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How Does Larry Chiang Study So Gud??!

by Larry Chiang on September 16, 2014

by Larry Chiang

This is how I did well in school. I used this system called PQRST



PQRST was taught to me my Miss Basetto in the 7th grade. I used it to excel as a student-athlete. PQRST saves you time because you become wayyyyy more efficient.

Preview. The idea is to get familiar with the content so that when it is lectured on in class it does not surprise you. You lever the syllabus. Most people don’t read the syllabus. Me?! I reverse engineered syllabi (is that the plural for syllabus 馃榾

FOR example the syllabus for Stramgt588 is Strategy Management 588. aka #stramgt588. aka #tramgt588
For example the syllabus for ENGR 145 is google-able.
For example the syllabus for every Stanford Business School GSB class is public. And on the Internet. That’s why I wrote the New York Times bestseller, “What They Don’t Teach You at Stanford Business School”. To tell you to get comfy comfortable and read the syllabus.

So, even if you’re an eighth grader and your teacher spoon feeds you your syllabus… Pretend you had to pay $250 to get the syllabus. Get the syllabus and pre-study it

Check out the nerds!

Question. the ‘Q’ in PQRST is Question.

So, you would ask questions while you’re getting lectured or reading. If the lecturer is uber boring, you would question, “How in the world are you so monotone?!” The goal of QUESTION is to make the one-way conversation a two way conversation.

It is like a hollywood movie because when things unfold, the audience asks questions. Stepwise. A movie has sequential scenes that reveal, reveal and further push the plot line. The movie is one-way, but good movies bring you into another world by getting you to question along the hero’s development. In a more boring example of Chemistry’s acid base titration: You would question, “What is the rational for driving the system to being high in pH?!”

The ‘question’ portion is simply to get your brain more “on” by asking questions right before the professor or teacher answers them.

Review. There is a saying that the “third time is a charm”.

SO when you review, you are getting it into your pea sized brain for a third time. In public speaking, pro speaking coaches like Patricia Fripp, mentor you to
1. Tell them what you’re gonna tell them.
2. Tell them.
3. Tell them what you told them.

If your 4th period teacher isn’t a charismatic speaker, you’re gonna have to do the “review” step all by yourself.


Yup. It is now the 4th time. I took this class called ENGR145 literally 4 times and figuratively 12 times. I summarized it with two 9:59 videos

So, you want to summarize portions of the syllabus.

T = Test.

Testing yourself is how you study for a test. Testing is dangerous if you are getting tested for the first time when the teacher gives you the test. Self-testing is a big part of PQRST. For example, lets say you’re going to be tested on AP US history. Your job as a student would be to guess at the questions that might be on the test. I bet it parallels the syllabus.

That is it. Now you know what Miss Basetto taught me about PQRST.

QUESTION: “Hey this sounds like a lot of work!”
Larry Chiang Answer: “Umm, thats more of a comment. But to answer your comment: ‘It is actually less work’. Just like marination of steak, seafood and vegetables helps, marinating your brain with knowledge helps too”

QUESTION: Hey I read a few blog posts where you extrapolate your teachers future work. How did you do that??
LARRY CHIANG answer: Gosh shucks! YOu’re right. I read Steven Blanks book and then wrote “The Fifth Epiphany” in a boston area school’s blog.

Steven Blank wrote the book, “Four Steps to the Epiphany”. So, I PQRST’d the Jesus Christ outta it. And then I gave birth to “The Fifth Epiphany”. Btw, that was not taking my mentors name in vain because bible studies are all about PQRST-ing the bible.

QUESTION: Is all you do regurgitate?
Larry Chaing answer: Pretty much buddy. Pretty much.

Note: Remember, getting into a good college is really just freshman year, soph year and junior year. Just ace those and you can actually get recruited to attend a college. Btw, if you’re asian put that violin and piano music book down. Pick up a ball and play varsity your frosh year. Latest, sophomore year. The latest you can play varsity is Sophomore year. By junior year, you must be a star on varsity or colleges won’t recruit you. But that is the topic of a different blog post

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