Getting Ready to Learn

What else do you need in order to learn?

Research suggests that perhaps the most important skill you need to learn effectively is what is called a ‘growth mindset’: the belief that you can learn and develop new skills.

For more about the importance of growth mindset, see our page on Mindsets.

You also need to be prepared to work hard, which requires self-motivation.

There are a number of other skills that you will find useful to help your learn effectively:

For example, Time Management and Organisational Skills. But while it’s important to avoid procrastination, none of these are as vital as having the right approach.

With the right mindset, you will set yourself up for learning for life.


While learning is very definitely wider than studying, nonetheless, having good study skills will help you to learn.

These generic and transferable skills help you to get yourself into the right frame of mind for studying, and then study effectively.

Our study skills pages include:

  • Getting Organised to Study, including finding the best times of day for you, and also making contact with people who can help and support you;
  • Finding Time to Study, which includes setting a study timetable, setting goals and prioritising;
  • Sources of Information for Study, which explains the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary sources, and how you can find and evaluate the quality of sources;
  • Styles of Writing, which explains about different types of documents that you may need to produce;
  • Reading skills, including Effective Reading and Reading Strategies, which show you how you can develop good habits of reading, enabling you to critique your sources effectively; and
  • Revision Skills, which help you to review and revise your studying to prepare for examinations and assessments.

How to Write…

If you are engaged in formal study, for example, undertaking a school, college or university course, you are likely to find that you have to produce written assignments.

You may find it helpful to look at our pages on planning an essay, writing essays, writing reports, and writing a dissertation or research project. Our pages on dissertations, thesis and research projects are broken down by section. You will find information about literature reviews, methods, results, discussion and conclusions and recommendations.

You will also find information about Research Methods on Gilead Training Ltd, including Designing your Research, and various methods of gathering and analysing data, such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

You are also likely to need to learn to take effective notes of what you read or of lectures or other exchanges of information.

Helping Other People to Learn

There are very particular skills required to help other people to learn. Your role in helping others to learn may be formal or informal.

Teachers have a very clear role in supporting learning; see our page on Teaching Skills for more. Many people also use coaches both informally and formally to support their learning: see our pages on Coaching Skills and What is Coaching? for more.

Parents often find themselves needing to draw on all their skills to support their children’s learning. A good starting place for ideas is our page on Coaching at Home.

Another role in which you may be supporting someone’s learning is as a mentor. If you’re new to a mentoring role, have a look at our pages  What is Mentoring? and Mentoring Skills. And if you’re just entering a mentoring relationship as the learner, visit our page Learning from Mentoring for some ideas.

Counselling is also about supporting learning, in its broadest sense.