By Crystal Maria Andrade,
You may wonder how you manage to remember information for a test. Parents often worry how well their children are learning and whether schools are meeting educational standards. Parents and teachers have big dreams that their children and students should become successful in their life. But, whether you succeed or not, all depends on this one aspect: your mind. Your mind matters and what matters more is your memory. Memory has three stages which include sensory information (replica of what you see and hear/ also called encoding), short-term memory (active/working memory also called storage) and long-term memory (permanent memory/retrieval). Learning is the outcome of memory and learning depends on how well you have processed the information. As ability to recall information is needed for students, the information they learn should be passed on from the short term memory to long term memory in order to retain information during exams, tests or whenever required.
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1056131
Here are some tips for learning that will enhance your ability to recall information and achieve excellent results:
How much is too much: There’s a need to understand the span of attention of students and their capacity to store information in their working memory. It is not educationally sound to impose on the students huge amount of information for long period of time, this will leave them confused and clueless. Instead, giving them limited information for study and helping them to learn with vigour will aid in retaining the information for a longer period of time.
1. Adding Emotion: Anything taught with the element of emotion will be easily retained in our memory. This means students are likely to recall information that induces an emotional response. Teachers can use this tactic in English, History and Science classes. For example: if the lesson is on galaxy, the teacher can induce emotions in the students by showing them videos or pictures of the galaxy and stars.
2. Reading, writing and recollecting: Anything which is read out loudly will enhance your retention than just reading it. Writing down the important points or facts will help in retention and will be useful while studying for exams. Recollecting is the ability to retain the information after reading and writing. If you have encoded the information efficiently then you will be able to retrieve the information.
4. Rehearsal: It is said ‘Practice makes a man perfect’, therefore, rehearsing information till you master any concept is very important. Rehearsal improves your memory and gets etched onto your long-term memory. Also, rehearsing the right information is essential because unlearning the inaccurate information which is passed on to the long-term memory will be a challenging task. Hence, practice over time and ace your exams without cramming all information in one night.
5. Give meaning: If there is any subject which has many names, dates and figures; then it is always better to associate these facts with something. Giving meaning to meaningless concepts or information through ways such as poems, mnemonics, music and rhythm will improve retention of this information for future use. Nevertheless, you can use an aid such as chunking which plays a significant role in enhancing the short term memory transfer to long term memory. Chunking numbers, colours or aspects in groups helps in remembering and learning the concepts faster.
6. Make connections: It is vital to make connections or associations between the new information and the previously learnt information. The higher the number of associations made, the more chances of retaining that information easily and this in turn induces your memory power through which you can retrace the information easily.
7. Avoid distractions: While studying, choose a quiet and peaceful environment, comfortable seating and table, bright light, proper ventilation and avoid distracting things around you. Here, distracting elements include anything that diverts your attention, for instance: video games, T.V., music player, phones, and the like. While studying, if distraction persists then encoding the information suffers leading to forgetting. Hence, for encoding to be efficient you shouldn’t give ways to distraction instead concentrate and give maximum attention to avoid the inability to retrieve information.
8. Get some rest: Take a break between learnings. You have heard that ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, so take breaks after few hours of studying and relax your mind. Not only breaks but physical exercise and sound sleep strengthens your ability to retain the information. Sleep is very crucial to boost your memory. Sleep helps us learn new information and pass the information to the long-term memory. However, for most of the problems including imbalance of mind and body, stress, preparing for exams- the best prescription commonly given is get some sleep! So, say goodbye to cramming all night.
9. Teach others to help you revise better: Whatever you have learnt will be useful when you share that knowledge to another person. So, one of the best ways to learn is to teach what you’ve learnt to another person. This is the reason why teachers have mastered the concepts they teach because they have to teach the same lessons and concepts to many batches in school. Adding to this, if the concepts are thought using real life stories and examples or experiments, then the students are likely to remember them for life because anything visual stimulates our attention and learning takes place faster.
10. Questioning enhances learning: Asking questions like why, how, what helps in learning concepts well because here the reasoning, thinking and analysis is involved. Anything which triggers our mental processors helps in learning the concepts faster and better. Finding answers to these questions makes memory work out as all the mental processors are involved making the memory charged and active. Besides, another way to ask question is by taking the quizzes or tests which will help in reasoning and in a way enhance your memory power. Here, the end process will be getting feedback from the tests which plays a vital role in knowing what is right and what is wrong. All this collectively heightens your memory power because your brain is at its maximum functionality.
These are the 10 ways which will help you learn efficiently and remember information so that they can be retrieved whenever in need. If these procedures are followed anyone can learn anything quickly and retrace the information efficiently. However, all these procedures have to be followed in a systematic way and one shouldn’t end up multi-tasking. The reason is because our brain processes and stores the information systematically. This is not practiced then certain glitches can occur in the process of learning which will lead to forgetting. Now, you know that the old myths of rote learning don’t work. These guidelines will help students as it will help them reason and learn using the above methods which will have a great impact on the way they can retrieve information whenever asked for. Therefore, retention depends on how well you make use of these sure-fire ways to become more effective learner by simply enhancing your memory power for excellent results. Ultimately, don’t forget that remembering is a skill that takes lot of practice and learning is a life-long process and has to go on for our existence on earth. So, happy learning as memory is like a computer, you need to press Ctrl + S (Save) for all important information, press Backspace for all irrelevant information and press Delete for unused/useless information. Now F5 (Refresh) your mind and practice these useful methods.
About the Author:
Crystal Maria Andrade is a Content Developer at Learnhive. Nature, travelling, music, movies and fun interests her. She has a profound passion for writing. She believes making the most out of every opportunity. Her hobbies include collecting quotes, learning new words and playing crosswords and puzzles. She’s a fun-lover and is surrounded by fun-loving people. Spreading happiness is her mantra.
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