It’s frustrating to feel like you’re not remembering the information you’re studying. The good news is that you can strengthen your memory over time, which will help you retain knowledge for much longer. Many tactics involve making changes to your study routine, but they don’t require you to spend any extra time studying. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Pay Attention
You won’t just passively retain information — you need to pay attention while you’re learning. Whenever you’re studying, make sure you’re taking in what you’re reading. This means you need to turn off the TV, listen only to calming background music (if anything at all), and ask your roommates not to talk to you.
2. Never Cram
When preparing for a test, spread out studying over several weeks. If you try to cram, you’ll only be able to focus for the first hour or so, after which you’ll find it difficult to concentrate and you’ll retain very little.
3. Use Mnemonics
Find mnemonics that already exist or make up your own to remember key concepts. For example, it becomes much easier to remember that “oxidation is loss, reduction is gain” when you use the mnemonic OILRIG.
4. Use Visuals
If you’re struggling to remember details, it could be because how the process works is fuzzy in your mind. Watching videos can help, but you could also go a step further by creating your own visuals. For instance, you could draw a mind map or flowchart to show how ideas are linked.
5. Create Links with Existing Knowledge
Give new information meaning by thinking about how it relates to concepts you’ve already studied. This will instantly stop new knowledge from feeling unfamiliar and help it to fit into a framework you already understand.
6. Read Difficult Passages Aloud
If you’re struggling with a particularly difficult area of the materials, stop and read out loud. This will help you slow down to prevent skimming and give you the extra time you need to understand the information. Only when you fully understand the concepts will you be able to store them in your long-term memory.
7. Mix Things Up
Feeling frustrated or bored with your studies can make it harder to retain knowledge. The solution is to change your routine in some way. You could switch the order in which you study for different classes over the day, go somewhere like a coffee shop, park, or library to study, or come up with a new approach. For instance, you could start each day by reviewing whatever you covered the evening before.
8. Sleep Enough
Memory is closely linked to sleep. You’ll find it much easier to remember everything you learn if you consistently sleep enough. If you’re ever unable to get sufficient sleep, taking a nap can help — especially right after a class or study session.
You’ll find it almost impossible to strengthen your memory if you lack a place where you can study without distractions. Since it’s best if you can study at home, you may need to search for better rooms for rent. Oshawa students can receive a fully-furnished suite, complete with a desk and chair, at Foundry 1805. We even have suites with dedicated study areas available. Apply now to secure your spot!