Never say ‘No Way’ – May 13

By Cathline Augustiani


“There is no way I can pass this subject.”

“There is no way I can understand the materials.”


Have you ever faced any killer subject or any course in your university that forces those words to echo in your mind?


There is always a way! It might not be easy and require your time and commitment. You might have to go over and over again to make yourself say, “I got it!” Everything comes back to you; how much you are motivated and how much you are faithful in small things. Small things can be as simple as regular attendance to lecture/tutorial and taking notes (since what the lecturer said in class is most likely to be important information for exams/assignments).


Everyone has their own “best” way to study. For me personally, I have to write what I have learnt from lecturer/textbooks/practical materials or even lecture notes in order to digest all the information effectively. Thus, “self-explanation” suits my cognitive learning style. It means from scratch paper, I have to elaborate the new concept that I just received, then write it down and generate the process (i.e. involving the use of many arrows in my notes) that links one issue to the others. This helps me to ask “why?” and force my mind to explain in details using my own words rather than passively reading it through. Hence, my best friends for study are papers, different color of highlighters and pens, and sticky notes.


However, we cannot grasp all materials at one time. When we force our brain to receive all those information on last minute preparation, those materials will quickly disappear from our memory. Dr. John Dunlosky, professor of psychology and director of experimental training at Kent State University, states that doing distributed practice works best. This means you have to spread out your study sessions (ideally weekly) instead of ‘run in one marathon’.  There is no instant success!


Never be bothered by the sayings from people who define you as “not smart enough”. Remember the famous quote from Albert Einstein that “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” However, always put in your heart that it is “the blessing of the Lord that makes you succeeds and He adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)


Research indicates that we learn:

5% from listening to lecture

10% from reading

20% from audio-visual

30% from seeing a (lecture) demonstration

50% from engaging in group discussion

75% from practicing

90% from teaching to someone else immediately


Communicating what you have learnt with other people (i.e. teaching) is proved to be very efficient. This is the same with declaring God’s words every day, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”


Enjoy learning and NEVER say “NO WAY!”





3 main statements:

  1. Everything comes back to you; how much you are motivated and how much you are faithful in small things.
  2. There is no instant success!
  3. Declaring God’s words every day “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
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