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** For foreigners who are not familiar with the country, education and tuition culture in Malaysia, you might find the following guide useful - Malaysia, Education & Tuition: A Background Guide.

A time to remember

Mind overtime?
         For the majority of learners, effective memorization requires willful effort and a certain amount of time. It is always true that the more time you spend on learning something, the more you are likely to remember it; assuming of course, that you use the time productively.
Looking for a short cut
         There are no short cuts to quality learning. For instance, nothing long-lasting is gained through 'speed reading', which is the popular name for techniques that are supposed to enable its practioners to read a page much faster while still comprehending what the whole passage means. In fact, studies have shown that the faster you read, the less you are likely to understand and remember. Which is not to say that 'speed reading' is a hoax. It does allow you to acquire the content quickly. But true learning requires the assimilation of the new information, the forming of insights, to allow the data to register in the brain. And that, unfortunately, takes time.

         The advantage of 'speed reading' is that it's helpful by allowing the rapid scanning of materials that you do not need to remember, or when you are glancing through a protracted and complicated article or text in which there are only a few specific pieces of information of interest. However, the general consensus is that any increase in reading speed beyond your normal rate of comfort, saves time only at the expense of remembering. The kind of encoding that results in long-lasting insightful learning, like the sculpting of a piece of artwork, simply cannot be rushed.

The linking game
         Memory is in major part an associative process. To memorize something new means to link that new information to other pre-existing information in the brain. The link between pieces of knowledge is established through a process of encoding - sort of indexing and categorizing them for easy storage and retrieval.

         How that encoding takes place is not exactly clear, but it is a form of personal and constructive processing. We do not encode an exact copy of the information per se, but whatever meanings or interpretations of that information. Consequently, if you have encoded some information in a certain way, the same information will be learned differently by everybody else. For example, toddlers in Mexico would most likely associate the concept of 'red' to chilli while those in the United Kingdom would link it to apple. That's because each of us would find unique and personal associations to assimilate information. What is clear, though, is that the process requires time to work its magic.

Overlearning is good
         Even after new information has been assimilated into memory, it is still beneficial to spend some more time stuying it. Practice and repetition somehow increase the strength and retrievability of the memory traces in the associative network. This fact is expressed in the 'law of overlearning', which simply says, "After you have learned something, further study tends to increase the length of time you will remember it." The law of overlearning allows us to explain the memory persistence of childhood tunes such as 'Twinkle, twinkle little star', or the story of Cinderella. Long after we knew these things by heart, we repeatedly recite or listen to them. Thus, we not only learned but overlearned them.

Cramming doesn't pay
         The law of overlearning also account for why cramming can never be a successful study technique. Cramming refers to the hasty study of materials, usually for an imminent examination. By cramming, students may learning enougn to earn a passing grade, but they are soon likely to forget almost everything they learned. Applying overlearning, on the other hand, is like time spent thinking about the newly learned materials, trying to understand them and associate them to previous information. It is a proven and effective way to remember for a long time.


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Glossary of Terms :
(1) Tuition - Tutelage, the act of tutoring or teaching a student (pupil); Fees paid for instruction (especially for higher education). In Malaysia, tuition is more popularly used to denote tutoring rather than fee. Common Malaysian misspellings: Tiution, Tution. *(BM): Tuisyen, Tiusyen, Tusyen, Tuisen, Tiusen, Tuisyan, Tiusyan, Tusyan. | (2) Home Tuition - Tutoring that takes place at students' or tutors' home as opposed to at tuition centers; Also: Home Tutoring, Private Tuition, Private Tutoring. *(BM): Tuisyen Di Rumah, Tuisyen Swasta. | (3) Personal Tuition - Tutoring on the basis of one tutor catering to one student. Also: Personal Tutoring, Individual Tuition, Individual Tutoring, One-to-one Tuition, 1-to-1 Tutoring, One-to-one Tutoring, 1-to-1 Tuition. *(BM): Tuisyen Peribadi, Tuisyen Persendirian, Tuisyen Perseorangan, Tuisyen Individu. | (4) Group Tuition - Tutoring on the basis of one tutor catering to several (small number, but more than one) students. Also: Small Group Tuition, Small Class Tuition, Group Tutoring, Small Group Tutoring, Small Class Tutoring. *(BM): Tuisyen Berkumpulan, Tuisyen Kumpulan Kecil, Tuisyen Kelas Kecil. | (5) Tutors - Tuition Teachers, persons who conduct tuition. In Malaysia, teacher is more popularly used to denote a school teacher whereas tutor usually means a non-school teacher. Also: Tiutors, Tuitors. *(BM): Guru Sekolah, Cikgu Sekolah, Pengajar Tuisyen, Guru Tuisyen, Cikgu Tuisyen. | (6) Home Tutors - Tutors who provide home tuition as opposed to those who teach at tuition centres. Also: Private Tutors, Personal Tutors, Individual Tutors, One-to-one Tutors, 1-to-1 Tutors, Group Tutors, Small Group Tutors, Private Teachers, Personal Teachers, Individual Teachers, One-to-one Teachers, 1-to-1 Teachers, Group Teachers, Small Group Teachers, Private Tuition Teachers, Personal Tuition Teachers, Individual Tuition Teachers, One-to-one Tuition Teachers, 1-to-1 Tuition Teachers, Group Tuition Teachers, Small Group Tuition Teachers. *(BM): Pengajar Di Rumah, Pengajar Swasta, Pengajar Peribadi, Pengajar Persendirian, Pengajar Perseorangan, Guru Di Rumah, Guru Swasta, Guru Peribadi, Guru Persendirian, Guru Perseorangan, Cikgu Di Rumah, Cikgu Swasta, Cikgu Peribadi, Cikgu Persendirian, Cikgu Perseorangan. | (7) Tuition Centers - Private institutions that conduct tuition on classroom-like settings. Also: Tuition Centres, Tutorial Centers, Tutorial Centres, Tuition Classes, Tutorial Classes, Tutoring Classes. *(BM): Pusat Tuisyen, Pusat Bimbingan, Pusat Tutorial, Kelas Tuisyen. | (8) Home Tuition Jobs - Home tuition vacancies; Posts to be filled by home tutors. Also: Private Tuition Jobs, Home Tutoring Jobs, Private Tutoring Jobs, Home Tuition Assignments, Private Tuition Assignments, Home Tutoring Assignments, Private Tutoring Assignments, Private Tuition Vacancies, Home Tutoring Vacancies, Private Tutoring Vacancies. *(BM): Jawatan Kosong Tuisyen, Pekerjaan Tuisyen, Kerja Tuisyen, Tugasan Tuisyen. | (9) Home Tutees - Home tuition students; Pupils receiving home tuition from home tutors. *(BM): Pelajar Tuisyen, Murid Tuisyen, Penuntut Tuisyen. | *(BM) denotes terms in Bahasa Melayu or Malay Language.