As students get closer to finals season, it becomes important that all the information learned in hours spent doing homework and 8:30 a.m. lectures, it is retrievable on exam day. But the problem is, most of us have difficulty, storing and retrieving the information from our long-term memory. So how do you solve this problem? How can you improve your studying habits? Well here are some tips to strengthen your memory and improve your study habits.
1. After reading a paragraph, summarize the information you received from it, and ask a question.
Reading about a topic that you may know nothing about is difficult. So in order to retain the information, after reading a paragraph, repeat it aloud, or write a summary of the information you received. This will let you know if what you read was processed in your head. And to take it a step further, a useful tip would be to ask a question about the paragraph. Asking a question will help you really dig into the topic and become interested in what you are learning. If you enjoy what you are learning, it will become easier to remember it.
2. Make associations with new information and with what you already know.
The more connections you make with information, the better you will remember it. So while studying, try making mental connections. Also, mnemonics has been proven to help you store and retrieve information.
3. Chunk and organize the information.
The reason why we are able to remember phone numbers is because it is divided into three digits by dashes. If you look at the information you are studying the same way, you’ll be able to remember it too. Take your readings and notes, and divide them into “chunks” or small amounts of information and memorize it. Organization goes along with “chunking” information. Our mind likes organized information, that’s why outlines are typically recommended for writing and studying. Organize the information into groups, or sub topics. Your mind will most likely remember the information if it is placed in an organized pattern.
And lastly, but definitely not least (seriously this is the most important one)
4. Don’t study last minute!
To cram studying the night before the test is not the best idea. I offer this advice from personal experience. You need to spend some time with the material and test yourself on the knowledge. You cannot expect to remember heaps of information the night before the exam. This goes along with chunking, in regards that information is better retained in smaller groups. So you should spend a few days before the exam studying the groups of information. Bottom line: you should follow the above steps a few days before your exam.
How do you study for an exam? Leave some tips down below!