It can be very annoying when we students discovered that we have forgotten most of the things we studied before an examination. The reason why we forget is usually because the information has not been properly stored in our long term memory.
The brain stores information in the short-term memory before it is moved to the long-term memory. This depends on how much the information is repeated, rehearsed or mainted actively.
The long term memory is where we has students must aim to store information because the information barely lasts seconds. Here are some tips to help you store information better in the long term memory.
20 tips to improve your memory for study.
1) Create a study space:
It would be really helpful for you to create a space where you study. It’s advisable to not study on the bed because your brain has registered your bed and pillow as items of sleeping. That means lying on the bed while reading would only send a message to your brain to sleep.
It’s important for you to have a study table, a chair and a lamp if you don’t own one. When we sit uprightly, our brain tends to focus more.
Also using a lamp everytime you read is good for your eyes. When this becomes an habit, the brain understands that table and the position is for studying.
If you notice that you feel really dull or you don’t feel agile, you can do a few exercises to make you feel active again. You can even take a walk with friends. ( my friends and I do this a lot on campus.)
If you are home alone, try running on a spot. Make sure you don’t over do it. Make sure you don’t get too tired that you would want to sleep off.
Exercising before study is good because it powers up your brain and prepares it for activity.
Just in case you don’t know how to meditate, here’s a link to get you started. https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/
Meditation helps you clear baggages from relationships,money or family. It also helps you clear your mind from other activities going on around.
Research shows that meditation helps to improve focus, concentration and it improves people’s health. You need to focus while studying to make sure the information is saved in the long term memory.
You really can’t get much studying done on an empty stomach so you must eat before reading. At the same time, eating a lot of food can make you sleepy, uncomfortable and unable to focus or study.
Here’s a list of food items that boost memory;
Fatty fish,Coffee,Dark chocolates or cocoa powder, Fruits and vegetables
Here’s a link to an article which explains them better https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-brain-foods#section2
Also there are certain things we consume that destroys our brain power slowly;
Nicotine, alcohol,Fried food,Junk food
Here’s a link to an article which explains better
5) Drink a lot of water:
Water does a lot for the brain since the brain is made up about of 55% to 65% water. Research has shown that drinking water aids study because water aids concentration and cognition.
Next time you study, make sure you drink enough water.
6) Be focused:
Inorder to make sure that information is being stored in your long term memory, you must pay full attention to your study and avoid distractions. You might not be able to get much studying done in a noisy environment so it is advisable to study in a quiet one.
The more difficult the topic, the more focused you should be.
7) Don’t cram:
Seriously don’t cram. Cramming is another word for stuffing a ridiculously large amount of information in your brain within a short period of time. This means most of it would end up in your short term memory.
Some people are really good at cramming but it’s totally not advisable. Studying is much more better. Don’t pressure your brain, start studying early.
8) Organize the information:
To make my brain absorb and retain more information, I try to arrange and give the information structure. I put similar concepts side by side and I try to relate them with each other.
You can even relate similar events, names or numbers. This organization helps your brain to comprehend the information and store it properly.
9) Detailing and questioning:
This method is very helpful because most times the reason why we don’t understand a topic is because certain parts are unclear. What is why I ask myself questions on topics I find hard.
Questions like “what don’t I understand? Or what am I missing?” After writing down this things I am an to find more information and create more detailed notes.
Seeing the concept as a puzzle whose pieces you have to find and arrange will help you understand and comprehend more. You can use Google or Youtube to find more information on the concept you want to understand.
Most students make the mistake of believing that their teacher’s notes is enough to help them understand concepts.
The teacher’s note is more or less a summary of different textbooks or lesson books which means it’s possible for important information to be left behind. This why it is advisable to look for more information to create a detailed note.
10) Visualize the information:
In order to store the information properly, you can use diagrams, patterns or arrows. I find that this method helps because the brain is able to process and store visuals more than words.
Notice that it is easier to remember movies than it is to remember what your teacher writes on the board.
You can even use flashcards, highlighters or different coloured pens to illustrate and organize similar and different ideas.
While you are in the exam hall, it will be easier to picture to diagrams and remember the answers.
11) Use all your senses:
Besides using your eyes, try to use your remaining 4 sense organs. If the information is something related to taste, try to imagine the taste.
You can even imagine that someone famous is discussing the topic with you.
Trying to code in the information using all your senses will help you store it faster in your long term memory.
12) create mind maps:
I like to link different pieces of information together in my head and it works.
Say you have been taught a concept and you realize you have seen something similar in a movie, you can create a mental link to store up the information.
You can even link the lyrics of a song with a concept from school.
That way anytime you hear the lyrics you remember the information. You can link two lecturer’s explanation together if they are similar.
13) Read out loud or teach others:
Research has shown that reading out loud helps you retain information.
Teaching people what you have learnt also helps you remember what you have studied because you would easily note the parts you don’t understand well.
You can easily find a way to understand inorder to make your brain store the information in your long term memory.
The more you repeat something, the easier it is to remember how to do it.
You can repeat a concept by reading it over and over again or through reading multiple times.
Practicalizing also helps you remember easily
15) Use mnemonics:
Using abbreviations can help you remember a lot within a short period of time.
You can even form music lyrics and create rhymes or use humor to encode information into your long term memory.
16) Use storyline:
This is one of my favorite methods mostly because I love writing stories. I use important points from the topic I’m reading as major parts of the story.
Its always easier for me to remember answers in the exam hall using this method.
17) Attach emotion:
It’s easier to remember lessons we learn through pain or frustration. While solving questions during your study session, take note of how some questions make you feel.
Some may scare you, some may frustrate you, note the answers. You would be surprised by how easily you would remember during the examination.
18) Group study:
This method is tricky because not everyone learns well in groups.
Make sure that you have studied the topic before hand and then it would be easier studying it again with a group .
It would help you retain more information.
19) Practice questions:
Solve as many questions as possible, this helps you remember more. Set questions for yourself by thinking like your teacher.
20) Sleep well:
For you to remember a lot of things, you must sleep well. Sleep is a prerequisite for good memory.
Make sure that you don’t stay awake all through before an exam.
It takes time to store information in the long term memory, it’s best to create a study schedule inorder to manage time and memorize more. Don’t cheat the process by cramming.
I hope you found this tips helpful. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.