There are a number of memory tips that have withstood the test of time. They are designed for memory improvement, increase your retention of what you have learned, and boost your recall. These memory strategies have been taught for years by the top memory training experts, and probably are nothing new to you, but it doesn’t hurt to review now does it?
1. Focus!!!! This is the most important tip you will ever hear. If you can’t focus your attention, and eliminate all those distractions that are taking place around you, moving information from your short-term to long-term memory will be difficult, if not impossible. Go to a room that is quite (no TV or radio), take off your headphones and turn off the cell. Despite what you may think, any outside noise or disruptions forces your brain to work overtime to separate what you are trying to remember from everything else.
2. No Cramming. You are not going to remember at the last minute what you should have been putting into your memory through repetition all term. Studies have shown that processing information over time imprints it in your memory, and it stays there, whereas trying to remember the night before all that you need to retain will only stay there for a short time. If this is for a mid-term exam you will simply have to relearn it again before the final.
3. Organize Your Information. Research has found that if you put information into an organized structure, like an outline, your brain will process this information in related clusters — making it easier to recall. Take your lesson and put it into groups of related topics, such as all things relating to the War of 1812 should be listed under one topic, while all thing related to the Civil War under another. Being scattered in your organization makes it much harder to remember it when you need to.
4. Use Memory Tools. Memory techniques, like mnemonics and memory improvement strategies offered at memory improvement, make it easier to remember and recall information. This requires associating something you want to remember with something common in your life. The most effective mnemonics are positive, funny and crazy — humor is always easier to remember than simple facts. Make up a joke, a song or a scene that can be acted out.
5. Go Back Over The Material. Memorizing is best done through repetition. Rehearse, and repeat until it is encoded in your brain. For example: if you want to learn the definition to a word read the definition, then go back and get a more detailed definition and example. By finding out different ways to look at the word you will be able to remember it better.
Going over different and important ways to remember is important to memorization, and will definitely get you a better grade on your test.
From the desk of Ron White
About.com — Improving Memory — Top 10 Memory Improvement Tips, By Kendra Cherry: http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/tp/memory_tips.htm