First barrier to overcome when you are into memory improvement is the change the limiting belief “I can’t learn that much” or “I have a poor memory”. Whenever we see a huge pile of books to be learned, our first response will be “I can’t do that”, and it is an automatic response!” In fact we have said it over and over, and in course of time it became automatic. This single negative thought is discouraging and will pull away from books. If you have to learn something, you must at least try it, right? The habit of negative self-talk can be replaced with an optimistic and positive self-talk.
By doing this you’ll have better self-confidence and you’ll develop a positive mental attitude towards learning. The best ways to do this is using positive affirmations and self-hypnosis.
Before moving into actual memory improvement techniques, a brief note about what memory actually is. Let us skip the biological part now. We recall things by their associates. You can remember any new information if you associate to anything you already know or remember. Any kind of associations will work, but more clearer and interesting kind of associations will result in a better trace in the brain and hence the memory will last fore many years. An important factor which makes these associations stronger is emotions. Positive emotions like lobe, joy, excitement etc tents to boost your memory. Extreme negative emotions also serve as a catalyst for memory, but it is not advised to use them for ordinary learning purposes.
Traditional memory improvement techniques like link system, peg system, Roman room methods are not discussed here. Also techniques for memorizing faces, jokes, grocery list are also not discussed here because students don’t need to remember these items for improving their academic performance.
Sharper memory needs tow factors, a stronger initial impression and an efficient retrieval mechanism. Let’s discuss the first one, making a stronger initial impression in brain about the learning material. Visualization is a great method for a strong first impression. Visualize what you are learning about. See the images and hear the sounds. If the learning material consists of highly technical and unimaginable data like equations or numerical quantities then try mind mapping. You will be amazed with the result of using mind mapping. If possible try to find visual aids like physical models, actual object or animations in your topic.
Find study partners, and try to learn together as much as possible. Studying with another person will serves you in the following ways.
1. You will be more active in your study than learning alone.
2. Positive emotions like commitment and happiness.
3. You remember more what you teach.
4. Learning in a positive environment (Cheerful and happy).
But beware. Only chose study partners that you can cop with. Your study partner pace of learning should be near to you and learning styles should not be opposite of yours.
The key to memory improvement is to increase the number and variety of your mental associations. As said earlier we learn anything by associating it to something we already know. So to study something we should have a least prior knowledge of it. In this way you can built up on memory. This is like having a proper foundation before building a house. Try to acquire some basic knowledge about the subject before you commit to learn it thoroughly. Without proper basics, sentences are mere collection of worlds without any meaning, i.e. you cannot understand its meaning.
As a matter of fact retention decreases with the passage of time. For proper retrieval of information it should be reviewed at proper intervals
Now let’s discuss the second factor for a sharper memory, efficient retrieval of data. An information can be remembered easily when it is stored in a categorized way even if it doesn’t have a strong impression in your brain. The key is association. We can trace information back to original by thinking of any other information which is closely related to it. This is very important. You may have encountered a situation in which you mind goes blank when thinking about a particular answer to a question while you are in the middle of an exam. The worst thing is you know that you know the answer and you can’t remember it. This is a very frustrating situation. Here never waste your time and energy by dwelling too much time on it and wishing to remember. Instead try to remember anything which is associated or related to the topic. Then you’ll remember the missing link and remember the whole answer.
There are also various other memory improvement tactics. They are discussed through out this website. The sole website is about accelerated learning. Learning and memory are inseparable, so all accelerated learning techniques will some how improve you memory. If you want to know more about traditional memory improvement techniques, please browse this website and you’ll find detailed explanations and steps of execution for each mnemonic technique.