Have you ever had to remember something for a difficult class? This question teaches us about the importance of mnemonics. There are a few things that you tend to remember naturally – your name, the storyline of your favorite movie, and lyrics of your favorite song. But you need to work hard to remember the periodic elements in a class like Chemistry. If you’re a visual learner, you may have a hard time memorizing things by repeating them over and over again. Use following techniques to retain information more easily:
- The Method of Loci
One of the most interesting mnemonic systems is known as the method of Loci or the mind palace technique. Build a memory palace which involves imagining your house with many items in your rooms such as a lamp, piano, couch, etc. Creating a visual map for academic concepts will help you trigger your memory so that you can recall information for a test or quiz.
- Try Memory Exercises
Keep your brain healthy and fresh. Here are two mental exercises you could try for improving memorization. Try reading a page of your book and writing down as much as you can remember from that one page. Make this brain exercise a habit and it will help you focus in the long run. The second technique is before going to bed, spend time retracing your entire day from beginning to end. This method will not only force you to remember your class concepts but also let you track progress of the day.
- Spaced Repetition Technique
Did you know that if you learn information today and don’t review it for a week, you are not going to recall the information that you learned? You have to use the spaced repetition technique to ingrain the academic concepts into your long-term memory. Cramming is good for short term memory, but for the long term, you need to recall the information actively. Here are four ways to master spaced repetition.
- Within 24 hours of first learning the information, review your notes. Try to remember what was covered and prompt your brain to figure it out. This action will cement the information into your memory. While reviewing, make sure to speed read or glance at your notes.
- Do the same exercise while driving or walking outdoors without having the notes in hand. While traveling use this time to recall the information without the material on hand, and when you go back home, look at your notes and see what you have missed and remembered correctly.
- Every 36 hours give yourself a mental test about the topics you learned two days ago. Always try to keep the information fresh in your mind. You can use flashcards or can quiz yourself. If you repeat this every 24 to 36 hours the next few days, it is going to help you store more in your long-term memory.
- Several days before the big test, get your notes and review them in Read through everything and store it in your long-term memory using spaced repetition. This is the final step that will help you get ready for the exam. You will be surprised to see how much material you covered by properly implementing this strategy.
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