For students, having an excellent memory is no less than manna falling from heaven. With towering piles of notes, essays and thick volumes creaking on the desk, having sufficient concentration and decent memory is a must. No matter how much we avoid, there always crops up some essential points, quotes, names of people or historical dates that need to be remembered for the oncoming paper. In such cases, often students mug up and badly distort the information in their memory discs. Which is obviously the wrong way, so how to improve memory?
Many times, in spite of intensive exam preparations, it seems that the studied material evaporates the instant question paper asks for the particular answer. In moments such as these, students zone out completely even after powering through the syllabus to the hilt. This is a supremely frustrating experience and students sometimes give up all hopes of ever scoring well.
Therefore, to overcome such shortcomings, it is pertinent to look into the mechanism of human memory and how it is wired. There are ample techniques suggested by psychologists that come handy in firmly stuffing information in the long-term memory. Equally paramount is the ability to recall lessons that you have spent hours cramming. Following are a handful but effective methods to trick your memory into gobbling your lessons easily.
How to improve memory?
1. Chunky learning is funky learning!
When there is a list of names and numbers to be memorized, group the items into smaller chunks. This hoodwinks the brain into thinking that the matter has been reduced and the previously panicked brain would now readily incorporate the chunks. This process is known as chunking in the field of psychology and proves to be highly workable. For example, if you have to learn the diameter of the earth, group the figure into 12-74-2 instead of memorizing it whole. Likewise, in order to learn the three wheat producing states of India, take only the initials of Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh and form the word “BUA”. Now associate BUA with wheat and fluidly recall the names of states without any qualms. Using this method, getting an A in geography becomes a ten to one chance.
2. If not out of sight then it will not go out of mind!
It’s a fact that information is absorbed faster when you encounter it repeatedly. Thus, if you’re an English major and require to learn sheets of dialogues and quotes, jot down the difficult Shakespearean dialogues on the whiteboard of your room or on sticky notes. With this arrangement, whenever you will enter the room or open your reader, your eyes will be automatically drawn to these highlighted quotes and you will be able to learn them no matter how complex their language is. Try, ‘ A golden mind droops not to shows of dross’ and see if you’re able to grasp the dialogue from the Merchant of Venice by scribbling it in recurrent places.
3. Become your own Guru Ji!
Put on your teaching cap and imagine instructing an invisible audience out loud. Hearing your own voice and discussing ideas with yourself facilities arguments to be firmly entrenched in your psyche. In fact, hearing information is the best way of assimilating lessons and is conducive to absorbing 75% of what has been spoken. So the next time you sit down to study, stop whispering and start reading coherently. You will notice marked differences in your performance and retrieval abilities.
As mentioned above, improving memory is just as easy as understanding the structure of the human brain and how it goes about storing information in its hippocampus. All you need to know is the logistics involved and pull the right strings accordingly. It’s all a game of manipulation.