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In college, you have a lot of information to memorize. Many classes require you to retain information from textbooks and lectures. Sometimes it can feel like a sensory overload, especially if you wait until the last minute to study. So, here are ten of the best study techniques for memorization.
1. Make the Material Meaningful
You are more likely to retain the information if it relates to something you’re interested in. You could connect it with something you saw on television or a recent experience. Suppose you’re learning about evolution and you recently saw a wildlife documentary. You’ll have a stronger memory of the information because you have seen it once already.
2. Say the Information Out Loud
Recite your notes until you can say them without looking at the paper. By talking out loud you are engaging both your auditory and verbal senses. Active involvement helps you absorb the information better. Find a time when your roommate is away or use a study room in the library to talk to yourself.
3. Teach the Material to Your Roommate
Teaching the material to others can help you learn the information better and shows how well you know it. After you’re done explaining the lesson, see how much the person understood. Allow them to ask any follow-up questions. Plus, the more you repeat the information the more it will stick.
4. Try Memory Devices
Using different learning devices is one of the best study techniques for memorization. Mnemonics are the popular ones. It’s where you assign a word to the beginning letter of whatever you’re trying to learn. You could use the phrase “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” to help you remember the order of operation for equations.
Another technique is chunking, where you break up information into smaller components. This can help your brain focus on fewer things at once. The method of loci can be helpful as well. It’s where you visualize a house and associate rooms with different pieces of information. In addition, consider creating flashcards.
5. Get Enough Sleep
While you’re sleeping your brain processes and stores new information. Review your notes before bed, while listening to music. Classical or jazz music can engage parts of your brain that help you focus. The reason sleep is effective has two main components. First, if you’re more tired you can’t study as effectively. Second, sleep helps consolidate your memories.
Getting enough sleep is also vital for mental and physical health. It can improve your mood and enhance your immune system.
6. Test Yourself
When studying, you want to do more than just read your notes. See how much you remember by giving yourself a quiz. Create practice questions or use online resources. Also, some textbooks may have questions at the end of the chapter. This method helps you determine your weaknesses so you can focus on those. Before re-testing yourself, wait a couple of days to see if the information has stuck.
7. Go For a Walk
Exercise is one of the best study techniques for memorization you may have not thought of. It can help create neuron connections in your brain. When you work out it increases chemicals, which makes it easier to absorb and form long-term memories. Plus, exercise increases blood flow to your brain.
Exercise is also key to your overall health. It reduces stress and lowers your risk of heart disease. So, head to your campus’s gym or take a walk before dinner.
8. Write Things Out
When you write information, it helps you remember it better. As you write down the words you’re using more movement and activating more areas of your brain. Also, it takes more dexterity to write than type creating a deeper sensory experience. This allows you to encode information more effectively. Therefore, consider handwriting your lecture notes. This technique also works well for other tasks, like to-do lists.
9. Have a Tidy Space
You need complete concentration to remember things well. However, with lots of clutter, you become easily distracted. Consider only keeping essential items on your desks, like pencils and a notebook. Also, use dividers in your drawers to create designated spaces for your loose papers. Make sure you clean off your desk regularly.
10. Create a Story
Putting information into a sequence is another one of the best study techniques for memorization. We tend to remember things better if they follow a pattern. Create a story around the information to help you study. Come up with a silly story to make the information stand out even more. For example, you write a story about the planets going on a picnic to help you remember their names.
The Best Study Techniques for Memorization
Studying for a test can feel a little daunting. There is probably lots of information you need to retrieve from earlier in the semester. So, follow these best study techniques for memorization to ace your next exam.