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In the previous article, we’ve talked about some of the best ways to make sure you’ll retain what you’ve studied. However, there are more techniques, and everyone can find at least one that works for them.
In this article, we’ve covered six more way to help you remember things more efficiently. You don’t have to try them all at once (that may be confusing).
If you implement only one of these strategies and stick with it, you’ll soon see improvements when it comes to your memory.
Try highlighting or color-coding
There’s a theory that our brain tends to remember better if we use colors to highlight important things. There’s even a whole set of rules on which colors you should use for specific activities.
For example, a pink highlighter can be used for very important things, such as keywords or definitions that you have to remember. You can use a green or yellow highlighter for things that are important, but not that important.
We call this technique color-coding. If you’re a visual learner, you’re probably already doing something similar because it helps you recall information when you need it.
However, even if you don’t consider yourself a visual learner, you should try this technique as it could help you separate key concepts from the rest.
Have you ever studied the whole day just to realize that you can’t remember anything the day after? That’s normal and there’s nothing to worry about. Our brain doesn’t work that way (for many of us anyway).
If you want to retain information for longer periods, you have to be strategic when it comes to your study. Just like planning other activities in your day, you should schedule your pauses as well.
But how often do we need to take a break? It’s very personal and everything depends on you, your focus, your habits, etc. Some people like the Pomodoro Technique, and we’ll now explain how it works.
All you need is a timer; you can use one on your phone as well. The idea is that you should have 25 minutes of deep focus when you study, and then a 5-minute pause.
If you find 25-minute too little time and you’re able to focus much longer, you can customize it.
However, don’t forget to take a pause at least every two hours. That way, you’re giving your brain a break, which will improve your focus and allow it to memorize more things with the same effort.
One of the best ways to memorize something difficult is to create a mental map. It’s also a great way to organize your notes by sections, topics, or keywords. Now, you may be wondering what a mental map is.
To make it simple, it’s a type of diagram, but it can also be a simple drawing. Everything depends on how creative you are. You should take a piece of paper and write your main topic in the center.
Afterwards, create branches that will represent subtopics. And then, even these subtopics can have their own subtopics. This process is not only fun and creative, but it will help you memorize things with ease.
The next time you have to remember, let’s say, all five subtopics, just imagine your mental map, and everything should be much easier.
Record your voice
This may sound silly at first, but a lot of students claim that it works, and there are even some studies supporting this thesis.
The idea is simple. You can record your voice while you’re reading some chapter, but it would be even better to record yourself paraphrasing it while it’s still fresh in your mind.
You can then play this recording while you’re driving, waiting in a line, washing dishes, or anything similar.
But you could also try playing this recording before you go to sleep (it could also help you fall asleep quicker, which is also okay).
However, remember that this is just an additional step in memorizing things. We’re not suggesting that you rely only on playing recordings while you’re asleep. Unfortunately, this technique isn’t magical.
You have to put some conscious effort as well; this is just additional help.
Revise by sections
In the same way you organize your study process by dividing material into smaller portions, you should also organize the way you review and revise your materials. Never wait until the week before the exam to start revising.
For the best results, you should revise study materials on a regular basis, as that’s the only way to make sure you’ll retain knowledge. When it comes to the final revision, make sure that you leave at least a couple of days for it.
Once you start re-reading, indicate any part that you can’t remember well or that’s troubling you. Then, make sure that you leave enough time so you can go through that at least one more time before the exam.
How can you even know whether you’re retaining information or not if you don’t test yourself?
For most subjects and topics, it’s possible to find tests online. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself and see whether you can really do the test without any help such as googling or using your notebook.
If you can’t find a test that suits your needs. you can make your own test. It won’t take more than a few minutes. Remember there are a lot of apps and learning websites that can help you.
All you have to do is import your data, and the app will create a test that’s showing you whether you’ve really retained information.
Even if it turns out that you haven’t retained as much as you thought you have, there is nothing to worry about. That’s why it’s essential to test yourself and be aware of things you know and things that you can’t recall.
Only when you’re conscious of that you can come up with ways to improve your memory and your study methods.
Thanks so much for reading! We hope you learned something new and useful. Please use the following links to get even more help:
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