Are you tired of taking tests and not being able to remember what you just read last night? There’s a reason for it: in order for information to move from short-term memory into long-term memory, you need to actively attend to this information. When you study materials more than once, it gives you the time you need to adequately process the information.
Research has shown that students who study regularly remember the material far better than those who do all of their studying in stress. Stop procrastinating or waiting till the last-minute to study. Here are 8 strategies to help make memorizing your piles of study notes easy enough to pass any exam:
Flashcards remain one of the best tools for memorizing information. The most common way to create flashcards is to use index cards. Students can simply write the question on one side and the answer on the opposite side and test themselves repeatedly. Computer-generated flashcards can also enhance the learning process. Students can type a list to create question cards, cut them out, and fill in the answers by hand on the back side. Tactile learners benefit by using this process, as writing the answers actually becomes part of the learning process.
- Study Buddy:
You can draw out diagrams and graphs, write out explanations, and teach concepts to each other to help you better remember them.
- Write and Rewrite the Notes:
When you go back to your notes don’t be afraid to rewrite your notes on a separate piece of paper. You can even try rephrasing some of the material into language that is easier to understand. Not only will it provide clarity, but it will help you memorize it all with repetition of information.
- Color Code Your Information:
If you are memorizing notes, color code them by dates or key people. For example, if you are studying for a history test, color code George Washington as blue, Ben Franklin as orange, anything about the Revolution as red, and King George as green.
- Repetition is Key:
Read the concepts. Say them aloud until you’re able to remember them. Repeat this process until you can say all the objects without the paper.
- Repeat it to yourself verbally, and then write it down on an index card:
It find it super helpful to write a question on one side of the card, with the facts on the reverse side of the card. Usually, the brain loves seeing colors and pictures, so, when you write notes, write them out colorfully or draw them in pictures. If you are looking for an online option, StudyBlue offers an online index card system that integrates with apps on all of your devices.
7. Test yourself:
Read a question on the front of the index card or from your notes, and see if your answer matches what you wrote down. Make sure to put aside all the questions that you don’t get write so that you can come back to them later. Remember, repetition is key!
8. Use Mnemonics:
‘Mnemonic’ is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall. A very simple example, is to remember the rainbow spectrum you can think of Roy G. Biv. The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult-to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember.
To memorize effectively, it is recommended that you go to a place with no distractions or gadgets to disturb or distract you. You should take breaks for 10 minutes every hour or two. It will help reduce marathon session. Do not procrastinate or wait till the last-minute to study. Now go forward and quiz up because with these eight strategies you should be getting straight A’s!
Featured Image via Polish Busy Bee.