Need some memory improvement tips? This is something that everyone asks from time to time, lets face it, everyone could do with a bit of help with memory sometimes, whether they’re studying for their A Levels or trying to get ahead in a new career.
The key to memory improvement is training: the brain needs exercising just like any other muscle, but it doesn’t react like other muscles in the body. Working out the brain is all about organising information in a way that’s logical to you and using techniques that support this system.
Here are a few of the best tricks to help you improve your memory...
Chunking is essentially taking information and dividing it into manageable-sized pieces. Most people can remember between 5 and 9 numbers, for example. If you’re given a long number sequence to remember, try dividing it into 2, 3, 4. Some people find it easier to remember things in 2s, while others prefer to breaks things down into sets of 4. Find out which one works for you and then see if it helps you remember things.
Relating the information to something personal will help you remember it. Whether it’s an experience or simply connecting a new person’s name to a friend or family member, creating a relationship between the information you’re trying to memorise and something that is already familiar to you is a highly effective memory technique.
Leaving a clue for yourself or relating the job to something else you do naturally is a technique that helps you remember things that need doing on a daily basis. For instance, say when you make your breakfast in the morning, you’ll take your medicine while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. Or when your favourite programme comes on television you’ll say you will take the rubbish out. You can also leave physical clues for yourself too. These routine-related clues are very unlikely fail and can be used in study to help reinforce key learning patterns.
This method is very successful when having to remember lists. Visualise a place you know very well, like your house. Then visualise walking through your home and remember the order you pass through every room. Then place each word or piece of information in each room. By mentally walking through your house, each time you come to a different room you will remember the information you assigned to it.
Imagery and Creativity
For the more visually minded, getting creative with colour, rhymes, drawings and imagery is a great way to help memorise things. You can also use your imagination to remember things by word association. Imagining things in situ or exaggerations of the thing you need to remember can also help.
One thing’s for sure: cramming has been trialled and tested, and it doesn’t work. It has been proven that studying then having a break, studying something else then returning to that subject and repeating is the best way to retain information. So don’t leave things to the last-minute, be methodical in approach and you’ll give your brain a chance to exercise what it has been practicing.
Like these tips for how to improve your memory? Get more help with passing your exams with our pick of a few of the best revision techniques.