Between a ton of textbooks and a slew of study materials, it can be challenging to commit all you have learned to memory. But all hope is not yet lost! Read this guide and learn how to sharpen your memory for effective study, optimum performance, and results.

 Strategic Methods that Aid Good Memory

Exams are fast approaching, and your brain refuses to consume all your books and study materials. You’ve tried everything, but nothing works, and you can sense the stench of impending failure from a mile away. You wonder why you have such poor memory, and minimal time to study everything there is to learn.

But the truth is, your brain isn’t failing you on purpose. Neither is it incapable of remembering all the things you read, watched, or listened to. You just don’t have a learning and memory-enhancing strategy. But not to worry, this guide is to the rescue. At the end of this read, you will learn true- and- tried techniques that will help you learn and remember the bulk of your lessons! Let’s get started, shall we?

Leverage the Power of Acronyms

Acronyms are commonly used to enhance memory for studying, and it is especially great for committing short sequences and lists to mind. Popular acronyms include PTA (Parent Teacher Association), DOB (Date of Birth), FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), and a host of others. In school, students use acronyms to learn equations and a list of names. For instance, HOMES is used to learn and remember the Great Lakes, namely, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.

 ‘PEMDAS’ which stands for Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition and Subtraction — is a sequence acronym for solving equations. You can easily create acronyms using the first letter of each constituent word. So rather than learning the elements, you can use an acronym to remember each of them.

Use Mental Associations to Boost Memory Performance

Our brains usually absorb information along with images, sounds, emotions, or physical feelings. As such, you can improve your memory power by associating an image, sound, or feel with whatever you are learning. For example, the sight of a particular color can remind you of a friend’s shirt on a specific day. You will also remember your conversations with this friend and the emotions involved. Here are four mental association techniques that can help improve your memory:

  • The Memory Palace is a powerful technique that uses visualization to commit things to memory. It entails imagining a room in a building with specific objects and associating bits of information with those objects.
  • Chunking — it involves deconstructing word phrases into pieces or chunks of information. Even numbers can be broken down, as seen in credit card numbers and telephone numbers. For instance, ‘Telecommunication” becomes four syllables’ Tele’ ‘Com’ ‘Muni’ and ‘cation.’
  • Keyword mnemonics — This technique uses keywords or images that bring to mind a specific word. For example, you can use “a towel” in English to remember the French word for star, étoile. 

    Consider a Rewards System

We all want a prize to crown our efforts! The thought of gaining a mouthwatering trophy at the end of a strenuous task keeps us motivated and focused. In the same vein, consider your exams and tests as tasks worth a fantastic prize and  Attach an irresistible reward for acing your school work.

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The promised reward will make you work harder than you normally would, including training your mind to remember things you have learned. Afterward, you can treat yourself to a big bowl of ice cream, a new game, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Explore the “Spaced Repetition” Technique

When studying, refrain from typing out words. Instead, write each letter on a flashcard so your brain can easily process the formed letters. Alternatively, you can create map minds for what you are learning. Next, use spaced repetition over several days to process the information you’ve written down.  

As the name suggests, it involves repeatedly learning and processing information (intermittently}, so it sticks to your long-term memory. Practice these two or three days after you’ve written the information. Then practice again nine days later, two months later, and six months later.

 Use Focus Apps to Banish Distraction

Distraction is one of the greatest enemies of a retentive memory, and it isn’t easy to concentrate with Instagram and Facebook notifications popping up every second. Unfortunately, we can’t all resist the temptation of social media and other stimulating sites.

 Fortunately, you can download apps that block these sites for specified periods. These apps include Focus, Freedom, SelfControl, and LeechBlock NG. You will gain laser focus and achieve more within short periods by eliminating distractions. See the list with the best apps for college students.

Consider Meditation and Exercise

Meditation alleviates stress which improves concentration. Spare at least ten minutes daily to calm your mind and nerves for better memory. Worry and anxiety hinder the mind’s ability to focus on things that matter. 

But if you meditate regularly, you will free up space in your mind for important information rather than worrisome things. You can download meditation apps to get started. Exercise also relieves stress and anxiety and helps you feel good and confident, and stay sane. To learn more about college student mental health check the article with five great tips to stay sane.

 Participate in Study Groups

A study group demands commitment and constant revision. Generally, students who make zero to little contributions in a study group face the consequences. To avoid such, you will often revise, which will help improve your memory. 

You will also develop new skills by sharing ideas and knowledge with other students. Study groups make learning much easier than in a classroom, providing a platform for like-minded and creative students who help each other reach their academic goals.

 On a Final Note,

Improving memory for studying combines mental and physical strategies. You can use keyword mnemonics, chunking, and spaced repetitions to boost your memory. At the same time, you must exercise regularly, take breaks and sleep well. Avoid cramming or marathon reading when exams are around the corner. Study your books and notes regularly while incorporating the techniques mentioned above. And remember, practice makes perfect!