While studying in school or college, students are dealing with tons of information that needs to be learned and retained. Needless to say that your ability to retain the studied material has a direct influence on your academic success.
Indeed, having trouble remembering things can make all your previous effort go to waste. Whenever you are assigned to write a paper or have to pass an exam, you will have to rely on the information that you were given in the classroom. And if you can’t remember it, how can you get all your tasks done?
Of course, there is always a possibility to hire a professional essay writer or take extra classes with a tutor. It will certainly help you solve a couple of current issues. But, what’s next? If you don’t do anything to improve your memory, you will likely continue facing all the same issues again and again.
To help you avoid this, in this article, we have gathered the eight most effective methods for improving your ability to retain information. Let’s see what you can do!
First and foremost, the retention of course material depends on how attentive and focused you were while studying. To internalize the new concepts, you need to get really focused. And to do this, you will need to get rid of distractions.
So here comes the first helpful technique - make sure nothing distracts you during your study sessions. Find a quiet and private place, turn off the music or TV, and block out any other distractions.
Organize and Structure All Information
Studies have shown that our brain organizes all data in related clusters. And you can use this fact to your benefit.
If you make it a habit to organize and structure all the materials you are studying, it will help your brain to group terms, facts, and concepts together. As a result, you will find it easier to retain the studied data.
Use Mnemonic Devices
One more technique you can start using right now is using mnemonic devices. In simple terms, this method implies using certain tricks aimed at helping you to recall things easier.
For example, one of the most common uses of mnemonics is the creation of associations. To remember a specific piece of information, you are supposed to come up with an association. It can be anything, from an object to a song. Then, when you need to recall a specific concept, your associations will hint at the right answer.
It is no longer a secret that many people find it hard to retain the information they’ve heard or read somewhere. If that’s the case for you, too, try the visualization technique.
This trick is very simple to use. All you need to do is to come up with a way to visualize the concepts you are studying. Some ways to do this are by utilizing charts, pictures, and graphics. Some of you may also find it helpful to use pens or highlighters to indicate the most important ideas right in your textbooks or notes.
Most of us have been there. You feel like you have plenty of time before your next exam and do nothing to revise the class notes, and when you finally get to the test prep, it is already too late, so you are trying to cram everything in a single night. We bet that most of you have done this at least once. But, this is, in fact, counter-effective.
If you want to improve your memory, you have to avoid cramming. Our brain needs time to process and organize all the data it receives. As you can guess, it takes time. But, when you start cramming, your brain doesn’t have the time it needs to adequately process the data, so you get the opposite result.
If you have never used them before, flashcards are small notes designed as cards that typically have a question or hint on one side, and the answer on the other side. For decades, such cards have been widely used for testing one’s knowledge and improving information retention. And they can be very effective, especially when it comes to getting ready for tests.
You can make flashcards yourself. Or, if you don’t want to waste your time on it, there are plenty of ready-made sets of flashcards for various subjects that you can find on the web. And there are also many cool apps with flashcards.
Read Everything Aloud
Numerous studies have shown that reading out loud can significantly improve one’s memory. The thing is that when we are reading something out loud, our brains tend to get more concentrated and perceive the given material better. What is more, if you are the type of person who better remembers the info you hear, this technique will be even more effective for you.
Pay Attention to Your Sleep
The last tip on our list can actually surprise some of you. But, it’s true - sleep is vital for learning and brain function. Numerous studies have confirmed that taking even a small power nap after the study session can help you learn the material faster and remember it better.
Apart from this technique, be sure to pay attention to your sleep in general. Scientists claim that sleeping is crucial for our brain function. That is, a well-rested person will generally study better than someone who is sleep-deprived.
Having troubles with long-term or short-term memory can really get in your way to success not only in school and college but throughout the rest of your life. Therefore, if you were noticing that you find it hard to retain information, it is vital to start taking real actions to change this.
Luckily, after reading this article you have an actionable plan that can help you improve your memory quickly and easily. Use the tips and techniques we discussed here to ensure better retention of information and achieve better results today, tomorrow, and always!