The most important aspect of student life is their memory. Whoever has more capacity to remember names, and formulas they are always regarded as smart kids? They are respected by teachers and parents and society as a whole.
Our exam systems are also designed in such a way, whoever has more capacity to mug up and puke on the exam during those three hours, they are the winners.
Exams are not designed to test our understanding and Knowledge but our ability to remember and reproduce.
We all strive to improve our memory irrespective of our age, a good memory leads to better performance, whether in writing our exam or remembering a laundry list of things you need to shop.
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How does our memory work?
Memory is a complicated process that’s made up of a few different brain activities. We all wonder some people have such a great memory they are able to recollect such a big list of formulas and name how come we are not able to?
Lets us understand how memory works .. so that we can master
When we closely look at any activity which involves remembering, there are three important steps happens… in the process in the brain
1. Recording -Creating a Memory
2. Retaining- Consolidating the Memory
3. Retrieving-Recalling the Memory
1.Creating Memory or Recording
While recording: Our mind is like a live camera that is recording everything happening around us irrespective of your degree of attention.
Then our brain sends signals in a particular pattern associated with the event we’re experiencing and creates connections between our neurons, in the form of synapses. It happens continuously irrespective of whether we have given attention or not.
Once it is recorded if we don’t do anything further that memory would be evaporated easily.
2. Consolidating the Memory Or Retaining
Once it is recorded if we don’t do anything further that memory would be evaporated easily.
That is the reason why we don’t remember every person’s face we meet till we have some interaction with them.
Consolidation is a process of committing a short term memory to a long term memory so that it can be retrieved later. It is like keeping things in a safer place.
Expert Psychologist says a lot of this consolidation happens while we are in sleeping as our brains recreate synapses that we created earlier.
This is also one of the reasons why our culture says we should not think bad about someone before go to bet or watching crime scene is not a great idea to lead a good life
3. Recalling the Memory Or Retrieving
Recalling ability is what generally we talk as memory or loss of memory. When we are not able to recollect that means our ability to recall is failed. In most cases with little deep down search, we will be able to recollect. Recalling would be easy if it is been retained and strengthen over time. By repeating a couple of time memory gets strengthened. That is why when we byheart few things it will be easy to recollect even without knowing the meaning of it
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Understanding our memory in with a warehouse context
We can imagine our brain is like a large godown, it keeps on gathering things good and bad, some of them are useful and to be retained other are garbage.
Some things need to use frequently others never used, some are very light to carry others are bit heavy like our mathematics formulas. A good warehouse manager needs to be alert and keep segregating things as it comes inside the godown, label them, sort them Index them so that it can
be retrieved as and when needed. Accessing becomes easy when things are not cluttered and unwanted things are not there Memory is not different, If you want to improve your memory just use the same analogy to keep the thing on the top of your mind
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How to remember more with less (Tips and Tricks)
- Identify the important and unimportant: things from exam point of view, whenever notes are given you know what is important keep those things highlighted and marked so that it is easy for you to invest more time on vital few than trivial many
2. Set Your Priority: If you feel like there is too much on the plate you can always set your priority carefully, decides what you have to know and what you can do without!!
Focus on the key parts what you need to memorize, if you find some time extra time do go through other as well
3.Set Time: Identify the easy and not so easy subjects and topic within, Again going back to the godown example if you have to recollect you should know which item is heavy and which one is light
4 Planning: well planned is half done, Have a focused plan for study allocate enough time depending on your ability and goal. This plan should help you leverage your strengths and minimize weakness effects
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Memory Tricks (Best Practices)
1. Read Multiple times
Read those important things twice or thrice, repeatedly with a gap of some time (whatever the gap day, week or month). Reading will help you freshen up your memory and bring the subject to the top. repeated reading will help you keep the things on the top
2. Write what you read
Pen and paper help you more than computer here, writing is like printing the subject on your permanent memory. While you write your eyes will read, the mind will recapture and hands will write.
This will have 3 times better memory as you have used eyes brain and your hand to print in your memory.
3. Summaries on your own words
Once you are done with multiple time writing, try to summarize the topic you have read on your own words. This will force you to have a better understanding of the subject.
Also, you can create a one-liner for better remembrance. This is the technique most rank holders are using to memories more for less
4. Understand the subject well
This is a common tip every one gives to students but we all know the feeling when we try to learn which we don’t understand.
It is true when you understand and relate the subject, it is easy to remember and recall during your exams easily.
When you give a little more attention to lectures, it would be easy for you to focus on the subject. Be attentive and try to make a note of all the things which you need clarification.
Here you may want to take the help of your parents or teachers to have a better understanding. Google is the best source if you know where and how to search or comparative knowledge.
5. Teach the same
This is a fantastic way to remember things and understand better when you have the pressure of teaching you will focus more and try to give a simple example. this will strengthen your bonding with subject and articulation ability which will ultimately help you remember the subject anytime.
In most cases you can take your parents and friends so that they will correct you, there will be discussion around when you go wrong and it will help you remember better and recollect when needed
6. Record and listen to while you travel
When you record what you have read it has the double benefit. First is you need to take some effort to record, that process will get registered in your mind and help you remember more. The second one is you can listen to them when you are in the school van or traveling on the bus. When each time you listen to your own voice records, your articulation ability will improve drastically. This will help you remember long sentences and difficult formulas or even long speeches.
7. Make up stories and mind map
This is the technique most smart people use to remember a large amount of information. Be it an exam or public speaking make up a story where you can list all the items to be remembered and assign a character so that it will come up as the story move forward
8. Mug up or byheart formulas
It is easy to say you should not mug but understand the subject. But when it comes to practical implementation you know how difficult it is, how can one remember that complicated formula? “Some of the formulas are so complicated even Alber Einstein will faint”
And importantly in that age, you would not be able to relate it to any of your experiences. and these questions will have huge marks one cannot afford to lose!
So mugging is a good, I suggest keep the mugging part limited and understanding part for long term success
Memory is a skill, like any other skill, Painting, Swimming, and Driving, That could be learned and mastered with practice. If you want to master any subject it will take a few days of effort, similarly, if you practice some of the above techniques and tips, I am sure you will be able to improve your ability. Again no skill can be mastered overnight, it needs a systematic effort for at least a couple of months.
One way to become smart is to keep learning new things and techniques. We keep publishing articles and videos on our Short courses Channel. You can connect us for more help and subscribe to our Short courses Channel so that you get the latest tips and Tricks to be smarter than ever. Have a wonderful day.