Memorization Techniques for Students

Everyone’s had an awkward moment involving forgetting something at a bad time, whether in an exam or at the office. It can be difficult to remember something in a short term.

Real fact is that there are many more things we need to pay attention to in life today than there was even 10 years ago. In fact, we are now expected to remember, learn, and instantly recall nearly 100 more pieces of data per day than what our grandparents did 100 years ago.

Here are some ways to improve your memory of facts without complex and obscure pneumonic or special drugs.

Rote method and memorize through repetition:

Although rote learning doesn’t have a great reputation among educators for long-term data retention, it’s a fairly effective way to retain facts and figures in the short term for tests and exams.

Rote learning means learning through repetition. You probably learned the letters of the alphabet through repetition in combination with a catchy rhyming song. Schools still teach certain information using rote memorization.

When short-term data retention is your primary goal, rote memorization can be an effective memorizing technique. However, its repetitive nature and lack of analysis makes it an ineffective way to learn complex and detailed subjects.

For example, if words are to be learned, they may be repeatedly spoken aloud or repeatedly written down. Specialized forms of rote learning have also been used in Vedic chant since as long as three thousand years ago, to preserve the intonation and lexical accuracy of very long texts, some with tens of thousands of verses.

Visualization & Mind mapping technique:

A step up from a Method of Loci, visualization creates images and sequences around certain objects. Meditation often uses visualization and the unconscious way the mind is able to process information.

Mind maps are wonderful tools for retaining information. Since it’s often difficult to memorize information when it’s presented as a ‘wall of text,’ mind maps break down complex subjects into easily distinguishable visual categories. For example, Accounting could split into finance, day-to-day bookkeeping, equity, and other important subcategories.

Hand-writing of notes and assignments:

Students who hand-writing their notes and assignments are able to remember as much as 80% more of the information than those who use electronic devices. Hand-writing stimulates a portion of the brain that incorporates the physical, auditory, and intelligible parts of our learning processes. The combination provides more memory enhancements than other techniques.

In areas where final revisions are more common, most students are expected to re-write their notes at the end of the year and organize the information. The act of re-writing is a memory technique.

Learn through practical exercises:

Sometimes, the best way to remember information is through practice.  It’s often a lot easier to demonstrate and practice than to read, study, and memorize.

Practical learning is particularly helpful for hands-on topics like web development and mechanical engineering. For example, it’s easier to learn HTML tags by building a simple website than by learning a list of common tags by rote memorization.

Learn by Mistake:

For some people, purposely making a mistake and attaching the emotion of the mistake to the wrong answer can lead to remembering the right answer. The negative emotion is a stronger trigger than the praise for getting it right. Children who are in abusive homes or driven to perfectionism often utilize this technique.

This works well for choosing one of just a few answers, such as using baking soda rather than baking powder. It’s not a useful technique for things like names.

Learn by doing repeatedly:

Most people are able to learn a new skill by repeatedly doing something over and over. These people are physical learners. Sports, martial arts, music, and drawing are learned by repetition by doing.

This is a skill employed by most workplaces. The workforce teaches people by demonstration, then allows the person to repeat it. For most people, this is acceptable. But, if you are of a learning type that is more introspective, this is very distracting.

Learn by repeated listening:

Some people are able to learn by listening to something repeatedly. These people are auditory learner. Often times, learning a language is repetition by listening. Lectures, audio books, and sermons are attractive to people who learn in this manner.

One of the best ways to learn through listening is by recording spoken notes of the key points you learn from reading.

Use of flashcards method:

Mastering a new language is difficult, trying to memorize words and phrases in a new language especially if it has little in common with your native language or other languages you already speak.

One of the best ways to memorize words and characters is by using flashcards. Start with between five and ten characters, and test your memory by displaying them in a random order using real flashcards or a smart phone app.

Learn by maintenance rehearsal:

Maintenance rehearsal (a method of learning through repetition, similar to rote learning) can be useful for memorizing information for a short period of time, studies have shown that elaborative rehearsal, which is a means of relating new material with old information in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the content, is a more efficient means of improving memory.

This can be explained by the levels-of-processing model of memory which states that the more in-depth encoding a person undergoes while learning new material by associating it with memories already known to the person, the more likely they are to remember the information later.

Memorization by chunking method:

Another useful way to improve memorization is to use chunking, a method in which a person categorizes the information they are trying to memorize into groups. For example, a person wishing to memorize a long sequence of numbers can break the sequence up into chunks of three, allowing them to remember more of the numbers.

Similarly, this is how we often memorize telephone numbers, by breaking them up into the three sections: an area code, followed by a three-digit number and then a four-digit number. If a list of words is to be memorized, using chunking, the words could be broken up into groups based on their starting letter or based on their category (ex: Months of the year, types of food, etc.).

Sleeping after you learn:

 Studies have shown that when we sleep for 15 minutes after learning a complex topic, our brains review and relearn the topic in our sleep. Additionally, that topic has neural connections that solidify 50% quicker than when you don’t sleep.

This only works when the study period is well attended and you aren’t falling asleep reading it or in class. This is also the one of the few natural memory enhancers that we all can do without turning to a supplement, drug, or other artificial means.

Increase memory by walking:

Studies show that the act of walking increases memory formation by 25%. The motion allows parts of our brains that are idle during resting study to activate. The ability to unconsciously walk allows the conscious mind to focus more on the task to be learned.

Children with ADHD benefit from this technique because it also helps to expend nervous energy while studying. A study on Alzheimer’s patients also found physical activity works to slow the memory loss processes. It’s one of the ways to prevent memory loss, or learning how to increase your working memory.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopment disorder that can affect your child’s success at school as well as their relationships.

Conclusion:

Memory improvement tips are good, but don’t try all of these at once. One or two are enough to increase your particular way of learning. All the memorization technique mentioned above won’t suite the same person, go by the process that you are comfortable with or gives you the necessary result.  Memorizing strategies is a process in order to build easy, go-to techniques. Like any other skill, it takes practice and dedication.

If all else fails, there are several apps to improve memory available online. Some are free, most are paid for. Many allow multiple reminders and repetitive reminders. But don’t give up. Some people will not be able to remember some aspects of information. That’s OK. These and other external aids will improve your life if you use them.

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Some study methods to help you achieve…

It’s never too early – or too late – for students to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study method, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve. Students who follow these methods learn more easily, retain material for longer periods of time, and save themselves hours of study time. Here are some study methods that will help you in your studies:

A study schedule is must.

Prepare a study timetable setting aside certain hours of each day for study just as you do for nourishment and sleep. Follow the same schedule faithfully every day. The amount of time needed for study will vary for each individual based on skills with the subject matter.

Early in the year an hour or two a night might be enough to stay on the mark. Later in the year you might need to study more each day. This helps you understand things and get well prepared for your exams. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming before going for your exams.

Right place and time.

Everyone has their own idea about the best place and time to study. If concentration is your problem, then the right surroundings will help you greatly. Your study desk or table should be in a quiet place – free from as many distractions as possible. It should make you feel happy and inspired.

You will concentrate better when you study in the same place every day. It’s a mind set. Some students can study better in the morning while others better at night. Work out which time suits you and plan to study then. Don’t study much later than your usual bedtime – pushing yourself late at night can make you too tired to study properly.

Developing the habit of studying in the same place at the same time everyday will improve your concentration.

Properly equipped study place.

Apart from your books & copies your study desk or table should be equipped with all the materials you might need to complete the assignment, e.g., pencils, pens, erasers, paper clips, stapler, dictionary, liquid refreshments, etc. Sometimes you may require a calculator or other supplies for some assignments. With your materials at hand, you can study without interruption. If you have a desktop Computer or laptop beside your study desk it would be an advantage during your study time.

You will require snack food and drinks during study breaks. So if it is available at the study location then it will eliminate those endless trips to the kitchen which break your concentration.

Manage your time effectively.

It is very necessary to have your study program to effectively get in motion so that you can make the most of your study time.

You should set alarms to remind you about your study timetable. A regular reminder keeps you honest and your course of action on track.

Your study timetable, calendar or wall planner should be properly placed up so you can see it whenever you’re studying. Important dates, like exams and assignment due dates should be marked.

At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the start of each study session too, so that you’re clear about what you need to be doing with your time.

Your Learning process.

We all have our preferred way of learning. Here are some processes you can follow.

If you do best by hearing things, and can retain information that comes to you orally, you’re probably an auditory learner. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. Teaching the information to someone else is one of the best ways to learn. Draw diagrams/graphs, write out explanations, and teach concepts to each other to help each of you better remember them.

You can use verbal and listening repetition to help you remember the order of things.

Record yourself saying what needs to be memorized once, then play it back to yourself while you sleep. The repetition in your sleep can help you to reinforce concepts you have already consciously acquired.

If you are permitted to taping lectures then it help you to get your missed notes and also to hear the information presented again for a second or third time. This will be enough to cause the information to stick to your memory without much more effort.

Some of you might prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You can also try to remember some ideas as images.

Highlight important points while studying.

While studying look for important points or key words depending on what you have to memorize, highlight them, remember them, and then try to memorize the rest. If reading online PDFs, make use of the highlighting function for key points. This helps you to memories, as well as fast recovery of information when searching through the document again.

Revise again & again.

At least once a week you should go back over the notes you’ve studied in earlier. Revising things over again can help you to understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most.

Frequently write and rewrite the notes. When you go to your note board, look at an item, rewrite it and replace the existing one. If you are having particular difficulty with one of the existing notes, take the old note and put it somewhere else, where you will see it more often. Replace that one occasionally, too. This way you learn it all twice, once when you make the study materials or notes and once when you use them to revise. In case of mathematics practice again and again to bring it to perfection.

Get a friend or family member to examine you on key concepts. Offer to help your friends with their work too. Quizzing are great ways to get confident about what you know and find out what you still need to learn.

Breaks and refreshment.

It’s important to take breaks while you’re studying, especially if you’re feeling tired or frustrated. Working too long on a task can actually decrease your performance.

When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk or study space. A bit of physical activity – even just a walk around the block – can sometimes help you to look at a problem in a different way and could even help you to solve it.

Always stay motivated.

When you’re studying it helps to keep in mind your reasons for doing all this hard work, like a course or career you’re working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals.

You could also decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire and family members you want to make proud of you.

Take care of yourself.

The most important thing is that you will study better and perform your best only if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and physical exercise. Don’t take too many sugary or fatty snacks or push yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to make sure you drink lots of water when you’re studying.

If you put forth the effort to study effectively, the improved skills will soon become a habit and be just as natural as breathing. The result can be better grades, greater knowledge, and higher self-esteem. These skills will also serve you well in your professional and personal life. Your motto should be, “I’m responsible for my success!”

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How to Choose a Career

Most people have a level of uncertainty on where to get help in how to choose a career and career guidance. There are 3 basic steps that a person can take to help them with the question of How to Choose a Career. Listed below are several suggestions to help you choose a career. These steps are especially helpful for students as they develop a career plan.

Steps in Choosing a Career

Step One

Figure out where your career interests are by asking yourself:

  • Where do my interests lie?
  • What do I do well and enjoy?
  • What kind of personality do I have?
  • What’s really important to me?
  • What are my values?

Take any career-related tests your college’s career center might offer, or take an on-line career assessment to help you figure out how to choose a career. Draw on your own life experiences on jobs, classes or other opportunities that you may have particularly enjoyed. Remember, this is very personal and is all about you! Choosing a career can be very satisfying with the right help.

Step Two

Learn about your career options. Rarely do you have the opportunity to take a class in college that shows you what the work world as it actually exists. You have to take the initiative to explore it yourself. See if your college’s career office has a library of books describing different kinds of work, the typical qualifications needed and the salary ranges for various occupations. Your college’s career counselors should be able to help. Also, talk to people through informational interviews, and try out careers by shadowing and taking internships or part-time jobs. The more career planning that you can do as a student, the better prepared you will be when you start to look for your first job.

Step Three

A third part of how to choose a career is to sort out your priorities for a career. After you’ve spent time on steps one and two, some of your strong preferences may start to emerge. You might learn you don’t want to be in an office environment. Or you might find that your interest in art wouldn’t sustain a career, so you cross those types of jobs off your list. Whatever it is that you learn about yourself, you’re making important discoveries that will help you choose a good career when the time comes. This is a major component of career planning for students.

Most importantly, keep it all in perspective: You don’t have to live forever with any career decision you make in these phases of student career planning. Most people change careers several times during their lives, so the first job you choose right after college probably won’t be your career 15 or 20 years from now — unless you want it to be. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make the perfect decision, and always keep your eyes open, and use all available resources in your journey to find how to choose a career.

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4 ways to improve focus and memory

Normal aging leads to gradual changes in many skills associated with thinking and memory. For example, you might find it harder to focus your attention and absorb information quickly. The slowdown in processing can lead to a bottleneck of information entering your short-term memory, reducing the amount of information that can be acquired and encoded into long-term memory.

By age 60, more than half of adults have concerns about their memory. However, minor memory lapses that occur with age are not usually signs of a serious problem, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but rather the result of normal changes in the structure and function of the brain.

But the following 4 strategies can help enhance your focus and ability to attend to the information presented to you:

  1. When someone is talking to you, look at the person and listen closely. If you missed something that was said, ask the person to repeat it or to speak more slowly.
  2. Paraphrase what is said to make sure that you understand it and to reinforce the information. For example, if someone says, “We can see the movie either at Sunflower Theater at7:30 or at the Paramount at 7:50,” you might respond, “Which would you prefer, 7:30 at Sunflower or 7:50 at the Paramount?”
  3. If you find that you tend to become distracted during conversations, try getting together with people in quiet environments. For example, you could suggest meeting at someone’s home instead of at a noisy restaurant. When you do meet people at a restaurant, sit at a table near a wall. If your companions sit against the wall and you sit facing them, you’ll be able to focus on them without having your attention wander to other diner.
  4. You can improve your ability to focus on a task and screen out distractions if you do one thing at a time. Try to avoid interruptions. For example, if someone asks you something while you’re in the middle of reading or working, ask if the person can wait until you’re finished. Don’t answer the phone until you’ve finished what you’re doing — let voice mail take the call.
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