Memorisation skills

Undeniably, whether you’re a student, a professional, a parent, or a retiree — all of us are learning new things every day. It could be how to play a guitar, a new language, how to calculate the square root of a number, or how to speak in front of an audience without losing your self esteem. Our minds are constantly evolving with new information.

Frankly speaking , not all the things that we learnt get stuck in our head. We often had trouble remembering bank password, or grocery list but somehow our brain has managed to retain the lyrics of the latest song, thanks to the catchy and funky beats. If you are in this situation, don’t worry-you’re not alone. Even Homeon9tuition tutors once struggled to memorise the date and details happened during Declaration of Independence, or the confusing symbols and formula for Chemistry equation. Worry not- Homeon9tuition is her to save the day.

Today, this article is about improving your memorisation skills, based on the research and knowledge sharing by our passionate Homeon9tuition tutors.

Memory and Science

It often occurs if we’ve forgotten so much more than what we had ever learned, but scientists would assure that our brain is continually at work, categorizing new information, calling up old files and making connections between the old and new memories.

As humans, we have two types of memory, short-term or ‘working’ memory, and long-term, or ‘stored’ memory.   Our brain is a pattern-seeking entity that encodes information, much the same way that an online search engine lifts words or phrases from our search history and then links to related advertisements.  Each time a connection is made, the path from one idea to the next is made clearer and the thought process improves. This is why practicing the piano makes a good pianist. The firing between the synapses speeds up and works better and better each time we use it.

Short term and long term memory

Clearly, not every brain works the same.  Part of Homeon9tuition’s goal is to help our students learn the best strategies for getting their particular brains to store information in their long-term memories.

Information sorting is divided into short-term memory and long-term memory. All information passes through your short-term memory, but to commit information to your long-term memory, you must:

  • Understand it well.
  • Link it to information already understood.
  • Experience it by using multiple senses (for example, reading aloud allows you to use two senses: sight and hearing).
  • Use it.
  • Write, Link, See: these are three techniques to help you purposefully place information in your long term memory. For example, remembering an author’s name will be easier if:

    You WRITE the name down.
    You LINK the author to a known literary trend.
    You SEE the name in your reading material.

Learning styles

Memorization depends on the senses you use to best store information. Most people are visual or auditory learners, but some people can also learn by using kinetic senses.

It is important for a student to identify his/her types of learner to get optimum memorisation:

Visual learners learn best by seeing pictures or words.

You may find that visualization comes easily to you. This also means that you may have to make your visualizations stand out more. This makes sure new material is obvious among all the other visual images you have floating around inside your head.

  • Use color, layout, and spatial organization in your associations, and use many ‘visual words’ in your assertions. Examples include see, picture, perspective, visual, and map.
  • Use mind maps. Use color and pictures in place of text, wherever possible. If you don’t use the computer, make sure you have at least four different color pens.

Auditory learners learn best by sound association and having information being told or read to them.

Those with an auditory learning style like to speak and hear others speak in order to learn, but they may have trouble reading silently or staying engaged in a completely quiet classroom. If you are an auditory learner, try these strategies to improve your learning experience.

  • Find a study buddy. Team up with a study group or a reliable study partner and quiz each other on the content. Verbally reinforcing the information will help you retain it, especially if you have to memorize lots of details.
  • Record class lectures. Ask your instructor’s permission to create audio recordings of class lectures. During class, focus your brain power on listening closely to the lecture. You’ll process the information much better this way than if you try to jot down every word the teacher says. Later, you can listen back to the recording and take notes on the most important information.
  • Sit near the front of the room. Find a spot in the front row so that you can hear every word of the lecture.
  • Participate in class discussions as much as possible. Talking about your ideas and voicing your questions will increase your understanding of the material. Encourage other students when they speak so that others feel just as comfortable as you do speaking in front of a group.
  • Repeat facts with your eyes closed. This technique will help you focus your attention on the auditory process, rather than any other visual stimuli that might be in front of you.

Kinetic sense learners learn best by using their sense of touch and incorporating practical experience.

  • Study in short blocks
  • Take lab-based classes
  • Act out your study notes
  • Take field trips to reinforce knowledge
  • Study in groups
  • Use flashcards and memory games

Ways to Boost Memorisation Skills

Memorizing is good for our brains. The cliché “use it or lose it” applies here! Here are ways to boost memorization skills that you can use to gear up your study:

1)      Activate prior knowledge.  

This age-old teaching method is a way to ‘prime the pump,’ so to speak. Whenever a teacher or tutor opens a lesson with ‘what do you know’ or ‘has anyone ever’ questions, quickly respond to the question even you are unsure of the answer. By doing this, you are actually revving up the synapses in your brain, which then prepares them to better store memory.

2)     Use visuals!

This is the brilliance behind graphic organizers.  The majority of students are visual learners and this means that visuals greatly aide most students in studying and memorizing. Starts adding visual to your note- make a colourful mind map and doodle to support the topic of your study. ( You can refer to our past article; Note taking skill to make a great note using mind map).

3)      Write it over and over again.  

Happily students on’t use this torture too often, and we don’t have one of Professor Umbridge’s pens, but this is the logic behind writing spelling words 10 times, and the reason we took notes in college. It can seem like a lot more work to continuously jot down the same thing over and over, but this simple activity can work wonders for your memory recall.

Research has shown that listing out facts or problems improves the ability to memorize them instead of trying to passively learn them by re-reading. Writing it down helps provide the magic three; information that is received editorially, then written, and finally read, has more of a chance of making it to long-term memory.
Further, another study found that taking lecture notes by hand instead of typing them out on a computer helped students better recall the lesson content.

4)      Concentration—One thing at a time!  

Students who are distracted or multitasking are unlikely to remember the lesson. In our technology-driven world, we often mindlessly pick up our smartphones to answer a text or check a social media feed while we’re in the middle of another task. In some situations, the ability to multitask can prove handy, but when it comes to learning a new skill or memorizing information, it’s best to focus on that one thing.

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance suggests that multitasking undermines our efficiency — particularly for complicated or unfamiliar tasks — since it takes extra time to shift mental gears each time an individual shifts between multiple tasks.

Homeon9tuition recently found ideal conditions to improve concentration and recall that students can apply in class and while studying:

  • Pay attention to get information right the first time. It’s difficult to replace wrong information with the right information
  • Make certain that you understand a concept – Its very difficult to recall what is fuzzy. Read and then reread before class, ask questions and try to explain the concept to someone else during your review session.
  • Use chunking, there are limits to how much we can recall, but these limits expand when the material is meaningfully organized, e.g., what are the three key concepts of the chapter and how are ideas grouped under these key ideas. Cluster ideas around a heading or category. One item may serve as a cue to another during the exam.
  • Be selective – condense and summarize. This helps to make the time requirements more manageable. Remember: Memorization Secondary to Comprehension.

5)      Summarize

Whether it’s something you’ve read or just heard, summarising information in your own words helps you encode and remember. You can use this technique when rewriting your notes using Cornell note-taking technique (refer Note Taking Skills article) on motivation side at homeon9tuition website.

6)      Teach back to other students

Think back to subjects you gave a presentation on or had to teach. Sharing your newly learned skills or knowledge is an efficient way to further solidify the new information in your brain, according to Loma Linda University. The process of translating the information into your own words helps your brain better understand it, and there are a number of innovative ways to break something down to teach it to others. It’s a win-win for everyone.

7)      Relate new things to what you already know

According to the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, a great brain-based technique for memory retention is to relate new information to what you already know.

“For example, if you are learning about Romeo and Juliet, you might associate what you learn about the play with prior knowledge you have about Shakespeare, the historical period in which the author lived and other relevant information,” the university writes.

8)      Memory tricks

Memory tricks such as songs, acronyms, mnemonics, raps and rhymes all help students categorize and especially trigger information for recall.  HOMES are great way to recall the great lakes. “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” helps students to navigate math procedures (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) and the ABC song is the first classic stepping stone into learning the alphabet.

Besides, students can create a peg on which to hang the information you want to remember. It might be a rhyme, an unusual image or maybe a sequence, e.g., remember your grocery list by visualizing going through the aisles in the market.

9) Healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is actually can cobtribute to improve your memory. By healthy lifestyle, it means:

  • Spend some time outside and get some fresh air.
  • Get enough sleep and exercise. It will minimize stress and help clear your mind.
  • Avoid cigarettes: nicotine harms your memorization abilities, and alcohol prevents you from consolidating information.
  • Eat right: vitamins, minerals, and protein are part of a balanced diet.
  • Establish a regular working schedule: this schedule will help you avoid overworking at the end of semesters.
  • Be informed and aware of the effects of medications on your memory process.
  • Exercise to clear your head
    Working out is good for our bodies, but our brain reaps many benefits as well. Exercise can improve learning and memory, so if you’re having writer’s block or just can’t seem to get through that tough math problem, try walking it off or squeezing in a quick gym session.

    A 2013 study found that exercise has immediate benefits on cognition in both younger and older adults — after a simple 15-minute exercise session, study participants showed an improvement in memory and cognitive processing.

10) Avoid distraction

Distraction is the biggest obstacle whenever you want to solely focus on a subject or study. Have your family to help eliminates distractions by:

  • Use a “cue” – e.g., when you are wearing a certain baseball hat, you are not to be disturbed. Use your desk to read, review, write letters but use your bed only to sit on for a relaxing break.
  • Remove obstacles, a sound or visual background which is unobtrusive may help to screen out distractions.
  • Have all of your equipment available before you begin, lamp, pencil, good comfortable chair, books and paper clips, etc.
  • Record stray thoughts on a note pad, but don’t act upon them. Call this your worry pad, e.g., personal tasks that need to be completed. Make your to do list for the week before you start, or as a study break, to get random thoughts out of your head.
  • Check your concentration as you go – generally toward the end of every other page, but more often if the reading is dense in terms of facts, definitions, equations, etc. Test yourself on identifying the main idea, restate in your own words.
  • Use all of your senses, e.g., draw on the board, trace it over and over, look for unique visual patterns, talk it out to somebody, rehearse it in the mirror.
    Erase to remember. Write out what you need to recall for an exam completely in pencil. Progressively erase words as you commit them to memory.

11. Study or practice in the early morning

Even if you consider yourself a “morning” or “nighttime” person, at least one study has shown that buckling down and focusing on a task in the early morning can have a greater effect on long-term memory training than other times of the day

Thats all from homeon9tuition. We hope you are getting some ideas on how to memorise either for study, works and personal matters.