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5 ways to train your brain and remember more
At this time of year, the final term of school and university is usually in full swing; revision has become the norm and A-Level and university exams are well underway. However, due to the coronavirus, things are a little different this year.
And although exams have been cancelled and revision isn’t needed, you can still make use of the time you have now to prepare yourself for when studying resumes as normal.
Think about how you study and your methods of learning. How do you capture important information? How do you ensure you memorise it so it’s engraved in your mind? There are many tricks and techniques you can try when studying and revising which will help you remember more. Below are just a handful of tips we’ve picked to help get you started.
1. Write it down
From riding a bike to baking a cake, the more you do something, the easier it gets – and the better you become at it. Well, the same goes for studying. If you repeatedly write notes about a topic, you’ll soon find that a lot of the information begins to stick in your mind.
The more times you write them down, the more likely you’ll be able to memorise the information without even looking. And by the time you come to sit an exam on that topic, once you start writing, all the information will come flooding back to you!
As an extra help, when writing notes down use highlighters, different coloured pens, or coloured sticky notes. That way you can associate a topic with a colour.
2. Read out loud
When reading a book or reading through your lecture notes, it’s possible to read on auto-pilot mode. You may be following the words on the page, but your mind isn’t focused. Your mind drifts and you end up thinking about everything else other than the subject in hand; meaning you’re not actually taking in what you’re reading (yep, we’ve all been there).
So, to really stay focused, try reading out loud. Having to read the words on the pages and vocalise them requires more attention, therefore eliminating any unwanted distractions.
If you’ve got your lecture or revision notes, read them and then try to recite them – only glancing back at them when you really can’t remember something. This method is a great way to get the information stuck in your mind as it forces your brain to remember.
3. Teach what you’ve learned
Written, read and recited your lecture or revision notes? Think you know your stuff and you’re confident on the subject? Great! So, now you should try explaining what you’ve learnt to someone else.
By explaining the topic in your own words, you’ll soon uncover any information that you don’t fully understand or can’t quite remember. Therefore, highlighting the areas that require a little more research or revision.
4. Use mnemonics
Trying to remember a lot of information can be difficult – especially if it’s a collection of facts or processes. However, the use of mnemonics helps you memorise large amounts of information, certain facts and the order of information.
Mnemonics can come in the form of a phrase, song, rhyme, acronym or short sentence; all of which in turn prompt you to remember the information that is usually difficult to do so.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Never Eat Shredded Wheat’ – which refers to the points of the compass (North, East, South, West). Or how about ‘Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain’ – which refers to the order of the colours of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). Try creating your own and see how much more you remember!
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and for many, this is very true. Try combining images with text or creating mind maps (a diagram where you have a concept in the middle and branching off this concept are other key words associated to the concept).
The idea being that when you need to recall information on a topic, you remember the images, key words or positioning of key words on the map and they will help trigger your memory about the finer details.
So, there we have it, those are just five of the things we do at Host to help us remember more. By familiarising yourself with these techniques and implementing best practices for learning now, means you’ll be armed and ready to take on the new term when it resumes.
Do you have any helpful or unique ways of learning and memorising information? Share your ideas with us via our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). For more tips and advice on student and uni life, check out our news page.
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