Learn and strengthen your understanding by writing !!

"CA Ratta Hay" is the word commonly spoken about among students in CA. Ratta or Rote learning is a memorization technique based on repetition, and while it is true that during your studies you may have to memorize many things and thus rote learn, it is not all that there is.

Usually, rote learning is discouraged due to the reason that student tends to work their way around a concept by trying to rote learn it with a sole focus of reproducing it in the exams without actually understanding it and thus not developing the ability to apply that knowledge in a practical situation.

So there lies a key to actual learning, and that is understanding the concept so that you can apply it to a practical situation or at least explain and teach it to others. That’s how knowledge has been imparted generation after generation, by learning, understanding, and then teaching.

In the Quran, Surah Al Alaq, verse 3 & 4 it says "Recite, and your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the pen." Before we proceed, I want to clarify that I am not attempting to establish official Tafseer of the Ayat as I am not qualified to do so. What I am trying to highlight here is the fact that it is a common agreement between the scholars that this verse emphasizes the fact that knowledge is spread by pen, we recorded or wrote things through a pen, and thus knowledge was passed through generations.

There is one more aspect that this verse implies that Allah teaches through the pen, meaning we write through pen and in a process we learn things. I decided to research what effect writing has on our brain and found out some interesting facts I would like to share.

Writing increases neural activity in certain sections of our brain; it sharpens our brain and helps us learn. Writing activates large regions of our brain responsible for thinking, language, and working memory. When we write, our brain records the experience associated with it through neural paths. The more you go through those paths, meaning, the more you practice something through writing, the more those neural paths become secure and permanent. When we write our brain engage multiple cognitive functions simultaneously, i.e., hand-eye coordination, language, memory, creativity, insight, logic, spatial intelligence, and abstract thought.

The studies show that students who do more writing do better in science and math. Judy Willis, a neuroscientist who studies how a brain learns, writes that "The practice of writing can enhance the brain's intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information. Through writing, students can increase their comfort with and success in understanding complex material, unfamiliar concepts, and subject-specific vocabulary". Some studies also suggest that students who spend more time writing by hand have better retention and literacy skills.

So, while rote learning may be a technique to memorize things, it is not an effective way to learn. Therefore, as you may have repeatedly heard from your teachers, practice the concepts, solve by hand the numerical questions, it will help you learn better and will enable your brain to memorize and recall the knowledge when needed effectively.

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