Do you remember where you were March 15, 2008? If this date is not your birthday or some other significant date, it is very likely that you do not remember where you were.
Human memory has been compared to a filing cabinet. You have drawers of information (e.g., history) and you have files within each drawer (e.g., dates). If you file in an organized manner, it follows that you will retrieve easily when requested (e.g., test-taking). There are several principles that when used can help you improve memory, as memorizing is just the first step in the learning process.
- Have Interest: Having an interest in the material is helpful to memorization. Try to take classes you are interested in and always work to find interesting subjects no matter the class.
- Study with Intent: Plan to remember. Have a positive attitude and use active techniques.
- Be Selective: Discover the most important pieces of information.
- Organize: Group ideas into categories.
- Visualize: Make a mental picture of what needs to be learned and use mnemonic devices.
- Recite: Memory research has proven that we retain more information for a much longer period of time if we recite it in our own words.
- Associate: Relate information you are learning to different aspects of your life and learning experiences.
- Reflect: Allow time for new information to be processed. Make a list or review notes before returning to class. This will allow time for reflection, helping to consolidate ideas in long-term memory.
- Layer Your Learning: Studying for finals will be much easier if the information is reviewed throughout the semester rather than just during the week before testing.
You can also sign up for a strategic learning workshop here.