Unfortunately, we only retain so much through reading. In learning how to study effectively, increasing your ability to retain information is key to improving your grades. In this article, you will find memorization techniques, strategies for learning, concentration techniques, and mind mapping examples. In sum, studying calls for information integration rather than simply storing raw data in your brain. Although we still think of our brain as a hard drive connected to higher processes; it’s nothing like it. Continue reading to find out about the techniques that worked for me to increase my memory power.
1. Pay attention
To register and retain information, you need to pay attention to it. While your senses are capturing information 24h/7; your brain is trying to concentrate and organize specific elements of knowledge. To help this process, avoid all distractions, multitasking, and favour tidy environments. It’s now a good time to clean your room and your desk.
A good concentration technique would be to listen to non-lyrical music, use a ruler or your finger to point as you read through your textbook, and avoid social media as much as possible. You might want to turn them off during study periods.
2. Repetition – Rehearsing
The more natural of all memorization techniques has to do with repetition. Have you ever tried to remember a phone number? How did you do it? Most people will repeat it over-and-over until they remember it automatically. Some will memorize it by manually composing it over-and-over. Repetition is a natural learning strategy.
Moreover, spreading study sessions across your exam preparation increases your chances to go over the same material over-and-over. In addition, it gives your brain more time to connect bits and pieces of the material together. Find other ways to repeat the material by using your personal experience, images, sounds, movies, and so on. Then, copy your notes, paraphrase them, or have a discussion about them with your peers, teachers, or parents. In sum, rehearsing information, repeating it over-and-over is the easiest way how to increase memory power.
3. Organize it
The brain has a natural tendency to organize information. To help this process, use courses syllabus, outlines, keywords, or mind mapping to organize your material. To prepare for essay questions, design outlines to pre-organize your short or long essays. Here, you can find an example of an outline I would use for my academic essays. Verify this with your teachers before writing exams. The following is a mind mapping example.
4. Use mnemonic devices
Mnemonic devices are great memorization techniques. Because our brain prefers organized information to mismatched concepts, using mnemonic devices is a good way how to increase memory power. Simply assemble the first letter of each significant word in a given concept. Then, order the letters to form a meaningful sentence. Remembering a sentence is much easier than a whole concept.
Example: Great Lakes
The names of the Great Lakes are: Superior, Michigan, Erie, Ontario. You can remember the order from west to east with the following:
Super Man Helps Every One.
Using mnemonic devices is also a way how to study effectively when summarizing articles. Use this study technique after each paragraph or module to encompass its whole meaning in one single sentence.
5. Connect it
Mind mapping allows you to visually chart significant concepts. Taken a step further, each unit may be expanded by linking new knowledge to which you already know. Use other classes or personal experience to relate to new notions. Doing it visually through mind mapping will ease learning and reviewing before writing exams. Learn about free mind mapping software available online.
To conclude, stop storing and start integrating information as a way to study effectively.
I hope the tips are helpful! Good Luck!