Do you find yourself forgetting things easily? Or maybe you simply blank out during exams, not knowing what to write? Or are you often frustrated because you need to revise ALL OVER AGAIN when your exams are nearing because you simply cannot remember anything from your previous examination?
If you do, then it’s likely that the information you attempted to remember hasn’t been transferred into your long term memory yet.
Our memory space is typically separated into 2 different compartments, namely the short term and long term memory. And just like what the name says, long term memory is for permanent storage. Once its in the permanent storage, you can be sure that you’ll remember that information for life.
So, if you want to know how to improve your memory, here are nine innovative ways to do so.
Duh… but don’t get us wrong. We don’t mean the hardcore 8 hours straight type of revisions. Break down the things that you’re supposed to memorize into small chunks or sub topics. Memorize each chunk per week and read that particular chunk again the following week.
Research has found out that mental repetition is needed to transfer the information into your long term memory. While it may be slightly more time consuming, you’ll find everything worthwhile once you’ve realized that you don’t have to start memorizing from scratch the night before the exam.
Let your inner artist out
Try drawing out certain keywords instead of writing them down. This is particularly effective for visual learners. In addition, our brain tends to remember things better when it comes to processing pictorial information instead of a huge chunk of words.
This shouldn’t be a stranger to many of you who are still studying in school. Mind maps have been proven effective by many educational experts as well as researchers.
When we are drawing the mind map, our brain is associating different key words together, helping us to understand a particular topic better. Also, studying is made much easier when you’re able to condense the 4 pages worth of information onto 1 A4 size paper.
The next time you have to remember a whole long list of words, try to come up with a unique acronym and stun other people like vegetable with your creativity. It’s like N-A-T-O, No Action Talk Only. Easier to remember right?
Memorize before sleeping
Bedtime is when your brain will start to process and store all the information collected for that day. There is a higher chance of your brain retaining the information if you were to revise before sleeping. But a word of caution, revising before bedtime will also stimulate brain activity, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Activate the right hemisphere of your brain
Your brain is generally divided into 2 different hemispheres, namely the right and the left. While the left hemisphere is in charge of logical and mathematical computations, your right hemisphere actually helps you understand a context better.
Therefore, if your right hemisphere is more active, chances are, you’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of whatever that you’re currently studying which makes it easier for you to remember. You can try activating your right hemisphere by either doodling with your left hand, flipping books using your left hand etc.
This is extremely important if you’re an audio learner. If you happen to have web cast or online lectures, we’ll strongly recommend that you download it and put it on repeat. As you listen to it multiple times, your brains will be able to catch hold of the important keywords, making learning so much easier.
Yes, yes. We know it sounds weird but spraying perfume might condition your brain to be ready for examinations. Before studying, spray some perfume in your room. During your exams, spray the same perfume in the examination hall. Similar smells can trigger your brain condition your brain to remember the stuff that you studied. Remember to choose one that’s less pungent or you might just be chased out of the examination halls.
Memorize with the mindset that you’re going to teach someone about the subject
It’s well known that if you need to teach someone something, you’ll tend to understand the subject more. Find a buddy and memorize together; after a period of time, simply tell each other what you’ve memorized. Knowing the need to memorize would not only motivate you, but somehow make you memorize more effectively.