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451: How to Learn Much Faster, with Scott Young

By Dave Stachowiak

Scott Young: Ultralearning Scott’s work is intended to consistently answer this question: what’s the best way to learn? This has led him to take on two year-long experiments in learning: The MIT Challenge, where he attempted to learn MIT’s 4-year computer science curriculum without taking classes, and The Year Without English, where he worked with a friend to learn four languages in one year. Scott is the author of the new book, Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career*. In this conversation, Scott and I discuss what ultralearners do differently, the importance of transfer in learning, and four key tactics to enhance directness. Key Points Transfer is critical for learning, but most formal education programs don’t address it. “Many ultralearners who have specialized in a smaller subset of fields are masters at transfer; no doubt this is largely due to their depth of knowledge, which makes transfer easier to accomplish.” The key to ultra learning is to enhance directness. Four tactics for enhancing directness: Project-based learning (producing something) Immersive learning (such as language immersion) Flight simulator method (like how pilots learn to fly) Overkill approach (intentional making it harder than a real use scenario) Book Notes Download my highlights from Ultralearning in PDF format (free membership required). Related Episodes Six Tactics for Extraordinary Performance, with Morten Hansen (episode 337) How to Become the Person You Want to Be, with James Clear (episode 376) Permission to Be Yourself, with Bar Schwartz (episode 414) How to Know What You Don’t Know, with Art Markman (episode 437) Discover More Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic.

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