We’ve prepared an infographic that contains 20 memory techniques that will boost your memory and improve your learning. Following our simple lifehacks will improve your learning process and help you boost your grades.
It contains advice regarding physical exercises, sleeping habits, and tips on how to work with the information you need to memorize. Most of us have been in a situation where we’ve forgotten about something that happened a few minutes or hours before.
For example, we can’t remember yesterday’s lecture topic or the name of the person we just met. If you are one of those people, congratulations! You’ve come to the right place. In this post, you will learn why you should improve your memory, and how to do it.
Memory Techniques to improve your learning
You might be asking, “Why should I improve my memory?” According to the Cambridge University’s Centre of Neuroscience, most people can hold only seven items of information, like numbers, in their mind at any given time.
Improving your memory capacity will strengthen your ability to solve academic-related tasks. Our memory is like a muscle – the more you train it, the better it functions.
Before we move onto tips about how to boost your memory, let’s define how our memory works.
There are two kinds of memory: long-term and short-term. Short-term memory is like the RAM on your computer because it’s where your brain stores the information you need right away.
For example, short-term memory is responsible for remembering someone’s name after you meet them for the first time or keeping numbers straight while you solve a math task in your head. Long-term memory is where you store information for an exam or of memories of your loved ones. Both of these types of memory can be improved.
20 memory steps to improve learning
- Take a walk
Studies show that even a short 20-minute walk, or any other sort of exercise for the same amount of time, helps boost the performance of your brain and improve your memory. This is especially useful before important events like exams.
- Visualize ideas
You can visualize information that’s hard to describe by drawing diagrams, schemes, or mind maps. Your visual memory comes into play, which will make it easier to recall the material when you need it.
- Pick the right font
Certain fonts are easier to read than others. In order to memorize new information more effectively, it’s best to choose a font that you won’t struggle to perceive. Times New Roman is one of the easiest and most obvious choices (There’s a reason why it’s required for most papers).
- Go to sleep earlier
This advice has a solid reason for you to follow it. The thing is that during sleep, your brain assimilates the material you’ve learned during the day. And getting enough sleep gives your brain enough time to put all the information in order so you can remember it better.
- Study before going to sleep
This tip goes together with the previous one. Our brains usually strengthen new memories, so you have a higher chance of remembering new material if you learn it right before going to bed. Make sure not to get sleepy during studying, though. You still have to maintain your focus.
- Make up stories
It’s easier to memorize information if there’s a connection between the details. Even the most random ones will do. Composing stories makes the material you’re trying to learn more meaningful. As a result, it becomes much easier to remember.
- Try spaced repetition
Spaced repetition is when you divide material into smaller pieces and consistently review them one by one for some time. Instead of trying to remember everything at once, you’ll consume the information bit by bit.
- Switch up the material
The idea here is that by switching things up, you’ll be able to apply the right strategy when it comes to solving a particular problem. Studying the same stuff for a long time will only make you lose focus, which will have a negative effect on your memory.
- Learn new thing in new places
This technique can help whether you’re trying to learn only one topic or multiple subjects. Changing your environment forces your brain to create new associations in a stronger memory.
- Test yourself
This is one of the most efficient ways to review any material and check how well you’ve memorised it. Even if you can’t recall some of the details as you test yourself, you’re giving yourself a chance to remember them better in the future.
The last thing you want is to be distracted while learning new material. Before studying, go through a short meditation session. It will boost your attention span and help lower anxiety. Do it regularly, and the result will be even more apparent.
- Acronyms and acrostics
Acronyms help you memorize groups of words by taking their first letters and creating new words out of them. Acrostics are quite similar, but you’re taking the first letters of the words you need to remember and then forming a sentence using words that begin with those same letters.
- Apply patterns
Patterns can help you remember material quicker, much in the same way rhymes do. They make the information more meaningful. Even if there are no repetitive details, you can create patterns yourself by breaking the material down to chunks.
- Take advantage of mistakes
learning from your mistakes is helpful especially when choosing from a number of options. After making a mistake, you attache the emotion you feel to the wrong answer or solution. Which will help you to avoid making that mistake again. As a result, you” get it all right the next time.
- Try all sorts of repetition
If done right, different kinds of repetition can be very helpful in terms of remembering new material. You can either listen to the information repeatedly, perform the same action over and over again, or reread the facts. Each type of repetition i suitable for different occasions, so you won’t miss out on the opportunity to improve your learning process.
- Organize the flow
If there’s a list of things you need to remember, trying to memorize it as it is won’t bring you positive results. Mainly because most lists are messy. But if you organize the list so that’s its entries follow a predictable flow, remembering them won’t be that big of a challenge anymore.
- Try overlearning
This tip may seem counterproductive, as many people say that you shouldn’t cram material when study. But over learning is different. By continuously studying beyond the point of being able to recall the information you’ve just learned, you’ll get rid of all possible distractions and interferences.
- Know the limits of your attention span
To make the most of your learning, you need to know when to stop. There’s only a certain amount of time that you can stay focused on the material. Continuing studying beyond that time will only result in a loss of concentration and an inability to remember the material properly.
- Break up the material – the right way
Similar to spaced repetition, you can also break up the material you need to learn. You can read the entire text and then examine the details later. Or you can first read everything, then check out the separate parts, and then read the whole material through again. lastly, you can try learning the information progressively: break it down in parts, study part 1, then part 2 along with 1, and after that part 3 together with the two previous ones.
- Make use of a study system
A study system is the way you approach the process of learning new material. One of the most well-known and popular study systems is SQ3R. It’s an acronym that refers to the steps you need to complete in this system: survey, question, read, recite, and review. This system is suitable for a wide range of subjects and helps improve reading speed, comprehension and memory.