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Remedying the Second Barrier to Study:
Too Steep a Study Gradient

If you are learning how to do something and you start to feel a sort of confusion or reelingness, you know at once that you have hit too steep a gradient. You went past something you did not understand and started on the next thing that was too steep and you went too fast.

The remedy for the barrier of too steep a gradient is as follows:

1. Cut back on the gradient. This means stop trying to push ahead and go back to where you were last doing well.

2. Find out when you were not confused on the gradient.

3. Then find what new action you undertook.

4. Find out what action you were doing that you understood well.

5. You will find that you didn’t understand it well. There was something you did not grasp at the tail end of what you understood well and after that you went over the gradient.

6. Clear up what you did not understand.

7. Once you have cleared up what you did not understand, proceed on from there.

In gradients, it is the actions you are interested in. You have a specific series of steps you must do. And if you skip the gradient on doing those steps, you can run into trouble. But if you follow the steps of how to handle a skipped gradient, you will come out of it.

In the first example of the young person who learned how to ride a bicycle on a gradient, let’s say he went too steep on the gradient and started trying to ride the bicycle before he had mastered the earlier step and then he ran into trouble.

Let’s say he manifested this by not being able to grasp how to maintain balance and pedal and steer the bicycle all at the same time. Say he became sort of confused or reeling (felt dizzy and unsteady) and kept falling off the bicycle. You would simply have him cut back the gradient and go back to the earlier step where he was doing well—this may have been the balance bike with two supporting rear wheels.

You would help him by finding out where he was doing well on the earlier steps of the gradient and then discovering what it was that he did not fully understand about that earlier step. Once that was cleared up and he was happy about doing that step, you would have him progress back up to the next gradient again. He would do well.

In the example where you possibly ran into too steep a study gradient learning how to install or use a new computer program, you would simply go back to the part of the computer program you were using that you understood well and were doing fine on, just before you started having trouble. Then you would clear up what you did not understand and move on forward from there.

This same principle of the skipped gradient and the steps for handling it are tools you can use on anything you are studying or learning how to do.

NOTE: In order to continue, you must complete all previous steps in this course. Your last incomplete step is
NOTE: You had several answers that were incorrect. In order to continue, you should re-read the article The Second Barrier to Study:
Too Steep a Study Gradient
and then test your understanding again.