Memorizing is important at all stages of studying in college, but it is most important at the beginning of a program as each subject has its own body of core knowledge. Students are always saying that they have too much to memorize. Much of your ability to remember comes down to skill. By learning techniques that help you concentrate and organize information, you can improve your memory. However, it will take time and effort on your part to learn and master these skills.
Memory Techniques and Strategies
- Putting it all together. Organizing information can significantly improve memory. Some ways of doing this include using outlines, idea webs, learning things in a particular order, or making intentional connections between ideas.
- Making mental paths. To do that, consider how the material relates to you and your life or group the information into similar ideas and concepts.
- Active learning. Use more than one of the senses when learning new information.
- Talk it out. When trying to memorize something, recite the information aloud.
- Visualize yourself teaching the material. It is a great way to master the information.
- Use mnemonic techniques and other memory tricks.
Mnemonic techniques are more specific memory aids. Although it can be easier to remember those things that you understand well, sometimes you must rely on rote memory. Try using the following techniques.
Make acronyms from the first letters of words. This is useful when remembering words in a specified order. However, sometimes it is difficult to form acronyms. Not all lists of words lend themselves well to this technique.
Rhymes and Songs
Use rhythm, repetition, and melody to remember important information. Even the simple addition of a familiar rhythm and melody can help. For instance, do you remember learning the alphabet? Children learn the letters of the alphabet to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Try using this technique when memorizing formulas.
To remember items or details, create a story in your mind. Try to see and imagine what you are reading. This technique is particularly effective for visual learners who like to picture in their minds what they are learning.
Lifestyle Factors on Memory
Do you know that your lifestyle influences your memory? By making small changes in the way you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to make significant improvements to your memory.
- Sleep. Sleep is very important as it performs two important functions in relationship to memory; it consolidates memories and recovers memories.
- Diet. A well-balanced diet is important for a healthy mind and body. So, eat well to perform well. Food is fuel for your brain; that’s why you should eat healthy food to have a good memory.
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