Studying is one chore that most people often perceive as difficult. This perception however, is unfounded because if you are motivated enough, you can always find ways on how to improve memory for studying. Some people use brain supplements but there are empirical evidences that an average person could excel in this challenging endeavor. It is a skill that anyone can learn. You have to understand first, how the brain stores and processes information. From there, you can then work to improve your memory.
How the Brain Processes Information
The amygdala and the hippocampus are parts of the brain that are responsible for long and short term memories. The brain stores short term information through the hippocampus, which encodes and stores information, and acts as a cognitive map as well.
The amygdala, on the other hand, is involved with memory of emotional experiences, like fear and emotional pain. The brain cells are indefatigable and they operate 24/7, so as you go through life, you also accumulate more short- term memory data, which could, eventually, be stored as long-term memory data. This can be caused by many factors, such as repeated exposure to the occurrence.
Recommended Ways on How to Improve Memory for Studying
Knowing that the brain has all the aforementioned characteristics can help you devise your own strategy in improving your memory. You must remember that enhancing your memory is a skill, which could be improved through the following methods. These methods were recommended by Ian M. L. Hunter, based on his reliable study entitled ‘Memory.’
1. The role of meaning
Hunter concluded in his study that meaning and repetition have major roles in the memorization of information. You can remember data more if they have significant meaning in your life. A doctor could recall diseases related to a particular patient, but not the patient’s other personal information, like the names of his daughters. In the same manner that a man courting a woman would remember more vividly the birthday of his love interest than data about the woman’s siblings. Hence, for you to improve your memory, you have to develop a sincere interest in the subject matter. If you don’t have an innate desire to learn about the topic, then you could motivate yourself by trying to appreciate the advantages of acquiring that specific information.
2. The role of repetition
Repetition is also vital in learning on how to improve memory through studying. After your initial exposure to the information or topic, you can repeat the experience by reviewing the topic, discussing it with a person who has the same interest, synthesizing the topic, or writing an essay about it.
The following are specific methods to optimize the role of meaning and repetition in memory enhancement:
• Use the ‘Von Restorff effect’
The ‘Von Restorff effect’ is a method in which funny, colourful, obscene and dramatic events are associated with certain information to enhance memory. The dramatic event should be spontaneous and should come freely. A specific example is when a memory about how your left foot automatically jerked backwards when your right hand had accidentally touched a flame, could be linked to the ‘Reflect Arc’ topic. This could be useful if you are trying to understand and memorize a topic on ‘Reflexes’ for your anatomy and physiology class.
• Use mnemonics
Mnemonics could only be useful if the person studying has created it. Some mnemonics could prove useful even if you have not created it, but information could be retained more if your mnemonics is linked to a personal, unforgettable experience. To most writers, K.I.S.S, which stand for ‘Keep it short and simple,’ is a pointer that they could easily remember. If you are a biochemistry student studying about the different types of lipoproteins; the acronym for HDL, LDL, LDL, Chylomicrons can be ‘Hold Love Longingly, Cherie.’ You can devise your own mnemonics according to your preferences, so you can easily recall them.
• Review regularly
Reviewing regularly is one superb activity on how to improve memory for studying. This process would reinforce the role of repetition. It would also enhance your long term memory, thereby promoting memory development.
• Focus and Concentrate
Focusing and concentrating are imperative if you want to increase your skill in memorizing. This does not mean; however, that you should study only in a silent and isolated place. It means studying in a venue that could contribute more to your activity. Some individuals prefer studying with soft music, some want to study outdoors or in the garden, and many more personal options. It varies from person to person. Find the ambiance and the place where you are most productive in studying and utilize it.
Learning to improve your memory is possible if you are diligent, persistent, and willing to experiment. This would help you achieve your goal of learning how to improve your memory for studying.