Thank you for stopping by here at the abdominal pain forum to find out how to remember things better - things you study yourself and those you are taught. Although your query is not directly a medical one, that you've come in here to raise this issue clearly shows that is it a matter of very high importance to you. Moreover, I can still remember how I suffered with similar problem during my days in secondary school.
So, I have decided to post these memory improvement tips here that I found useful myself, and I sincerely hope that if you can apply these tips, you will overcome your problem of "having tough time" remembering what you study significantly. Before listing the tips to greatly improve your memory at school, let's review some memory housekeeping tips:
Understand And Apply Knowledge of The Anatomy Of Memory. If you understand the anatomy of memory, that will help you work on how to improve your memory. For your memory to function best, you need to perfect the ability to; encode - get the information in an understandable manner; store - move the information into your short term, (some believe in medium term memory as well) or long term memory - you can influence which of these part of your memory the information will end up in by your action after encoding, and finally; retrieve - get things back when you need them. All three aspects of the memory process will need to work well for you to remember things properly. Let's dwell on each of these aspects of the memory for a few minutes:
Encoding. This has to do with how you take in the
information in an understandable manner. Can you store or retrieve what you did
not understand? So the first step to how to remember things is to create the
right study environment when you are studying to help you understand what you
read or hear.
Do not get distracted. Get noise out to the barest minimum, TV certainly out of the way. If topic is difficult to understand, study it carefully, check same topic in other books or materials. use the internet to search that topic. Take down notes. This will help focus your mind. Still difficult? Code things by associations.
You can arrange similar thoughts together and link things with what you might remember. This is where encoding could overlap with retrieval. Use mnemonics to encode things, ask questions related to that subject. In school for example, when learning about Characteristics of living things, I used the mnemonics "MR NIGER " for Movement, Respiration, Nutrition, Irritability, Growth, Excretion and Reproduction.
Storage. To encode and understand a subject is not enough. This next stage offers you the options of leaving what you have encoded and understood in your short term memory (lasting a few minutes to a few days), or actively moving it into your long term memory (lasting days to years).
Think about the hundreds of things we are told every day or read every day and understood. How many of them can you still remember, if you do nothing about them. I hardly can remember any. But you can change this. Yes. This is what how to remember things is about. Move things into your medium and long term memory by showing genuine interest in the subject, ask questions about the topic, make a mental picture of the facts you wish to remember, write them down on a piece of paper, and if necessary, recite the whole topic you have summarised in your own words to yourself, without looking at the book. Hard work isn't it? But hard work pays. This is what often separate the best from the crowd. Where o you want to be? With the best? Do the walk as well as the talk then.
Research has shown that the best way to remember things taught in school is to go back and read them up as soon as you can, preferably the same day, and research and add more information to the materials provided in class. After a few days, re-read that material again. This brings us to the issue of study habits. If you can study an average of three hours every week - quality 40 to 60 minutes every day, you will greatly improve your grades and recall ability.
Retrieve. If you've done all the above, you would have laid a good ground work for easy retrieval. Two keys to helping with retrieval of any information and thus aid you on how to remember things have to do with the organization of the information at the time of encoding and storage. Use of associations and mnemonics.
I have terrible trouble remembering names of people.
If you tell me your name today, I will go into auto-drive and associate with things to be able to recall it. Your name is Malachi for example. When I saw your name, the first thing that came to my mind was "hmm. This name sounds familiar. There is a school in my neighbourhood called St Malachy's College. And there is a Bible prophet called Malachi". Once I did that, if I were to see you face to face, I will take a second look at your face, deliberately trying to link your face with ST Malachy's College. That way, I will almost certainly encode, store and retrieve your name easily. I have done that with even the most difficult and unusual names, and people often think I am good at names, when I am actually very rubbish.
That is the power of association. Learn to associate things you read with stuff you can remember and create a link. Recite these, and it will be easier to recall or retrieve the information. Remembering things do not occur in isolation. It has to start from that moment you set your eyes and mind on what you want to take in.
The use of Mnemonics is the second very important key to retrieve information learnt.
But what is Mnemonics? A dictionary defined mnemonics as "something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula. And the Awake! journal of February 2009, on the topic, You Can Improve Your Memory, which is obviously related to how to remember things, reports: "Research done on people who ranked high in the annual World Memory Championships found that their superior memories were not due to exceptional intellect. Moreover, most participants were between 40 and 50 years of age. What was their secret? Many attributed their skill to their effective use of mnemonics."
So you can how powerful the use of mnemonic can help in to remember and retrieve things. I have demonstrated how "MR NIGER" is used as a mnemonics to store and retrieve the characteristics of living things. As a medical student, I also used many different mnemonics. "VITA MEDICS" or "VITAMINS" are very popular "surgical sieves" or mnemonics used by medical students worldwide to remember the possible causes of ANY symptoms or disease. So, create mnemonics to aid your storage and retrieval of things you study and learn.
You still reading this far? Wow! You are very keen to learn how to remember things. Thought I would have bored you to death with this long write up. We are almost there. The last bits are the best on how to remember things.
Now see this formula to help improve your memory during studying. I have personally used it, and it works magic for me. It is a practical application of all what we have discussed above, bring them to life. The formula is SQR3.
Apply the formula SQR3 to your studying and see how this will dramatically improve your recall rates. Applying this formula has been reported to significantly helped students retain up to 80 percent of what they read and improve grades tremendously!. SQR3 stands for S = Survey; Q = Questions; R = Read; R = Recite; R = Review. Let's now discuss these in a little detail and then apply it.
Apply these exercises on how to remember things today, starting with a small and easy material. As your confidence grows, extend it to cover larger topics and material. Practice. Practice. Practice. Over time, this will become a second nature to you.
These are the top memory improvement tips on how to remember things that I have found useful for me and have applied all along to great benefit.
I hope that this write up will generate discussions amongst our visitors who have had to grapple with remembering things in the past, and post their thoughts on how they have succeeded in overcoming this problem.
Any experience or ideas on how to remember things and improve one's memory? Share it. Have your say and help us to explore further ways we can all improve our memory!