A Guide to Memory Improvement Techniques

Studying & Memory Improvement Techniques

By the time exams roll around, many students find themselves questioning how to remember information when studying. Reading and memorizing simply to test well is one thing but retaining information is a whole other ballgame that rarely comes easily to the average college student.

Fortunately, memory and studying can go hand in hand. All it takes is a few simple memory improvement techniques and changes to your habits and environment. You not only stay focused while studying but keep that newfound information stored in your mind long after you’ve aced that test.

Memory Techniques for Studying

While some people struggle with remembering the names of new acquaintances or the last place they left their car keys, others struggle with more persistent memory loss, which can be problematic when test time rolls around. 

Many factors play a role in memory. These include genetics, age, neurological conditions, and sometimes simple things like stress, overscheduling, or just being too preoccupied – sounds like college!
Although memory loss is rarely preventable, you can take these measures provided by Medical News Today to protect your brain against cognitive decline as you age.

  1. Brain Training – Just like muscles, your brain needs to be used regularly to maintain good health. Give yourself a mental workout. Look into 15-minute brain training activities or critical thinking exercises to help stimulate and strengthen your mind. Tools like Lumosity are proven to aid a person’s ability to recall information and details and memorize patterns.
  2. Exercise – Physical exercise directly impacts cognitive function and protects the brain against degeneration. Things like brisk walking, running, hiking, swimming, dancing, and skiing help keep you fit and sharp. 
  3. Meditate – Participating in mindful meditation can improve brain function, reduce brain degeneration, and improve both your working and long-term memory.
  4. Sleep – This is one that college students hear time and time again, but, indeed, you should always seek the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If this means curbing the procrastination or setting a personal curfew, so be it. Sleep is critical for brain health, and disrupting the sleep cycle can cause cognitive impairments and interrupts the brain’s processes for creating and storing long-term memories.
  5. Reduce Sugar Intake – Although delicious, sugary foods can be detrimental when it comes to memory. Research found that drinking too many sugary drinks may be connected to lower total brain volume, which is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Habit & Environment Techniques for Memory and Studying

An additional tool for memory improvement techniques are memory techniques for studying. Memorization will only get you so far. To perform your absolute best, you must develop a meaningful understanding of the subject you’re studying. However, studying of any kind requires remembering ideas, concepts, and material on exam day. So, while you ultimately should stop relying on all-nighters before a test, there are steps you can take to improve your memory and make the most of your study sessions.

  1. Organize Your Space. Clearing your space of any clutter or distractions and ensuring you have all the necessary materials will enable you to focus and stay focused.
  2. Visualize the Concepts. Use the Method of Loci, a technique where you visualize a house and associate rooms within the house with different bits of information. New information will be placed in a new room; opening a drawer will reveal a chemical formula, opening a closet will lead to the names of the bones in the body, etc.
  3. Acronyms & Mnemonics. Creating patterns and words with the information you need to remember is proven to be one of the best retention methods. Associate the first letter of each item with a phrase or rhyme to make it easier to recall.
  4. Learn by Doing. Act information out, use hand gestures, or other movements. Muscle memory helps with remembering information. 
  5. Change Locations. Different environmental cues can help trigger memory. If you’re struggling to remember certain material, try relocating to a new spot either in the room or another altogether to help that information stand out in your mind.
  6. Revisit. Review the material you studied a few days after your study session and make a mental note of any concepts you may have forgotten, so you know which areas to review again.

It’s essential to use these memory techniques for studying and memory improvement techniques on top of other good habits like organization and proper time management. This will help make sure you’re not just memorizing the material but working hard to retain and deeply understand it, which will only lead to personal improvement and professional development in the long run.

The View on the Square has all the resources you need when it comes to studying. With computer labs and private study rooms on every floor, there’s no shortage of study space here! Contact us today to set up a tour.

Happy studying!