Study Tips

The Laws of Learning

Dr. Kemmerer’s Laws of Learning, Penn State University

Law #1: Anyone can learn anything given the desire, the dedication, and the time.

These things make more difference than ability or age; remember the tortoise and the hare.

Law #2: Learning is the result of three essential attitudes:

  1. The humility to know that one does not know. If you think you already know it all, you’ll never learn anything.
  2. The confidence that one is able to learn. If you say, “I can’t!” you won’t.
  3. The persistence to stick with the task of learning even when the going gets tough. If you say, “I quit!” you will never know the joy of success.

Law #3: What seems meaningless is usually dull.

Be sure you make an effort to understand the material before class. Doing the reading before the class will keep you on target.

Law #4: Boredom is the result of an empty head and should be hidden like an intellectual deformity.

Telling everyone how bored you are tells them more than you should want them to know. The only cure for boredom is education.

Law #5: Listen for what you don’t know.

See Law #2 under humility.

Law #6: Attention, attendance, and studying are the keys to academic success.

Pay attention in class. Attend every class. Study three or more hours for each hour spent in class. Study every day; don’t put studying off until just before a test.

Law #7: The wise person asks questions that show knowledge and thought about the topic.

Questions that were answered in the readings reveal undone homework and lack of class preparation. See Law #3.