Don’t you just love it when science comes right out and verifies what we already know!
According to research (and to those of us who have already been doing it) each of the following will improve your recall by 10%. I wonder what you could achieve if you did all 4…
The brain is particularly predisposed to thinking in pictures, so make sure, when you are writing your revision notes, that you write as few words as possible, and concentrate instead on representing the ideas your learning with clear:
particularly focusing on using colour to group similar ideas together and keep them separate from the others.
In order to do so, you might ask yourself one of the following questions:
- How can I simplify this idea to apply to other areas of study or life in general?
- What does it remind me of?
- What else follows a similar pattern?
- How can I use this information in my life?
Ironically, the more difficult it is to drag information from the depths of your brain, into your conscious awareness, the stronger those connections become, and the easier you will find recalling it the next time.
So remember, no matter how hard it feels, it’s the process of trying to remember something that makes that memory stronger. So don’t give up when it feels too hard. And don’t despair if you need to check your notes for the information you forgot. Your effort will still help you to learn anyway.
Amazingly, it doesn’t matter whether you speak out loud, or simply mouth the words, so when you have created your revision notes, strengthen the connections of those memories, by:
- Closing your eyes and seeing your notes in your mind’s-eye
- Drawing your notes in the air with your finger while
- Saying the words out loud (or simply mouth them)
Give these ideas a go, and in the spirit of further research, do report back on your findings!
I am 83 years old (young) and realise my memory is not as good as I would like – it’s fading like the rest of me but I find these memory tips help, particularly the association link. If I can think of an amusing or silly association this is best. I also use the alphabet to ‘suggest’ the first letter and this sometimes helps but the visual works best for me.
That’s exactly right, Denis. You’re already using strategies that we know help us to remember stuff. We’ve all got such a lot to distract us, it makes sense to help ourselves. Congratulations for being so resourceful!
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