Memory is an important tool for understanding, reflecting, producing, reprocessing, various tasks most important of which is in one’s studies/ examination.
Sometimes when we go from our room to the kitchen with some intention we forget why we came to the kitchen in the first place. This probably has happened to most of us. Thankfully new research has enabled us to better learn and memorize terms.
Here are 10 hacks to enable you to memorize better:
1. Learning only what is important: our memory works in a way that it rejects some information and absorbs mostly which we produce or process. Hence underlining/highlighting can reduce mental effort to recognize what is important.
2. Spaced repetition: Spaced Repetition is a hack which can be used to acquire a lot of information and keep it retained in your long-term memory bank. How it works is as follows:
· Read a topic once
· Then revise it after 2 hours of learning/reading.
· Then revise it the next day. (24 hours)
· After a week.
· After a month.
3. Memory works best with associations: Memory works best with an association. If you are learning anything to remember to try to associate with whatever you have learned in past. This automatically reduces mental effort to remember something.
4. Auditory and Visual learning: Reading is not the only way one can absorb or remember. One can listen to information and imbibe It, for example in classrooms teachers often use visual aids to help remember. One can see informative videos or listen to information in form of audiobooks. Psychological research has proved that in some individuals the capacity for visual/auditory learning dominates over reading.
5. Take breaks: Research has shown that breaks improve memory formations. However, should be no more then 10 mins at a time. Above that will qualify for procrastination or time wastage. These breaks should be taken in between learning process.
6. Make notes: This is very important and a classic one. We have heard our parents/ teachers saying, ‘read and write’. But none of them ever explained why writing was important. When writing we are reprocessing and reproducing information this strengthens synapses in our brain. Writing something in your own words helps in retaining vital information.
7. Rehearsal: It is one of the best ways to remember something is trying to remember when going for a walk. This works on the principle of recalling where it strengthens our syntactical connections whereby it becomes easy to remember.
8. Understanding: Rote learning is based on repetition without understanding the text/information and is, therefore, an ineffective way to learn. Research has shown that understanding what we learn on a deeper level can reduce our time memorizing something. Hence understanding is key to memorizing.
9. Memory palace: This is one of the most effective techniques and a time-tested one. This technique has been used by competitors in World Memory Championship. In this one places information in his “palace”, this palace can be anything in one’s mind example his house, a place, room or it can be a series of events.
How to use memory palace? For example, if one must learn the names of all the major oceans of the world. One can associate his/her drawing room with the Pacific Ocean, corridor with the Atlantic Ocean, rooms with Antarctic and Arctic ocean. This way when one visits his drawing room which is biggest of all rooms will be the Pacific Ocean, the corridor would constitute figuratively Atlantic Ocean and rooms which both on top and bottom be the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.
10. Mnemonics: Its always easier to create meaningful acronyms. This improves recollection. This can essentially help to memorize facts and figures (data which is hard to associate).
These hacks can better enable you to work, process – reprocess information and produce information during exam time. They also have less mental strain and will reduce working hours at the same time improving one’s productivity.