Using a technique to help us learn something we want to remember is another way we can make the most of our memory. You can improve your memory by being attentive to information you need to remember, by identifying and coping effectively with things in your daily life that limit your memory potential, and by practicing good organisational habits.
Effective learning can only be achieved if you’re able to focus your complete attention on what you are trying to learn. Here are a few steps to improve memory :
- Read : Reading your textbook, academic articles and journals will broaden your understanding. Make shorter notes for yourself and then study your own notes.
- Listen To Audio : Listen to audio on the topic and write down some key notes on what they’re saying that can help you better understand the subject you’re learning.
- Write Things Down : Make your own notes from what you have read in the textbook. Write questions and answers them later. These can be questions from your textbook or even questions that you think are likely to come up on the exam. This is a good way to test your understanding of what you learn and help you remember it.
- Talk Out Loud : You can read the topic out loud, or try to teach the topic to someone else.
- Mind Mapping : Mind maps are a great way to break down information into a simple diagram that can be remembered more easily. They’re also a good way to test whether you know the subject matter. You can redraw the diagram and deliberately leave blanks to see can you fill them in again or whether you can discuss the topic in more detail by only looking at the key headings on the mind map.
- Test Yourself : Use past exam papers. This is great for not only testing your knowledge but also familiarising yourself with the exam format and structure, which will help you settle into the exam much quicker and easier on the day. Use questions from the textbook.
- Practice : To improve memory it is important to keep going back over information that you learn, using different formats of learning.
- Eat Properly : Fuelling the mind is an essential element of increasing focus and concentration. Research has indicated that students learn much better when they’re well nourished. How often you eat can also have a powerful effect on your energy levels.
Along with physical and psychosocial well-being, keeping your memory sharp and your mind active is a key factor for successful aging, a state of health and vitality that can be achieved at any stage in the life span (Franklin & Tate, 2009). It requires a holistic approach.