Many college students struggle with memorizing a large amount of information because they don’t train their brain on a regular basis. Instead of asking how to recall some facts or numbers faster, college students should be learning how to use their memory more efficiently when they study.
Here are 5 scientifically proven memory techniques to aid you nail your pre-exam preparation.
1. Take an Imaginary Walk
Use the method of Loci. This well-known mnemonic technique involves thinking of images that associate the material you are trying to learn with a familiar location, such as your house. You have to take an imaginary walk and link different rooms with chunks of information. For example, pop in your kitchen to find a complicated algebraic formula. Take a close look at a crystal vase on the windowsill to detect the names of the 12 cranial nerves. Finally, in order to recollect each item, imagine yourself walking back through each room.
2. Teach Someone Else
Teaching the material to someone else is one of the best ways to learn it yourself. If you don’t have an attentive listener like a fellow classmate or roommate, you can teach your plush toy. Try to explain the core concepts in the simplest terms possible. This process alone helps you reinforce new knowledge in your mind.
3. Create a Sticky Story
To aid your mind absorb larger bits of information, another technique you can use is to break the material down and make up a story associating each piece of information together. If you need to memorize Newton’s First Law, you can turn it into a tale with its components being main characters. Name the components with human names starting with the same letter and correlate their actions with human actions.
4. Use Acronyms
An acronym is an invented word made up from the initial letter of each word in a title or phrase. You can recall a string of words faster and retain them longer if you give meaning to them. For example, the North American Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior) can be recollected by the short word ‘HOMES’.
5. Make Up a Catchy Song
Have you realized how swiftly you can call to mind the lyrics of your favorite songs? It’s a lot easier to recall a catchy song than to memorize a long list of dates and facts. Next time you learn about a particular historical event, set the most important details to a tune and make it into a song. Don’t forget to sing it out loud to help get it filed in your mind.