Students may have to memorize large chunks of the syllabus on a daily basis. Remembering one class can be difficult, but when it is time for tests, it gets even more frustrating. Students tend to forget some of the syllabi and feel that they do not have the required memory skills. But people are not born with excellent memorizing abilities; they can acquire them with practice.
So, here are a few tried and tested memory tricks to help the students remember massive amounts of information:
Clear the Distractions
The most crucial thing to understand is that when trying hard to study important lessons, students must not let anything else enter their minds.
Think about this: how often do students get distracted because the TV is on, or there is a lot of noise in the room? Text messages, app notifications, and the internet, they are all major interruptions.
For this reason, before you start studying, make sure that nothing can distract you or interrupt you for a while.
A cluttered space is never conducive to a good memory. Students should keep their desks and room tidy and neat. Files, records, schoolwork, and other study materials should be organized properly. If they have to use a computer, it is better to follow an effective computer filing system.
The next thing to do is make a schedule, allocating enough time for each subject, depending on the level of its difficulty. Taping this timetable to the wall where it is clearly visible will remind the students of which topics have to be covered that day.
Here is an ancient approach called “memory palace,” which requires the students to visualize an imagined space or environment. Then they imagine placing each of the things to memorize there. When they need to access the information, they simply recall the things they had put into this symbolic palace.
This technique works efficiently because our brains can recall visual things much better than random data learned from a paper. For example, memorizing the names of new friends:
Visualize a familiar space, such as the corridor of the school.
Associate each of their names with a clear image of an object.
Imagine walking down the corridor and placing each object in a sequence.
When it is time to recall in the test, imagine walking down the corridor and noticing these strange objects and immediately remember their corresponding names.
In some cases, it is also called as pegging or Mnemonics. Here, the students link each new topic to some concept that you already know. The connection does not have to make sense; it could be a crazy link that makes people laugh. Forming a story with back-to-back links is also a good method.
Other techniques in this link method are rhyming each word or using acronyms for the words to be memorized. A simple example:
Big Elephants Can’t Always Understand Small Elephants – spells BECAUSE.
Writing and Reading out Loud
Writing down the subject topics students have learned helps the syllabus sync into their brains. They can jot down the notes during class and reorganize this information at home. By repetitively doing it, they can also correct their mistakes and get better.
One other thing to know is the profound effect of recitations. Reading the lines out loud helps them to remember the syllabus better. This is similar to how people listen to songs on the radio and subconsciously; the lyrics get etched into their minds.
In each subject, there will be interrelated topics that are important for the tests. Learning one topic can bring everything else to mind. So, the best way to learn all the material is to create concept maps.
On a blank sheet, they can draw concept maps to visually link their topics or ideas. By using lines, arrows, various shapes of boxes, and colored pens, students can put together self-explaining maps that show how the ideas are related in a sensible structure.
Students think that they can remember all the material when they appear for the tests. But just reading and rereading is not going to cut it. They need to stop in between and ask themselves a few questions to check if they can remember without looking at their books. But they have to give a time gap between memorizing and taking such quizzes.
Finally, before the actual tests, students have to know how much of the curriculum they have grasped. By quizzing themselves, they can learn what information they can recall and what else is pending.
We understand that some of the above techniques may feel new and strange at first. But with continuous practice, they get easier and feel more natural. Students can develop their brain processes and commit more information to memory. They just need to try a few memory tricks and see which ones suit them best and stick to them.
Another scientifically proven fact is that people tend to better store the information which they came to know just before falling asleep. So, students are advised to read a new concept before bed and see if it gets embedded in their brain.