Regardless of academic level, every student wants to remember what they have been taught in class and studied. In a case where you have a test the next day, you may need to memorize information faster. The problem is that when exams are only a few days away, students who want to absorb a lot of content last minute decide to cram. The superficial grasps result in material ending up in the short-term memory section of the brain.
Despite the learner’s intention to retain the information, it’s quickly forgotten as soon as the exam is over. This beats the purpose of learning which is to impart knowledge that can be applied in all areas of life. Some of the common reasons why students forget are:
- Failure to learn the taught material well.
- Emotional problems.
- Shallow processing.
- Retroactive interference.
While there are several reasons why students forget, retrieval failure ranks among the top. When learners are not engaged, they don’t use the information. As a result, it doesn’t move to long-term memory. So what should a student do to remember more if not all of what they learn? Below are tips and tricks that learners at all academic levels can use to boost recall.
Use Visual Aids
For many years, visual aids have been used in learning to help students retain more information for longer periods. In fact, humans remember more of what they see. Therefore, incorporate both text and images to boost memory and recall the information faster when studying.
For example, you can draw how you have understood the material or use colorful flashcards. As long as you have created visual content with images, you are more likely to store it in long-term memory. Besides, if you struggle to understand new concepts, you can add visuals to fight boredom or ask a professional essay writer to simplify the material. After studying a particular section, you can visualize it to cement the information in your memory.
Study in a Place Free of Distraction
Distractions interfere with a student’s attention and recall. As a result, the information gained becomes harder to use in exams or careers. To overcome distractions, put your phone out of reach, block all the social media sites if they are your favorite hangout place, and if you are studying at home, ask the family members to avoid disrupting you until you’re done. Finding the right study environment is another great way to avoid distraction.
It can be under a tree, in the library, or dorm room. Choose a place depending on how you study best. For instance, if you tend to be more productive in a quiet area, go to the library or close your room and use noise cancellation headphones.
In case you’re not affected by noise, then you can study anywhere, be it a coffee shop or on a commuter train. You can also try different places and see how productive you become. Once in a semester or academic year, vary the study routine to eliminate boredom while improving long-term recall.
Learn By Association
Did you know that the brain is wired to forget? According to Hermann Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve, one hour after learners have been taught, they will not remember 56% of the material, and within a week, the loss is raised to 75%. However, every student needs to absorb new information, and having a sharp memory plays a crucial role in an individual’s academic performance.
When you learn by association, you reinforce ideas and mentally link them. This helps a learner connect with the information deeply while enhancing recall. Understating the taught material in-depth helps to remember it with greater accuracy. So when learning new concepts, connect them with familiar ideas that are already in long-term memory. That way, it becomes easier to recall the content.
Learn the Core Concepts First
When you learn the basics, it becomes easier to understand complex ideas. Perfecting the fundamentals gives a learner the motivation to tackle concepts at advanced levels. That way, the easier part is transferred to working memory and becomes the building block for remembering. You can also make it a habit to master smaller bits or the easiest sections first; that way, you are motivated to study the whole material. You should also set extra study time to understand and memorize difficult topics.
How do you know you will remember the information read? By trying to recall and speaking it out. This is also a great strategy to determine how many details you can remember and which areas you need to reread.