How can you remember all your lessons?
As a student, you’ve probably already had trouble remembering everything in your course before an exam. Whether it’s vocabulary words, historical dates or mathematical formulas, it can be complicated to memorise everything.
The good news is that there are strategies to help you! Discover 8 methods to boost your memory and really retain what you’ve learned.
1. Be aware that people forget information very quickly
The Ebbinghaus forgetting curve is a concept developed by the psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus at the end of the 19th century. It shows how our memory forgets new information learned over time, unless we make an effort to remember it.
In the first few days after learning something new, you forget very quickly. After that, the speed of forgetting slows down. If you want to retain information over the long term, you’ll need to review it regularly.
Yes, but when and how?
To counteract forgetfulness, spaced repetition is best. The idea is to revisit the information at regular intervals to anchor it more firmly in your memory. By spacing out your revision sessions over time, you can avoid the rapid forgetfulness that occurs in the first few days and strengthen your memory of the information over time.
2. Optimum intervals for revision
To reactivate your knowledge, it’s important to revise regularly. But how often?
Although spaced repetition is effective, it’s important to find the right interval for your individual needs. Some people may need to review the information every day, while others may review it every week and remember it.
One way of determining your optimum interval is to test yourself. Try reviewing the information at different intervals and see how well you remember it. This will give you an idea of how often you need to review the information to keep it fresh in your mind.
To get you started, we suggest you try out this sequence of reminders:
- D Day: Day of initial learning of a new concept
- Day +1: Immediate review
- Day +3: Short-term review
- Day +7: Medium-term review
- Day +30: Long-term review
Day + 6 months: Consolidation
3. Plan reactivation
Once you’ve worked out the optimum intervals for reactivating your knowledge, make sure you schedule revision sessions for yourself. You can use a calendar or diary to set aside specific times each day or week to review them.
By drawing up a schedule for reactivating your knowledge, you can make sure you don’t forget any information and it will be easier for you to stick to your revision timetable. You can also use the scribzee revision application to place your reminders at regular intervals in your calendar and link them to the course you need to revise.
4. Use flashcards
Flashcards are a simple and highly effective way of reinforcing your knowledge. You can use them to revise vocabulary words, formulas and anything else you’re trying to remember. To make your flashcards, all you have to do is write a question on the front of your flashcard and the answer on the other side.
Then it’s easy! Read the question, try to find the answer and then turn the flashcard over to see if you had the right answer. Ask yourself questions regularly and test your ability to remember the information.
By using flashcards in conjunction with scribzee, you can revise whenever and wherever you want, track your progress over time and plan revision sessions to reactivate your knowledge.
5. Make links between information
Making links between new information and what you already know is a powerful memory tool. When you associate new information with something you already understand, you create a bridge between the two and it’s much easier to remember the new information.
For example, if you’re trying to remember the date of a historical event, think about how it relates to other events you know about in order to find your way through time.
6. Uses mnemonics
Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is difficult to memorise using memory aids. For example, if you’re trying to remember a list of items, you can create an acronym using the first letter of each item to form a new word.
To create an effective mnemonic, 3 conditions must be met:
- The more simple it is, the easier it is to remember,
- The more fun it is, the more you’ll remember it,
- The more personal it is, the more effective it will be.
7. Teach someone else
There’s nothing like explaining a concept to someone else to reformulate complex information. And simplifying a concept is a very good way of remembering it more easily because you have to make an effort to teach it.
If you don’t have anyone to teach in person, try writing down an explanation of the information or creating a presentation to share with others.
8. Thinking of you
Finally, it’s essential to take care of yourself if you want to memorise optimally.
Look after your sleep. Some studies have highlighted the effect of sleep on exam performance and success.
Also remember to take breaks to recharge your batteries. To be effective, your brain also needs to breathe, so between two revision sessions, do whatever makes you feel good: sport, a walk, a moment with friends, etc.
That’s it! You’re now familiar with 8 ways to remember all your lessons.
The most important thing is that you find the ones that work best for you. Everyone’s memory is different, and it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. Persevere and you’ll see your memory improve.