Studies are the doorway to achieve success in your ambitions. If you study well and achieve extraordinary grades in your academic life, you are likely to make it into your dream profession. But, to achieve good grades, there are two essential things which you’ll need. They are- a good memory and retention power. This is because merely understanding a concept is not sufficient. You have to memorize and retain it well in your brain so that you can write about it in your answer sheet during your examinations.
Along with this, you have to remember the different concepts you have learnt to perform well in your profession. When faced with a problem, you cannot just start looking for a book to help. You have to access your memory and apply different concepts to solve the issue at hand.
So, you must develop a good memory and retention power. Yes, you read it right. You can ‘develop’ good memory and retention power by taking the initiative for self-improvement. No doubt, we all have our inbuilt memory and retention power, but we have the potential to improve it. Just like exercise strengthens the muscles in your body, you can also develop some study habits to improve your retention and memory muscles in the brain. Now, here are 10 study habits that you can practice for this purpose:
- Make notes while studying:
Making notes is an effective strategy to improve your memory and retention. When you make notes, you pay greater attention to what you are learning, as a result of which you can memorise it for a more extended period. So, you should always try to make notes while studying. You can convert the note making process into an interesting one by using coloured pens. Along with this, you can try to write beautifully or experiment with different writing styles to make it an exciting process for yourself.
- Revise your notes at regular intervals of time:
You cannot build strong muscles by exercising only for a single day, right? Similarly, you cannot remember all that you have learnt just by making notes. You have to revise your notes at regular intervals of time to remember them well. For example, you can revise your notes on the very next morning after you made them. Then, after that, you can revise them after a gap of one day. After that, you can revise them after another interval of two or three days. This will help you improve your memory and retention power and also make it easier for you to adjust your entire syllabus before an examination.
- Teach what you have learnt to someone else:
‘The best way to learn is to teach’. Have you ever heard this saying? There are a significant number of chances that you have as it is quite popular. It is not only popular, but it is also true. When you teach others, you improve your memory and enhance the retention of the concept you are teaching. One of the most superficial reasons why this happens is that you are incredibly involved in the process of teaching. When you are involved, you naturally create a better memory of things. So, to improve your memory and retention, you can try teaching what you have learnt to your friends or some classmates who need help in understanding it.
- Take proper sleep at night:
If you often compromise on your sleep to study a little more, then, this point will make you rethink your decision. Rest has two crucial functions. First of all, it plays a vital role in the consolidation of your memory. This implies that whatever you have learnt, needs sleep to get firmly established in your brain. Secondly, the lack of sleep negatively impacts your ability to focus. When you cannot concentrate well on studies, you obviously cannot memorise things correctly and for long. This implies that to improve your memory, you should try to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours every night.
- Exercise or Dance for a while before you start studying:
We all are aware of the fact that physical activities like exercise and dancing are good for our physical health. But, do you know that these physical activities are also good for your memory and retention power. When you engage in exercise or dancing, your brain receives an enhanced supply of oxygen. This leads to a significant improvement in your memory and retention power. So, you can try to exercise or dance for a while before you start studying.
- Utilise the Pomodoro Technique while studying:
Do you work well when you are fresh and energised or when you are feeling tired? The answer is evident when you are feeling fresh and energised. The same is true for your brain. It can memorise and retain information in a better manner when it feels fresh and energised. Now, is there a technique to keep your brain functioning in an energised way? Yes, there is, and its name is the Pomodoro Technique. It helps you to study in short intervals of time, which prevents your brain from feeling exhausted. Here are some simple steps to help you implement the Pomodoro Technique:
- Decide what you want to study.
- Take a timer.
- Arrange everything you’ll need to study- your books, notebooks, pencil, pen, sharpener, eraser and other accessories.
- Set the timer to 25 minutes and press the start button.
- Start studying and don’t stop till the timer rings.
- Once the timer rings, take a break for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, reset the timer and start studying again.
- After completing four study cycles of 25 minutes each, take a more extended break for 20 to 30 minutes.
Isn’t it straightforward to implement?
- Readout Aloud:
You are reading out loud aids in the formation of long term memory. This is because it involves two of your primary senses, i.e. sight and hearing. As a result, reading out loud enhances your concentration as compared to reading silently. So, you can improve your brain’s memory and retention power by reading out loud.
- Avoid distractions:
You will agree that you can remember things better when you are too focussed. Isn’t it? This gives you an effortless yet effective way to improve memory and retention, i.e. to avoid distractions. You can put your smartphone on do not disturb mode while studying. Apart from this, if you encounter a lot of noise from outside, then, you can use noise-cancelling headphones or play instrumental music while studying.
- Make use of flow charts:
The human brain processes visual data better than any other form of data. This makes flowcharts an effective means to enhance memory and retention. Whenever you can, you should try to represent information in the form of flow charts or diagrams and then, try to memorise it. As you do so, you’ll find that learning becomes more manageable, and you can retain information for a longer time.
- Meditate before you start studying:
If you experience excessive exam stress, you should try meditation for better memory and retention. High levels of stress disrupt your ability to focus, which negatively impacts your memorisation power. Meditation will help you bring a significant reduction in your stress level and increase your concentration level. As a result, you’ll be able to retain things in a better manner. Now, if you don’t know how to meditate, don’t worry, there are many guided meditation videos available on YouTube. You can follow the instructions given in these videos and meditate easily.
Your memory and retention power plays a vital role in determining your exam performance and success in your career. The better you memorise information, the better you can perform in examinations. The good news is that you can improve your memory and retention power with the help of some simple study habits mentioned above. Now, wishing you All the Best and hoping that you’ll pass your exams with flying colours.