You are sitting in an exam hall, you are writing an answer you studied last night or maybe just before the exam but you go blank all of a sudden. That path of words seems foggy. You feel disappointed in yourself because you cannot remember the answer.
Ever been in this situation? Don’t worry we all have been there. The great news is that just like any other skill in this world, you can improve your memory. You can make your brain retain information in an efficient manner.
To make the task of learning simpler and more interesting, there are memorization techniques that can be employed. A few simple tricks are listed below:
1. Drawing a Mind Map
Mind maps work well to layout the structure and make the flow of information clear. A mind map is a diagram that connects information around a central subject. I like to think of it as a tree, although it has more of a radial structure. In any case, at the center is your main idea, say, Computers, and the branches are subtopics or related ideas, such as types of Computers, famous Computers, and Computer manufacturers. Greater levels of detail branch out from there and branches can be linked together.
Mind maps can be used for pretty much any thinking or learning task, from studying a subject (such as a new language) to planning your career or even building better habits.
2. Reading Out Loud
If you want to remember something, saying or reading it out loud will give you better results. A research, by the Montreal University, involved getting 44 undergraduates to read words on a screen. Some of the subjects were instructed to read the words in their heads.Some were told to read silently but moving their lips. While others were told to repeat aloud while looking at the screen, and few others repeated aloud to somebody else.
The researchers found the strongest results were by those who addressed someone else, followed by self-reading.
3. Teaching Others
Teaching your friends what you learned is the best way to make the concepts clear in your mind. If you teach someone you are compelled to communicate your thoughts about the topic clearly. This helps us structure the ideas in our head as well.
To teach someone you have to translate your knowledge verbally. Eventually, this will help you to write those thoughts easily!
4. Take regular study breaks
Taking breaks in between studying can actually improve your memory. When your brain is working, you need to take regular study breaks to help your brain absorb more information. Moreover, it also helps you stay motivated and focused when you are working.
Take a short break after 45-50 minutes of studying as your concentration decreases after this period. The break should not include using screens. On the other hand, taking a walk, listening to music would refresh yourself.
The ability to remember something is highly linked to the amount of concentration you put into it while reading it for the first time. So how do you improve your concentration?
The answer lies in a 3,500-year-old technique called Meditation. You don’t have to spend hours meditating like a Yogi. Five minutes of this practice every day can improve your concentration vastly, in turn, improving your memory. To know how to meditate, click here.
6. Get enough Sleep
Sleep is absolutely crucial if you are learning and trying to memorise topics. If you don’t get enough sleep your mind becomes foggy. Sleep deprivation even affects your quality of your decision making.
Make sure to get adequate rest during the nights leading up to your exams. As a matter of fact, when you sleep, your brain assimilates the information you have learned. A good night’s sleep can help you remember those formulae and theories.
Try these techniques for your next exam and see your results fly high. Bonus points if you are able to remember all six points from above. Good Luck!