MEMORY TECHNIQUE

How to enhance our memory so that we can remember faster to get best of the time invested in reading?

For that, there is a tab ‘Student Yoga’ in this website that may help perform you better in exam. Other than this, following articles can help you in better learning. Numerous understudies grumble that they can’t recall important material. They say they comprehend the substance when they read it, yet can’t remember it later. There is a distinction among understanding and recalling. Luckily, there are memory methods and systems for you to utilize. Some will be more helpful for certain subjects and content than others. Try these methods out to create a flexible, personalised memory system that suits your learning preferences.

1. Baker/baker paradox

There is a term “elaborative encoding” that is well-illustrated by a nifty paradox known as the Baker/baker paradox, which goes like this: If a person tells two people (you and your friend) to remember the same word, if the person says to your friend, “Remember that there is a guy named Baker.” That’s his name. And the person says to you, “Remember that there is a guy who is a baker.” The person comes back to your friend at some point later on, and says, “Do you remember that word that I told you a while back? Do you remember what it was?” The friend who was told his name is Baker is less likely to remember the same word than what was told to you that his job is a baker. Same word, different amount of remembering; that’s weird. What’s going on here? 

Baker baker Paradox

Well, the name Baker doesn’t actually mean anything to you. It is entirely untethered from all of the other memories floating around in your skull. But the common noun “baker” — we know bakers. Bakers wear funny white hats. Bakers have flour on their hands. Bakers smell good when they come home from work. Maybe we even know a baker. And when we first hear that word, we start putting these associational hooks into it, that make it easier to fish it back out at some later date.

2. Learn from the general to the specific

Imagine approaching a new painting in this manner. Put on your blinds. A magnifying glass should be held up to your eye. Get your face a few inches from the artwork. Remove the blindfold at this point, and start examining the painting one square inch at a time. It’s likely that you wouldn’t recognise the painting even after you’d completed “looking” at it in this manner. Unfortunately, this is how a lot of students approach brand-new classes and textbooks. Before they grasp the big picture, they feel compelled to dive right in and deal with the specifics. Here is an alternative method. Look over the main points of your upcoming reading assignment before you start. This method can also be applied at the start of a course. Ask a test taker to rapidly go over it with you. Investigate the reading assignments for the full course in the textbook. Although it’s never too late to employ this strategy, it works best towards the beginning of the term. Take a step back and consider the big picture if you’re lost. Maybe the specifics make more sense.

3. Make it meaningful

The process of learning how to pack a parachute won’t bore a sky diver. Her incentive to master the talent is too significant. Find links between what you want from your education and what you are learning once you are aware of what you want. If you’re stuck solving quadratic equations, take a moment to step back. Consider the connection between that math class and your desire to become an electrical engineer. It’s simpler to recall information when it makes it easier for you to achieve your goals. Being clear about what you want is beneficial in this regard.

4. Establish connections

The information that is already in your memory is set up in a way that makes sense to you. When you introduce new information, you can recall it more quickly if you place it close to related or similar information. Let’s say Greg is the person you are introduced to. One strategy for remembering his name is to picture another Greg you know. Your mind is more likely to connect the new Greg with the Greg you are already familiar with when you first encounter him.

5. Actively learn it once

People recall 90% of what they do, 75% of what they see, and 20% of what they hear, according to an old proverb. Although these numbers cannot be proved empirically, the underlying principle is sound. A stronger memory booster is action. By approaching your studies with the same enthusiasm you would use on the dance floor or the basketball court, you may put this principle to the test for yourself.
Sit upright when you are at your desk. Sit perpendicular to your chair, as though you were about to leap out and run across the room. When studying, try standing up. In this position, falling asleep is more difficult. Some claim that standing makes their brains function more efficiently. As you read aloud from the material, pace back and forth and make gestures. Employ your hands. Engage your entire body in the study process. These methods are also excellent for overcoming boredom. Memory is put to sleep by boredom. Use your arms and legs, eyes, hearing, and voice to stir it up. Learning is not always accurate. The majority of learning occurs in passive environments, particularly in higher education. The students are seated, still, and composed. Be not deceived. Learning requires effort. Even if you are reading a textbook while seated at a desk, you are still burning calories when you learn successfully.

6. Relax

We assimilate new knowledge more quickly and accurately when we are relaxed. Relaxation methods are taught in certain accelerated and “whole mind” learning courses. Common sense has a role in this. Students who struggle to recall information in order before a final test may frequently do so later, when they are calm. It could seem that this concept conflicts with technique #4, but it doesn’t. The terms “relaxed” and “drowsy,” “zoned out,” and “asleep” are not interchangeable. Our minds may play with new information, roll it around, build associations with it, and use many other memory processes when we are relaxed and aware but not tense. The two states of being are possible. There are a tonne of books, recordings, and seminars you may attend to learn how to unwind. Additionally, this book contains relaxing techniques. As you study, experiment with the activities and put them to use. More than just lowering your blood pressure, “mellowing out” might also improve your academic performance.

7. Construct images

Sketch diagrams. Produce cartoons. Use them to show connections between facts and relationships. When abstract concepts are depicted, it is much easier to “see” and remember relationships between and within them. Utilizing your creativity is crucial. For instance, Boyle’s law in physics states that a gas’s pressure is inversely proportional to the volume it occupies. In other words, double the pressure results from halving the volume. You may see someone “doubled over” and operating a bicycle pump to help you recall this idea. She seems to be getting furious as she increases the pressure in the pump and decreases the capacity in the pump cylinder. By then, she is “boiling” (to use Boyle’s term) angry. Making drawings is also advantageous since verbal and visual information are processed differently by the brain. You anchor the knowledge in two areas of your brain when you draw a picture of an idea. Your odds of remembering that information rise as a result. Create activity, like the person using the pump, to effectively visualise relationships. Also, make the image lively. The individual’s face could be quite red. Prepare her to “boil.” and utilise each sense. Consider how she would sound as she strained and grunted with the cold metal of the pump and how it would feel. (She would have to fight. To double the pressure in a bicycle pump would require great strength, not to mention a rather tough pump.)

8. Recite it aloud

When you say anything out, you firmly establish the idea in two senses. When you voice the thought, your throat, tongue, and lips become physically uncomfortable first. You then hear it. Similar to how drawing drawings has a synergistic effect, the combined result. In other words, the combined impact of employing two senses is greater than the sum of each sense’s separate impacts. Furthermore, the “out loud” aspect is crucial. In the library, for instance, reciting silently in your thoughts can be helpful, but it is less effective than making noise. Your mind is capable of deceiving you into believing you are knowledgeable when you are not. You can’t trick your hearing as easily. The repetition component is also crucial. The most popular memory technique is repetition since it is effective. Repetition leaves a trail through the neural pathways in your brain, facilitating the retrieval of the knowledge. Once you understand a concept, speak it aloud five more times. Recitation functions best when you use your own words to recite ideas. For instance, you may say, “Gravity causes an object to accelerate 32 feet per second quicker for each second that it is in the air at sea level,” to help yourself remember that “The acceleration of a falling body owing to gravity at sea level equals 32 feet per second every second.” By explaining the idea in your own words, you are forced to consider it. Enjoy yourself while using this method. Write a song about the material you’re learning to recite. In the shower, sing it. Use any style you like (“When you sing out loud, learning is easy whether it’s country, jazz, rock, or rap”). or mimic someone else. Imagine Bill Cosby, Madonna, or Clint Eastwood reading your textbook. Feel free, punk. Make my density equal to the ratio of mass to volume. repeat and recite. You can apply this method wherever.

9. Put it on paper

Though this tactic is obvious, it is simple to overlook. Even if you never look at the note again, making a note to yourself can help you recall an idea. This approach can be strengthened by repeatedly writing it down. Let rid of the memories of writing “I will not toss paper wads” 100 times on the chalkboard after school in elementary school. Repetitive writing is a potent method when used with things you want to remember.
Speaking activates one type of memory, writing activates another. Writing forces us to be more complete, rational, and logical. Just as oral reviews disclose knowledge gaps that mental reviews overlook, written reviews point out knowledge gaps that oral reviews do not. The fact that written reviews more closely resemble the way we are taught to recall material in school is another benefit of them. You’ll probably take significantly more written tests than oral exams throughout your academic career. Writing can be a useful exam preparation tool. Writing is also a physical activity. You join in with your hand, arm, and fingers. The things you do are remembered by you.

10. Lessen intrusion

When you are studying, turn off the stereo. Find an area that is distraction-free and silent. Go to the library if your house is having a party. Studying near to your refrigerator will only make you torment yourself if you have a strong urge to eat. Ten minutes of calm study time could be worth two hours of studying in front of the television. It is usually preferable to study for an hour and watch television for an hour if you have two hours to spend studying and watching television. One at a time tasks help you remember things better.

11. Use daylight

Study your most challenging material during the day. Many people find that throughout the day they can concentrate better. Even those who detest rising with the sun can be exceptionally productive in the early morning hours.

12. Learn more than necessary

Learn more than you wanted to in order to combat mental fuzziness. When they believe they are familiar with the content enough to pass the exam, students frequently quit studying. Another alternative is to take a topic, dissect it, research it, elaborate on it, and practise it again until it comes naturally. This method is particularly useful for solving problems. Complete the given problems, then go on to new ones. Look for a different text and solve the same issues. Create your own problems, then solve them. This kind of self-testing before an exam can help you improve your speed, accuracy, and confidence.

13. Getting out of the short-term memory trap

The type of memory you require during exam week is distinct from short-term memory. For instance, most people can recall a strange seven-digit phone number after seeing it once long enough to dial it. Next day, see if you can remember that number. After a few minutes, short-term memory can start to fade, and it seldom lasts for more than a few hours. After a study session, a brief review can help transfer information from short-term memory to long-term memory. When exam time comes around, that brief mini-review can spare you hours of studying.

14. Distribute learning

Long studying periods are useless. Three two-hour sessions are much more productive than one six-hour one. For instance, if you are preparing for an exam on American history, read for an hour or two before doing the dishes. A portion of your mind evaluates what you studied as you wash the dishes. After briefly returning to American history, make a call to a buddy. Even when you are deeply engaged in discussion, a portion of your mind will be going over the past. By taking regular pauses and using them as mini-rewards, you may do more. Give yourself permission to take a quick call, listen to music, or play hide-and-seek with your kids for ten minutes after a successful study session. This notion has an exception. Keep on when you find yourself unable to put down a textbook or when you find yourself completely absorbed in a term paper idea. Your inner master pupil has taken control. Enjoy the journey.

15. Take note of your attitudes

People who find history dull frequently struggle to recall historical events. People who find arithmetic challenging frequently have trouble remembering mathematical formulas. We’re all capable of forgetting facts that go against our beliefs. This is not the same as struggling to change your attitudes or resisting them. Just say you’ve heard them. Observe them. An attitude that is obstructing your memory might be deflated with knowledge. Making a connection between a topic and something you are interested in can help you overcome a self-defeating attitude towards it. Take someone who has a passion for cars as an example. She thinks it’s a good time when she can repair a motor in a weekend. She may delve into a vast field of knowledge from this ostensibly specialised focus. She can connect physics, math, and chemical concepts to engine operations. She gets into data processing because modern autos have computerised components. Now that cars have altered our cities and contributed to the development of suburbs, she can study this subject, which integrates urban planning, sociology, business, economics, psychology, and history. What interests us sticks in our minds. Remember that everything is connected to everything else if you find a subject to be boring. Analyze relationships.

16. Choose what should not be kept in memory

We can start eating less information. We can choose not to remember some types of knowledge, just as we can choose not to eat specific foods. Choose the most important information from a reading assignment or lecture to retain. Identify the fundamental ideas. Ask both what you want to remember and what you will be tested on. then use memory strategies to those concepts.

17. Combine memory techniques

These memory tricks all function significantly better when used in tandem. Select two or three strategies to apply to a certain task. Try it out for yourself. For instance, after spending some time getting a general understanding of a reading assignment (#1), you could quickly sketch an image to illustrate the primary idea (#6). Or you might sing a jingle about that arithmetic formula all the way to work (#7) and overlearn it (#11). If you have the mentality that arithmetic is tough, you can admit that (#14), after which you can divide your study time into manageable, brief chunks (#13). When you study, integrating memory strategies is like combining sight, sound, and touch. The effect is synergistic.

18. Remembering something else

When you are having trouble recalling something you are confident you are aware of, try to recall something linked to it. If you have trouble recalling your great-name, aunt’s try your great-uncle. If you can’t remember anything about the aggregate demand curve during an economics exam, think back to the aggregate supply curve. If you have trouble remembering precise details, think back to the instructor’s example from her lecture. Similar information is also stored in the same part of the brain. By activating that part of your memory, you can overcome recall obstacles. A brainstorm can help you remember things. When you are stuck on an exam, start jotting down dozens of answers to questions that are relevant to your problem, and presto! The solution will probably pop up.

19. Notice when you do remember

Each person has a unique remembering style. Some people are better than others at remembering what they’ve read. Others recall their own actions, observations, or hearings the best. Determine what memory approaches you naturally employ by observing when you can recall things with ease. Observe when it’s challenging to remember details as well. Resist the urge to criticise oneself. Rather, work as a reporter. Learn the truth, then change how you learn. And when you do, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back.

20. Utilize it before it disappears

If we don’t use it frequently, even long-term memory material can be challenging to recall. Our brains’ informational networks deteriorate with time and use. For instance, you most likely recall your current phone number. 10 years ago, what was your phone number? This suggests a potent memory trick. Access something often in order to remember it. Find a way to interact with the topic on a frequent basis, whether it be by reading, writing, speaking, listening, or applying. By doing that repeatedly, you enlarge the cerebral pathway to the information, which facilitates recollection the following time. Teaching the material is another way to interact with it. Mastery is necessary to teach. You can rapidly tell if you truly get the pancreas’ role when you describe it to a fellow student. Study groups are particularly useful since they put you in front of others. Your attention is brought into focus by the little pressure of knowing that you will instruct the group.

21. Keep in mind that you never forget

You might not think that a notion or idea stays in your mind forever. It’s alright. It doesn’t even matter whether you disagree with the concept. Even so, it might work for you. Try out the idea. Take on the mentality of “I never forget anything.” I may have a hard time remembering anything, but I never truly forget it. I only need to locate where I put it. The opposite outcomes are obtained by many people who employ the other side of this strategy. They keep repeating, “I never recall anything.” “My memory has always been bad. I have such a jumbled mind. Negative self-talk of that nature is self-fulfilling.
Speaking more positively, or at the very least accurately, is an option. You can use “I don’t recollect right now” instead of “I don’t remember.” The latter phrase implies that the knowledge you seek is held in your memory and is retrievable, but not at this very moment. Affirmations that encourage us can also be used to help us build memories. The statements “I retain material readily and accurately” and “My memory works well” are examples of possible responses. Additionally, “I never forget!”

22. Word-peg system

This method can be used to memorise a list of items. Each number in the rhyming peg-word system is associated with a noun that rhymes with it. For instance:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sun Shoe Tree Door Hive Sticks Heaven Plate Wine Hen

Once you’ve committed these associations to memory, you can connect the noun to a memory-enhancing item in a list.
Let’s take the example of memorising the periodic table’s hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon components in that order.
Make a mental association between each of the following items and the noun from the preceding list:
1. Hydrogen: Picture a sun fastened to a hydrogen-filled balloon.
2. Oxygen: Visualize the impact of an oxygen tank on a person’s shoe.
3. Carbon: Picture a tree absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and the ground.

23. Approach to loci

According to legend, the method of loci, commonly referred to as the “memory palace,” was created by the Greek poet Simonides. Simonides was taking part in a supper meal when the structure abruptly fell. The sole survivor was him. The bodies were completely crushed. Simonides, though, was able to recognise the remains by recalling where each individual had been seated. Later, he understood that this method—associating data with loci—could be applied to memorising a variety of data. Here is how to apply the method:
Let’s imagine you wish to memorise the following ten supermarket items:
Bananas, milk, cooking oil, fish, broccoli, apples, peanuts, curry powder, eggs, and coffee beans are just a few examples.
Imagine you’re opening your front door and discovering the doorknob is actually a banana. Then picture a flood of milk flowing out of the house as you open the door. The kitchen table is smeared in cooking grease when you enter from along the hallway. A sizable fish is then discovered in the kitchen sink. Then you notice broccoli growing in your garden as you gaze out the window. so forth. The loci method can be used to help you recall things, points you want to make in a presentation, or chores you need to finish.

24. Meditation for Memory

The best technique to increase our mind’s capacity for sustained attention, which is essential for increasing retention and turning a short-term memory into a long-term memory, is through meditation.
Studies have shown that regular meditation enhances our capacity to concentrate on minute details. 2010; Maclean et al.
The Magnetic Memory Method website has information on how to recall things.

25. The Value of Reviewing

The most crucial step in taking notes is reviewing them after class. If notes are never read again, they are of very little use. Within a day of learning anything, the average student forgets up to 80% of it. By reviewing the material within the first 24 hours, students can significantly boost their memory retention. Edit and clarify your notes as you go over them, paying particular attention to the essential topics. Utilizing the Cornell System is one method for accomplishing this. Conduct a weekly review as well to increase retention even further. Pick a night of the week (the weekends are good for this) to review your class notes from the previous week. Each class will take roughly 30 minutes. Reviewing helps students retain information from textbooks and can be done in a similar way. Do a quick review within 24 hours of finishing each chapter or section of the text, and a thorough review once a week. Nobody likes to add more work to their to-do list, but regular review frequently results in less cramming before exams, which ultimately saves time. It is more beneficial to study for a brief length of time each day rather than a long period of time at once.

References:

1. Student Learning Assistance Center, San Antonio College, 1998; Becoming A Master Student, Dave Ellis, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994.

2.  https://www.alamo.edu/contentassets/a5a735ca72a941f4a67fcbb46ba35d08.pdf.

3. https://www.daniel-wong.com/2020/08/24/

4. TED talks