Memory is a consolidation of information in the brain with an ability to retrieve it later. Though it is quite useful in everyday life, its importance during education is quite high. Hence, here we describe ways on how to improve memory for studying purposes. These include
- Diagrams (for biology)
- In-depth understanding (for mathematics, physics, and chemistry)
- Memory and understanding (of terminology or names )
- Hints for historical dates.
- Own notes.
A student with good memory has a competitive advantage over his colleagues. This is because; he can perform well in his studies. But the memory levels vary among students. This is due to factors like love for the subject, age, disease, pollution, etc.
However, one can try to improve their memory by making simple changes in their way of studying.
Diagrams: In subjects like biology and physics, the use of diagrams is a great advantage. One remembers the topic well if they remember the diagrams. These diagrams can of body organ systems, plants, animals, etc.
In physics, a diagram of simple harmonic motion, magnetic movement, light waves, etc. Reading the subject with reference to the subject is easy to make physics derivations.
It is also quite easy to revise with labeled diagrams. If you are in a hurry before exams, just seeing those diagrams helps to revise a lot. While writing the exams, memory of diagrams gives the confidence to answer the paper.
In-depth understanding (for mathematics, physics, and chemistry):
Many students neglect this important aspect during their studies. I personally realized this after school. Luckily enough, I could figure out during my pre-graduation studies and enjoyed the learning process. Those who tend to remember the subject without understanding it to the fullest have weak memories. Once they move on to the next classes, they forget them.
However, those who understand the subject better tend to remember it well. Further, they enjoy the process. Understanding helps you realize the greatness of the subject and also makes your brain mature. It enhances your analytical power and also reasoning ability.
For some students, mathematics is quite complicated. Except for simple methods like addition, subtraction the remaining things seem tough. This is because when a new concept like trigonometry or geometry arises during class, they become confused. Just a sincere effort to understand will help the student to enjoy them. But, some of them do not try and fail miserably. Of course, sometimes the teacher is also responsible for this lack of making students grasp the concept.
So always try to understand the concept instead of reading them to remember. This is an easy task if you attend your school and stay focused in class. Also, you can enhance your understanding of the subject if you discuss it with colleagues and your teacher.
Memory of terminology
Some of the scientific terms are derived from Latin, Greek, or other languages. For example
Pro, Meta, and ortho positions in a benzene ring. “Pro” means first or immediate, “meta” is next and “Ortho” means straight. So, if you see the positions of functional groups on the benzene ring, you find the meaning.
Similarly, terms like synchronous, synergy mean different terms with some connection in between. The word has two parts as “Syn” and chronous, “Syn” and ergy. So both have the word “Syn,” which means together.
While the word “chronous” means movement and the word “ergy” means energy.
Similarly, many terms have a meaning and if you know them, it would be easy for you to remember them.
Hints for historical dates: One of my friends used to write the dates in history exams correctly. I was doubtful about how he could perform so well. Then he said he used hints to do that. Any dates like the American revolution, the french revolution, etc. He used to correlate with any of the important dates like his birthday, occasion in a family, etc. Doing so, he could remember so well without any errors.
Practicals: Relating things to nature and studying by observation is a part of practicals. One tends to remember a lot about what was done in the lab practicals.
Since one gets a hand on experience, it has a strong impact on memory.
Own notes: Reading from one’s own notes is quite interesting. One can easily remember what he read from his own notes.
Revision: Revision is key for memory in studies. The more times you revise, the better is your memory of the subject. It is useless to study something and not revise the latter. Doing so would not yield results. Instead, read a little and revise and then proceed. This will help you remember and also perform well.
How to improve memory:
Improving memory is easier but comes with practice. Some simple methods to improve memory.
Attention (i.e., concentrate): Memory mainly depends on attention. The more attention towards an incident or speech, the higher is memory consolidation. This you can do by planning what you want to do and also improve it by meditation, prayer-like concentration techniques. Another way is reading books; while reading books, try to see how long you read the paragraph or page in the book with complete attention. Tick with a pencil at the point of the word at which you lost attention. If you repeat it, your attention will improve as you try to cover more words with attention.
Ex: Have you ever seen that you locked your room or your car etc and tried to see again and again if you did it perfectly? This is due to a lack of memory for the action due to a lack of attention. Some thoughts might be running in your mind distracting you and hence you were not able to focus.
Exercise: Exercise regularly help one to have active body physiology, which is need for a healthy mind due to proper blood circulation to the brain for nutrition and carriage of waste matter. Exercise also reduces stress and helps you have a composed mind.
Breathing fresh air: Try to stay in a place with low air pollution. Habituate any breathing exercises. This helps provides sufficient oxygen to the brain and also helps burn out any unused calories in the brain. Respiration is a good body detoxifier.
Have plenty of water: This helps in two ways. The brain has no direct blood supply to provide nutrition. It happens by a fluid called cerebrospinal fluid, which is exclusively in the ducts of the brain, providing nutrition, oxygen and also removing the waste from the brain. This cerebrospinal fluid depends on water concentration in the body for its formation. The decrease in water content of the body directly decreases CSF fluid volume in the brain and creates a deficiency in supply to the brain. This happening on a long stand can damage the brain cells and thereby memory.
Transport or journey to school or college: Try to avoid long journeys through traffic daily. If you need to go to the school located at a long distance from your home, use the school bus service. This may help decrease stress.