Study Skills - Tips on Improving Your Memory
Forgetting is a natural process, with the greatest losses occurring within the first 24 hours of learning. After one day you will forget 46% of what you read, 79% after 14 days, and 81% after 28 days. Clearly, it is essential to review readings and lecture notes within one or two days of initial exposure, with brief additional reviews interspersed in later weeks.•Your brain is like a storage vault, the problem is not that the information is not there, the problem is retrieving it when you need it. Following are some techniques that may help with that retrieval. Remember this is not a magic pill, you have to practice.
Pay Attention And Remember
- Which are you more likely to remember, the name of a coworker or your boss? We remember when we decide to remember and when we have a reason/motivation.
- Eliminate distractions while reading/studying.
- Develop a strong motivation; think of the reason why you want to learn this.
Analyze How To Remember Each Fact And Concept As You Encounter It
- Decide whether you will emphasize concepts, memory devices, visualization, or reciting.
- Relate new material to facts and concepts you already know.
- To memorize terminology, think about familiar parts of the words or study the Greek and Latin roots.
Interpret/Understand the Material
- To improve your long-term memory and to perform better on complex test questions, focus on understanding the basic ideas rather than simply memorizing isolated facts.
- Explain concepts to family members and study partners. This "teaching" will help you deepen your own understanding.
Organize the Material
- As you listen to a lecture or read, use "advanced organizers" obtained by prior knowledge or scanning to organize the new information. Just as an office worker needs a filing system, you need a mental filing system if you hope to comprehend and retrieve what you have learned.
- During review, organize your notes by writing questions or headings in the left margin. Create study charts to summarize your notes or text.
- The human brain appears to be able to hold only seven chunks of information in immediate memory, so breaking up material into categories will help you remember.
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