Memory Is a Keystone for a Student’s Success. It Works in Your Favor if You Know How to Use It Like a Charm.
Aluxers, how to remember things? Have this question ever made you so desperate that you’ve slept with your textbook under your pillow?
We’ve all been there at least once. Sadly, it doesn’t work – but today we’ve got 15 proven methods that do.
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Aren’t you already reading enough text to memorize? You can forget about this long read and switch out to the video version of this article:
With that out of the memory, let’s check out the first technique in today’s list.
The University of California published a study that said in 1964 – the average student studied around 24-hours a week, compared to today where students study an average of 14-hours a week.
Perhaps it’s the study methods that are being used today, such as this one known as the Retrieval Practice.
Retrieval means recalling. This method relies on the student’s ability to recall the information when needed. Using the retrieval method, student’s grades increased by a whole grade plus.
Aluxers, if you’re a competitive athlete, you’re not going to prepare for a race by reading about your chosen sport. You’ll be out on the track several hours a day, practicing, figuring out where you went wrong, working on how to improve your stride, your jump, your swim… whatever discipline you’re in.
Same goes for studying. You’re not going to excel by just reading through your notes. You need to practice remembering information. And there are so many ways to do this, which we’ll delve further into in this video.
Use the Chaining Technique
Another way to describe this method would be linking.
If we were to give you a list of 5 words – let’s say:
And within seconds of saying those words, we ask you to repeat them… chances are you will forget at least one of those words.
But if we link them up like this:
Today I got an incredible book about cheese at the bookstore. It reminded me of my friend, who’s a doctor, who always had to eat cheese with a tissue handy, because it gave her a runny nose.
Which of the scenarios are you more likely to remember? We are sure it would be doctor with the runny nose!
If you can link or chain your information together, your recall will be so much better than just trying to remember random words.
Create Mental Associations
French philosopher, mystic, and political activist Simone Weil once said, “The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running.”
And Aluxers, when you put these methods into practice, you will find that studying does become a joy especially when you’re reaping the benefits of great marks.
Mental associations or learning by association is super powerful in the studying process. We don’t need to go into Pavlov’s ringing of the bell scenario again, because by now you already know the success he had by just ringing a bell.
But when it comes to you and your studying, you could create a reward for learning a section of work. A basic example, you award yourself with an Alux video when you’ve completed a portion of work. Well worth it, isn’t it Aluxers?
The Memory Palace
“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last.” If you love Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series, you’ll no doubt know that Holmes like to use his “mind palace” to remember pretty much everything.
It’s said to be the most powerful mnemonic device ever created. Mnemonic being a system made up of associations, letters, or ideas – anything that helps you to remember something.
Roman legend suggests the Memory Palace theory was invented by Simonides of CEOs roughly 2,500-years ago.
We know places well, like our home. We know the sounds, textures, objects, and smells. Now, associate your study notes with those places. If you follow the same route through your house, you’ll easily retain the information you need for your studies.
Use the Leitner System
This method involves repetition, but with a twist. It works with a card system whereby you answer questions about work that you’ve learnt. You have 4 boxes, labelled 1 to 3.
Write down the questions you would need to answer in an exam and place them all into box 1.
Start questioning yourself and when you get the answer correct, you place that card into box 2. If you get it wrong, you study it again and place it at the back of box 1. Do that until all your cards are done.
Then begin with box 2 and ask yourself the same questions. If you still get them right, you place them into box 3. Then you start on box 1 and you continue this process until all your cards are in box 3.
Aluxers, let us paint a picture for you. If you have a library in your home and you keep adding and adding new books, but don’t keep them organized. Eventually your books will collapse under their weight and your library will be a complete wreck. It’s the same with learning. If we keep cramming information into our brains, it’s just going to be a huge muddle of facts with no clear organization or system, making it difficult to retrieve the correct information.
The solution is simple. Space out your studying. Introduce time intervals between your study sessions, which will help you remember more.
Also known as the spacing effect, this method is said to be excellent for our brains to learn more effectively.
Stick to the Basics
As basic as what this sounds, so many students forget what makes them function at their optimal best.
– Sleep – and we don’t mean a few minutes here and there. We mean a solid night’s sleep.
– Eating healthily
Get into a routine of doing these daily so your body isn’t undergoing significant changes just before exams. You don’t want to shock your body the moment it starts getting a big fat dose of healthy living!
Its name says it all, but to explain it briefly… we have much better recollection of things that we are able to visualise.
This technique is not only great for studying, but it’s also a great way to boost your memory in your day-to-day life. If you need to remember to stop at the dry cleaners after work, you can visualise the journey you’re going to take on the way home.
You know that after you reach Waitrose, you need to take a sharp right to pick up your outfit, and then you’re taking the side streets back to your apartment. You can use this method for anything you need to remember.
Alternatively, you could use the age-old trusted method of writing on the back of your hand with a pen… except that will be considered cheating if you’re in an exam situation… best not to risk it, even if your hand says, milk, eggs and cheese!
Apply Repetition to Cumulative Memorization
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.” A more apt quote would be hard to find – because this video is here to show you that you can still learn and learn well regardless of your age.
With this method, you basically learn a line of text parrot fashion. And then you keep adding lines to the text, ensuring that the information doesn’t just stay in your short-term memory, but is just waiting to be regurgitated when you write your exam.
The trick is, you can’t add a line until you’ve memorized the first one. If you speak the lines out, you’re incorporating both visual and auditory learning practices.
Expression Mnemonics or Acronyms
Alux – Always loving uplifting xylophones… Ok, perhaps the word Alux doesn’t provide the best acronyms, but you get the gist.
Music lessons, for example, use EGBDF (the treble clef) by using the acronym, Every Good Boy Does Fine.” Not the finest English, but it serves a purpose.
Now repurpose this method and use it to remember your work.
Mnemonics takes it further and uses songs, melodies, rhymes or poems – whatever works best for you! One method of study may serve you well but does nothing for the person sitting next to you. Try them all on for size and use the one that fits.
Forget and Remember With Retrieval
This twist on the retrieval method involves you remembering what you learnt, but not reciting it parrot fashion. In fact, the method works best if you’ve forgotten something and you take the time to figure out for yourself, without looking at your book, what it is you forgot.
This method is said to make the retrieval process much easier when you’re physically sitting down to write your paper.
As we said, you need to find the method that works for you.
Switch up Your Environment
Aluxers, this is so important. If you’re staring at the same wall day in and day out while studying, you are going to literally bore yourself to death and be so uninspired that you just can’t seem to learn properly.
Switch it up.
Take your study notes to a coffee shop, head out into the garden or just go to a friend’s house. The change in environment will get your brain into gear again and inspire you to remain focused on the work in front of you.
Enough about the past! Isn’t that what memory is about? Let’s look into the future. Check out 15 Necessary Skills for Students in the 21st Century.
Flashcards Are Not for Just for Children!
Paper flashcards have been around since the 19th century. They were used in 1834 with “Reading Disentangled,” and were phonics flashcards created by Favell Lee Mortimer who was an English teacher.
Here’s why flash cards are an effective and useful addition to your studies.
– They’re a quick way to check whether you got an answer right or wrong.
– They enable active recall.
– They allow you to repeat work until you’ve memorized and understood it.
– You can draw diagrams onto the flash cards to enhance the study experience.
– You can take them with you wherever you go.
So, give them a try as an addition to what you already have, and you could be jumping an entire grade during your next exam.
Cross Lateral Movement
This interesting concept gets both sides of your brain working together. It involves some simple exercises to do before you start studying.
The simplest way to do this is as following:
Use your right hand to touch your left knee. Repeat on the other side. Do these 15- 20 times before you start studying, and it will help you retain information like a boss!
Don’t Subconsciously Sabotage Yourself From Remembering
Aluxers, this is key when you know you must put in the effort to study. Ultimately, you know you want to do well, and that’s half the battle won. But where you fall short is you tell yourself things like, “I’m going to fail,” “I’m too stupid to remember all this information,” “I’m such a failure,” or “I can’t do this.”
By saying these negative things to yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure. See yourself writing the paper and doing well, put in the effort and we guarantee, the reward will follow.
What study method has worked well for you, Aluxers? We value your input in the comments below.