of the videos stated, the “octopus of attention” is a metaphor related to the slippery skin of the octopus–that’s why we can forget so easily.
  • The intentional, focused mode connections of the “octopus of attention” analogy are quite different from the random connections of the diffuse mode.
  • When you are focusing your attention on something, it’s almost as if you have an octopus—the “octopus of attention”—that slips its tentacles through those four slots of working memory when necessary, to help you make connections to information you might have in various parts of your brain.

Q5. Three steps were mentioned as being vitally important in making a chunk. Pick those three things out from the list below.

  • Exercise
  • Practice to help you gain mastery and a sense of the big-picture context.
  • Understanding of the basic idea.
  • Spending time away from the material
  • Simple memorization
  • Focused attention.

Q6. [Select the word that belongs in the blank space.] “_______ practice” is when you apply special extra attention in practicing the material that you find to be the most difficult. This is the type of practice that experts use to speed up their knowledge gain.

  • Intentional
  • Deliberate
  • Overlearning
  • Recall
  • Repeated

Q7. Fill the blank in the following statement by choosing the right term from the options given below

——– is where bottom up and top down learning meet.

  • Memory
  • Brain
  • Einstellung
  • Context
  • Dendrite

Q8. Select which of the following statements are true about chunking:

  • As you gain more experience in chunking in any particular subject, you will see that the chunks you are able to create are bigger—in some sense, the ribbons are longer.
  • Concepts and problem-solving methods you might learn for physics can be very similar to chunked concepts in business.
  • “Chunking” involves compressing information more compactly–this is part of why it is easier to draw a “chunked” idea or concept into mind.
  • When you are trying to figure something out, if you have a good library of chunks, you can more easily skip to the right solution by—metaphorically speaking—“listening” to whispers from your diffuse mode. Your diffuse mode can help you connect two or more chunks together in new ways to solve novel problems.

Q9. Select the following true statements about learning, as discussed on this module’s videos.

  • Once you’ve got the basic idea down during a session, continuing to hammer away at it during the same session doesn’t strengthen the kinds of long-term memory connections you want to have strengthened. Worse yet, focusing on one technique is a little like learning carpentry by only practicing with a hammer. After a while, you think you can fix anything by just bashing it.
  • Although practice and repetition are important in helping build solid neural patterns to draw on, it’s interleaving that starts building flexibility and creativity. It’s where you leave the world of practice and repetition and begin thinking more independently.
  • Interleaving your studies—making a point to review for a test, for example, by skipping around through problems in the different chapters and materials—can sometimes seem to make your learning more difficult. But in reality, it helps you learn more deeply.
  • One significant mistake students sometimes make in learning is jumping into the water before they learn to swim. In other words, they blindly start working on homework without reading the textbook, attending lectures, viewing online lessons, or speaking with someone knowledgeable. It’s like randomly allowing a thought to pop off in the focused-mode pinball machine without paying any real attention to where the solution truly lies.

Q10. “___________” is when your initial thought, an idea you already have in mind, or a neural pattern you’ve already developed and strengthened, prevents a better idea or solution from being found, or keeps you from being flexible enough to accept new, better, or more appropriate solutions.

  • Einstellung
  • Overlearning
  • Blocking
  • Interleaving
  • Chunking
  • Choking
  • Illusions of competence

Q11. In Dr. Sejnowski’s video, the neuromodulators acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin were mentioned as affecting specific areas. Select the three true statements below, based on Dr. Sejnowski’s video, about which areas these neurotransmitters affect.

  • Acetylcholine affects focused learning and attention
  • Serotonin affects social life and risk-taking behavior
  • Dopamine signals in relation to unexpected reward
  • Acetylcholine affects social life and risk-taking behavior
  • Dopamine affects social life and risk-taking behavior

Q12. It’s quite common to get stuck on a problem–often because you have initial ideas about what the solution should be that block your ability to see the real solution. What is a next best step to take when you’ve already spent time reanalyzing the problem by focusing intently, and you find that you are simply stuck?

  • If it is toward the end of the day and you are already tired, go to sleep and try again in the morning.
  • Stare intently–it is your focused mode that will provide the big picture perspective you need to solve the problem.
  • Keep working away on the problem–the solution will come as long as you keep your focus on it.
  • Mentally rethink the problem yet again from where you started, following each step carefully to look for where you may have gone wrong. If you do this enough times without taking a break, the answer will come to you.

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects Week 03 Quiz Answers

Quiz : Retrieval Practice

Q1. The videos described habits as having four parts. Which are the four parts?

  • The relaxation response
  • The focused mode
  • The belief
  • The cue
  • The routine
  • The reward

Q2. Select the following true statements about learning and procrastination, according to this week’s videos.

  • Good learners always begin their learning sessions with excitement and enthusiasm for what they are about to do. (Think about this one–it’s a bit tricky!)
  • To prevent procrastination, you want to avoid concentrating on product. Instead, your attention should be on building processes. Processes relate to simple habits—habits that coincidentally allow you to do the unpleasant tasks that need to be done.
  • It is perfectly normal to start with a few negative feelings about beginning a learning session—even when it’s a subject you ordinarily like. It’s how you handle those feelings that matters.
  • The PROCESS, not the product, is what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate.

Q3. Select the following true statements about task lists and planner journals, according to this week’s videos:

  • Planning your quitting time is as important as planning your working time.
  • You should put as many things as possible on your daily task list in order to motivate yourself to accomplish more.
  • It’s good to make notes in your planner/journal about what works and what doesn’t.
  • A quitting time isn’t important–the longer you work, the more work you will accomplish.

Q4. Choose all statements that are true of procrastination.

  • As this week’s videos explained, it’s best to avoid procrastination by applying willpower at only one small point–your reaction to a procrastination cue. This is because willpower is actually a valuable mental resource and you don’t want to be using it up unnecessarily.
  • Procrastination is the key to success for famous tech leaders like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
  • Procrastination shares characteristics with addiction.
  • Procrastination often gets an incorrect bad reputation. Instead, as explained in this week’s videos, it can often lead to a more fulfilling life.
  • Procrastination can be triggered by feelings of discomfort involving something you’d rather not be doing–discomfort that can actually show up in the brain as feelings of physical pain.

Q5. In the videos related to procrastination, a careful distinction was made between “process” and “product.” Select the following true statements related to “process” and “product.”

  • Process means the flow of time and the habits and actions associated with that flow of time—as in, “I’m going to spend twenty minutes working.”
  • As stated in one of this week’s videos, you want to avoid focusing on a process because thinking about a process is frequently what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate.
  • The word “product” refers to the flow of time involved in completing an activity, not an actual task, such as completion of a homework set.
  • As stated in one of the videos, to avoid procrastination you want to avoid focusing on a product, because thinking about completing a product is frequently what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate.

Q6. Select good examples of what you could do to reduce the effects of cues that can cause you to procrastinate.

  • Use noise-muffling ear blockers to help reduce distracting sounds.
  • Distractions sometimes arise despite our best efforts. In that case, it’s best to not get annoyed by the distraction, but to instead just let it drift by and get right back to your work.
  • As the videos specifically discussed, play very loud music to help block other sounds out.
  • Set yourself up with plenty of distractions so that you build your willpower to help ignore these procrastination cues.

Quiz : Procrastination and Memory

Q1. The videos described habits as having four parts. Which are the four parts?

  • The diffuse mode
  • The belief
  • The routine
  • The reward
  • The cue
  • Deliberate practice

Q2. Select the following true statements about learning and procrastination, according to this week’s videos.

  • Good learners always begin their learning sessions with excitement and enthusiasm for what they are about to do. (Think about this one–it’s a bit tricky!)
  • To prevent procrastination, you want to avoid concentrating on product. Instead, your attention should be on building processes. Processes relate to simple habits—habits that coincidentally allow you to do the unpleasant tasks that need to be done.
  • It is perfectly normal to start with a few negative feelings about beginning a learning session—even when it’s a subject you ordinarily like. It’s how you handle those feelings that matters.
  • The PROCESS, not the product is what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate.

Q3. Select the following true statements about task lists and planner journals, according to this week’s videos:

  • Planning your quitting time is as important as planning your working time.
  • Writing the next day’s task list before you go to sleep enlists your “zombies” to help you accomplish the items on the list the next day.
  • Save your most disliked task for last.
  • You should put as many things as possible on your daily task list in order to motivate yourself to accomplish more.

Q4. Which of the following are good study habits to develop?

  • Interleave your learning by alternating your practice with different types of problems–don’t waste study time by simply repeating the same technique over and over again.
  • Space out study sessions with smaller bits of information to be mastered in each session.
  • Have the TV on in the background for company and a readily available distraction while you are learning.
  • Keep practicing the easy material instead of focusing on the harder material because it’s more comfortable to do this, and it will help you to enjoy your learning more.

Q5. Choose all statements that are true of procrastination.

  • As this week’s videos explained, it’s best to avoidprocrastination by applying willpower at only one small point–your reaction to a procrastination cue. This is because willpower is actually a valuable mental resource and you don’t want to be using it up unnecessarily.
  • Procrastination is the key to success for famous tech leaders like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
  • Procrastination shares characteristics with addiction.
  • Procrastination often gets an incorrect bad reputation. Instead, as explained in this week’s videos, it can often lead to a more fulfilling life.
  • Procrastination can be triggered by feelings of discomfort involving something you’d rather not be doing–discomfort that can actually show up in the brain as feelings of physical pain.

Q6. In this week’s videos, what was the term “zombie mode” used to refer to?

  • It refers to the relaxed state your mind enters when you are performing common and habitual tasks. Examples of zombie states and habitual behavior include riding a bike, getting dressed in the morning, and being able to back your car out of a driveway (if you are familiar and comfortable with driving).
  • Your ability to survive the Zombie Apocalypse (just like “The Walking Dead”)!
  • The mode your brain uses when you are fighting zombies.
  • The tired state you feel when you’ve been working for many hours.

Q7. In the videos related to procrastination, a careful distinction was made between “process” and “product.” Select the following true statements related to “process” and “product.”

  • As stated in one of this week’s videos, you want to avoid focusing on a process because thinking about a process is frequently what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate.
  • The Pomodoro technique is effective because it helps you get into the flow of the process.
  • “Product” refers to the outcome of a task. Examples of “product” include finishing a homework set or completing the writing of a report.
  • As the videos emphasized, “product” refers to being productive–to getting things done in a small amount of time to maximize your ability to go off and have fun.

Q8. Choose all of the true statements about good working/studying methods, procrastination and how to overcome procrastination.

  • Making your task list is best done at night before you go to sleep because research has shown that it helps to enlist your zombies (subconscious processes) to process the list, making them easier to get through the items on that list the next day.
  • Make sure to put yourself in an environment with many distractions to help train yourself to overcome your procrastination urges.
  • Keep a planner journal and keep track of the methods and techniques that work best for you.
  • Pay attention for procrastination cues and remove yourself from environments that contain many distractions and procrastination cues.

Q9. Select good examples of what you could do to reduce the effects of cues that can cause you to procrastinate.

  • Use noise-muffling ear blockers to help reduce distracting sounds.
  • As the videos specifically discussed, play very loud music to help block other sounds out.
  • Set yourself up with plenty of distractions so that you build your willpower to help ignore these procrastination cues.
  • Distractions sometimes arise despite our best efforts. In that case, it’s best to not get annoyed by the distraction, but to instead just let it drift by and get right back to your work.

Q10. Select the following true statements, in accordance with what you’ve learned from the videos, about memory.

  • You don’t want to use many different senses to help you remember–trying to remember something by seeing it and also by repeating it out loud so that you hear it, for example, will just lead to confusion.
  • Creating flashcards is a useful technique to help you remember. By increasing your spacing as you become more certain of mastery, you will lock the material more firmly into place
  • Handwriting appears to help you to more deeply encode (that is, convert into neural memory structures) what you are trying to learn.
  • To begin tapping into your visual memory system, try making a very memorable visual image representing one key item you want to remember.

Q11. When remembering a list, which of the techniques below were mentioned in the videos as being beneficial in helping you to remember?

  • Use the first letter from each item on the list to create an easy-to-remember sentence, such as “Old People From Texas Eat Spiders” (for the cranial bones)
  • Use the memory palace technique–imagine a place you are very familiar with (your “palace”) and then deposit memorable versions of the item on your list in various locations in your palace.
  • Memorizing is always bad. Just take a picture of the list on your smart phone for easy reference later.
  • As the videos mentioned, just keep repeating what you want to remember over and over in one session. The more you repeat all in one session, the better you will remember.

Q12. Long term memories for facts and events:

  • Have nothing to do with the hippocampus.
  • Are living parts of your brain that change each time you access them
  • Are changed through a process that Dr. Sejnowski termed “inebriation.”
  • Are subject to modification by a process called “reconsolidation.”

Q13. Remembering back to week 1, those videos emphasized some important points about your ability to learn. Which of the following points were among those being made?

  • Keep yourself open to new things, but make sure these new things are within the “family” of things you know you have a talent for. This will help you get better at what you are already good at.
  • Don’t just blindly follow your passions–also work to broaden your passions by keeping yourself open to learning new things, even if you feel you don’t have a talent for them.
  • We ordinarily think of learning as something we do when we sit down to study a book. But actually, being able to learn more easily and deeply involves many important facets–including not only periods of focused concentration, but also periods of relaxation, and even times when the body is simply out getting exercise, or even when it’s sleeping. Your brain can be busy figuring things out during times when you have absolutely no conscious awareness of it.
  • You cannot change your natural talents–if you’re not good at something, you should avoid it.

Q14. Select good approaches that can assist you in forming a mental “chunk.”

  • Draw concept maps instead of testing yourself.
  • Gain context for how and when to use this chunk by practicing.
  • Keep rereading what you are trying to chunk—avoid recall.
  • Focus on the information you want to chunk.

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects Week 04 Quiz Answers

Quiz : Retrieval Practice

Q1. Select the following true statements in relation to metaphor and analogy.

  • It’s often helpful to pretend YOU are the concept you are trying to understand.
  • Metaphors and visualization—being able to see something in your mind’s eye—have been especially helpful, not only in art and literature, but also in allowing the scientific and engineering world to make progress.
  • Metaphors and analogies, as well as stories, can sometimes be useful for getting people out of Einstellung—being blocked by thinking about a problem in the wrong way.
  • As the videos emphasized, using sophisticated words like “metaphor” and “analogy” makes you feel smarter and improves your confidence, which leads to better study outcomes.

Q2. As Dr. Sejnowski mentioned in one of his videos, new neurons are born in your hippocampus every day. These neurons can survive and help you remember things if you (check all that apply):

  • Allow yourself to get bored by repeating something you already know well over and over again.
  • Learn a new skill, like how to fix the plumbing in your sink.
  • Explore a little bit by trying a new route to get to work.
  • Exercise

Q3. Choose the statements below that best describe the “Imposter Syndrome.” 1 point

  • The “imposter syndrome” involves an old psychological theory involving acting out your fears. Researchers have recently debunked the theory.
  • The imposter syndrome is a very rare condition.
  • Getting a good grade on a test but being convinced that it was luck and that you are sure to fail the next test and be exposed as a fraud, is a good example of the impostor syndrome.
  • Imposter syndrome involves frequent feelings of inadequacy.

Q4. Santiago Ramon y Cajal felt that the key to his success was his ____________, which he called “the virtue of the less brilliant.” (Select the appropriate word to fill in the blank.)

  • “street smarts”
  • ability to dream
  • happiness
  • perseverance

Quiz : Final

Q1. Select the following true statements about sleep (according to the video lectures).

  • During sleep, your brain tidies up ideas and concepts you are thinking about and learning—it erases the less important parts of memories and simultaneously strengthens areas that you need or want to remember.
  • During sleep, your brain assumes a very quiescent state where nothing much is going on neurologically speaking. No changes in cell size are observed, although some changes in cells’ flexibility have been seen. This flexibility change is what allows you to dream your way towards solutions.
  • Taking a test without getting enough sleep means you are operating with a brain that’s got poisons that make it so you can’t think very clearly.
  • During sleep, toxins are absorbed into the cells of the brain–it is only when you are awake that the toxins can be washed away.

Q2. You are sitting down to do your homework. You work along, successfully solving the problems. But you then come across a problem that is more difficult. After spending fifteen minutes working on it, you begin to find yourself growing frustrated. What is the single most reasonable next option for you to take in order for you to make progress towards the solution?

  • Jump to a different problem, and if all else fails, take a break. No sense wasting your time being frustrated when simply switching your attention can help.
  • Keep focusing on the problem harder and harder—you will eventually figure it out if you keep your attention on it.
  • Keep your attention on the problem by rewriting the question over and over.
  • Try to avoid blinking while solving the problem.

Q3. Select the following true statements about memory according to the information provided in the videos.

  • Pinch yourself or apply some minor pain while trying to consciously trying to remember an item, it will help lodge it more firmly in memory.
  • Repetition is needed so your metabolic vampires—natural dissipating processes—don’t suck the memories away.
  • Working memory is the part of memory that has to do with what you are immediately and consciously processing in your mind.
  • When you encounter something new, you often use your working memory to handle it. If you want to move that information into your long term memory, it often takes time and practice.

Q4. The following actions help enable the focused mode (check all that apply):

  • Setting a timer and “doing a Pomodoro.”
  • Ensuring that you plan rewards for yourself after periods of focused attention.
  • Sitting in a train and absently watching the scenery pass by.
  • Going for a walk and thinking about nothing in particular.

Q5. Which of the following statements are true about chunks and/or chunking?

  • A disadvantage of chunking is that chunks take more neural energy to process, which slows your thinking.
  • Chunking does NOT involve knitting together ideas or actions. For example, the many complex activities involved in getting dressed CANNOT be thought of as a single, simple chunk.
  • Focused practice and repetition—the creation of strong memory traces—helps you to create chunks.
  • The concept of neural “chunks” applies to sports, music, dance—really, just about anything that humans can get good at.

Q6. Select the following true statements about thinking and learning:

  • “Spaced repetition” is an effective learning technique.
  • Being puzzled by new concepts and problems when we first see them is common—we often need to step away from what we are learning in order to see it with the new perspective that we need to understand what we’re trying to learn.
  • To learn most effectively, all you need to do is understand the basic concept. Practice and repetition kills your creativity, so it’s best avoided.
  • Exercise isn’t related to your ability to learn.

Q7. Select the following true statements, as taught in this course, regarding the concept of “understanding.”

  • A counterintuitive finding is that it is important to avoid trying to understand what’s going on when you’re first starting to chunk something.
  • Understanding is like a superglue that helps hold the underlying memory traces together.
  • Just understanding how a problem was solved does NOT necessarily create a chunk that you can easily call to mind later. (That’s part of why you can grasp an idea when a teacher presents it in class, but if you don’t review it fairly soon after you’ve first learned it, it can seem incomprehensible when it comes time to prepare for a test.)
  • Understanding alone is in general enough to create a chunk.

Q8. Check the following true statements regarding illusions of competence in learning, as described in the videos

  • Highlighting is a more effective study method than recall, that is, simply looking away from the material and attempting to recall the main ideas.
  • Rereading is a more effective study method than recall, that is, simply looking away from the material and attempting to recall the main ideas.
  • You can spend a LOT of time studying the material, but if you aren’t using effective study techniques, you can end up not learning very much.
  • Be wary. Repeating something you already know perfectly well is easy. It can also bring the illusion of competence that you’ve mastered the full range of the material, when you’ve actually only mastered the easy stuff.

Q9. Check the following true statements regarding the concept of recall.

  • Although a helpful technique, recall doesn’t help build all-important UNDERSTANDING of the material.
  • Recalling material when you are outside your usual place of study can also help you strengthen your grasp of the material. When you are learning something new, you often take in subliminal cues from room and space around you at the time you were originally learning the material. This can actually throw you off when you take tests, because you often take tests in a room different from the room you were learning in. By recalling and thinking about the material while you are in various physical environments, you become independent of cues from any one location. That helps you avoid the problem of the test room being different from where you originally learned the material.
  • A helpful way to make sure you’re learning, and not fooling yourself with illusions of competence, is to TEST yourself on what you’re learning. In some sense, that’s what recall is actually doing—allowing you to see whether or not you really grasped an idea.
  • Recall is best done where you originally learned the material because repeating in the same room is the best way to deepen your neural structures so that you perform well on tests.

Q10. Select the true statements below regarding the concept of overlearning:

  • Repeating something you already know perfectly well is easy. It can also bring the illusion of competence that you’ve mastered the full range of the material, when you’ve actually only mastered the easy stuff.
  • Overlearning what you are learning is one of the best ways to avoid Einstellung.
  • Delaying and refusing to study or practice what you are trying to learn is called “overlearning,” because it involves jumping over the topic you are actually trying to learn.
  • Once you’ve got the basic idea down during a session, continuing to hammer away at it during the same session doesn’t necessarily strengthen the kinds of long-term memory connections you want to have strengthened.

Q11. Select the correct answers here with relation to procrastination, according to the videos.

  • By focusing on product rather than process, you allow yourself to back away from judging yourself (Am I getting closer to finishing? ) and allow yourself to relax into the flow of the work.
  • One of the easiest ways to focus on process is to focus on doing a Pomodoro—a twenty-five-minute timed work session. (Do NOT focus on completing a task.)
  • One of the easiest ways to focus on product is to use the diffuse mode
  • It is best to try to focus on process, not product, because the product is often what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate.

Q12. Select all options that are good study and learning methods that can be used to remember something well.

  • Eat lots of cake while studying because it will make you happy and happiness is the key to memorizing large quantities of data.
  • Cram as much as you can right before the test date—that way you won’t forget things.
  • When learning something for the first time, try to make the concept or idea into something memorable like associating it with an object or a funny picture in your mind. An example in the videos involved learning the equation f = ma by associating the equation with a flying mule.
  • Take breaks during your study time to let your mind rest and to reward yourself for your good study habits.

Q13. Choose all of the true statements about using memorizing techniques such as a “memory palace.”

  • You must always have a partner to help you employ a memory palace so that you can help each other practice and sharpen your skills in a group setting.
  • Memory techniques such as the memory palace allow you to develop and use your creativity because you are using such unexpected and unusual scenarios for internal connections later on.
  • You should eat lots of cheese while using these memory techniques as the lactose has been shown to increase mental acuity.
  • The first few times you try these techniques it will be difficult and more time consuming, but the longer you use it the easier and quicker you will be able to employ these techniques.

Q14. What are the four categories of cues that were explained in the video as causing people to fall into a habitual reaction (what might be thought of as a “zombie” response mode)?

  • Location, identification, indentation, subliminal (either internal or external)
  • Location, time, how you feel, reaction (either to other people or to something that just happened)
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama
  • Identify, define, optimize, verify

Q15. Check the four components of habit (as described in the videos) from the list of words given below.

  • cue
  • deliberate
  • reduction
  • routine
  • reward
  • belief

Q16. Select all of the true statements about the purpose and benefits of writing a list of the tasks you want to perform.

  • It is better to make a task list before you go to sleep, so your subconscious, “diffuse” thinking processes can have a chance to help assist you in actually accomplishing the tasks the next day.
  • As a video mentioned, making a task list makes your tasks easier to remember, WITHOUT having to use much of your valuable working memory.
  • As discussed in the videos, task lists help activate Einstellung, which is why you should use them.
  • Making a task list and then throwing it away, as described in one of the videos, is one of the most effective ways of using a task list.

Q17. Select the following true statements in relation to metaphor and analogy.

  • Metaphors and visualization—being able to see something in your mind’s eye—have been especially helpful, not only in art and literature, but also in allowing the scientific and engineering world to make progress.
  • Metaphors and analogies, as well as stories, can sometimes be useful for getting people out of Einstellung—being blocked by thinking about a problem in the wrong way
  • It’s often helpful to pretend YOU are the concept you are trying to understand.
  • As the videos emphasized, using sophisticated words like “metaphor” and “analogy” makes you feel smarter and improves your confidence, which leads to better study outcomes.

Q18. As Dr. Sejnowski mentioned in one of his videos, new neurons are born in your hippocampus every day. These neurons can survive and help you remember things if you (check all that apply):

  • Read a book about a new subject area
  • Travel to an exotic foreign country and experience new and different ways of doing things.
  • Learn a new dance movement
  • Procrastinate.

Q19. Choose the statements below that best describe the “Imposter Syndrome.”

  • The “imposter syndrome” involves an old psychological theory involving acting out your fears. Researchers have recently debunked the theory.
  • The impostor syndrome is quite common and is seen across all academic and non-academic disciplines.
  • Imposter syndrome involves frequent feelings of inadequacy.
  • Those suffering from the impostor syndrome are usually cheating on their taxes and are likely to spend time in federal prison during their lifetime.

Q20. Santiago Ramon y Cajal felt that the key to his success was his ____________, which he called “the virtue of the less brilliant.” (Select the appropriate word to fill in the blank.)

  • magnificence
  • perceptiveness
  • raw talent
  • perseverance

Q21. Select all true statements about teamwork.

  • Sometimes you can blindly believe you’ve got everything nailed down intellectually, but you haven’t. This is one reason it is sometimes good to study with others.
  • It’s okay to start study sessions ten to fifteen minutes late, but no more than that.
  • One of the videos emphasized that you should NOT look the material over before you arrive and meet with your study group.
  • The best study sessions with others start on time, stay on task and contain a bare minimum of small talk in order to focus on the purpose for the gathering. The time for play is after the work is done.

Q22. Select all of the true statements about including “mini tests” in your regular study sessions

  • Tests during study sessions are good for concentrating the mind.
  • As one of the videos asserted, you will learn and retain more in one hour of testing than you would if you spent one hour studying.
  • Testing yourself during study sessions is not beneficial to most students because it adds too much stress and anxiety and will inhibit learning.
  • As one of the videos mentioned, testing yourself during studying is only effective for language studies.

Q23. Select all of the questions that come from Dr. Richard Felder’s “test checklist.” Do whatever it takes to answer yes to most of the questions on this list.

  • Did you ask in class for explanations of homework problems that were unclear to you?
  • Did you make an adequate effort to bribe the teacher or teaching assistant to inflate your test grade?
  • Did you go over the study guide and problems with classmates and quiz one another?
  • Did you participate actively in homework group discussions?
  • As the checklist specifically mentioned, did you eat a croissant the morning of the test?
  • Did you attempt to outline each homework question before discussing it with classmates?
  • Did you make a serious effort to understand the text?

Q24. Choose all of the true statements about the “hard start, jump to easy” test taking technique.

  • This method may make more efficient use of your brain because it may allow different parts of your brain to work simultaneously on different problems.
  • This technique only works for engineers and is not useful for liberal arts majors.
  • This technique is like magic! You do not have to spend any time preparing or studying as this method of test taking will allow the answer to pop into your head with very little effort
  • This testing technique involves scanning the whole test quickly and starting first on the hardest problem on the test, working through the problem as far as you can, and, when you get stuck, immediately jumping to another problem.

Q25. Select all of the true statements about pre-test stress and how to overcome it.

  • As one of the videos mentioned, if you are a naturally anxious person you should just accept the fact that you’re doomed—you will always suffer on tests. By realizing this, you relax into it.
  • There is no way to fight stress, embrace the panic; it will subside on its own… eventually.
  • When stressed before a test, you should turn your attention to your breathing. Taking deep breaths can control your stress level and fight the “fight or flight” instinct.
  • One easy way to overcome the effects of stress and cortisol is to tell yourself that you are not afraid of failing the test but instead, that you are EXCITED to take the test and get a good grade.

Q26. Select test taking tips that were mentioned in the videos.

  • During the test, try to momentarily shift your attention away from the test questions and then go back through the questions with a ‘big picture’ perspective.
  • One way to look in a fresh way at what you have done during a test is to check your answers from back to front.
  • A good tip for test taking, as mentioned in one of the videos, is to quietly tap your knee while you are taking the test.
  • Pinching yourself repeatedly, as mentioned in one of the videos, is a great way to bring urgency and allow you to solve difficult problems.

Q27. Which of the following options have been shown by research to be generally NOT as effective a method for studying—that is, which methods are more likely to be used by those suffering from illusions of competence in learning?

  • Deliberate practice
  • Recall
  • Testing yourself
  • Rereading the text
  • Concept mapping
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