There’s a theory because of the ravages of time, the mind and the brain getting older becomes altered, as the attempt to remember and recall past memories becomes distorted. One myth when it comes to memory, is you’re not able to retain it by training it, which isn’t necessarily true.
What’s known is there are effective proven, some claim scientific ways to improve memory, to have better recall at will.
What we’re told in school is the best way to memorize or learn something, is to read or listen to the information, highlight what’s important, and then reread and study the notes.
What it doesn’t need is much cognitive effort to remember a passage. What’s been established is there are methods to improve memory, steps you can take based on science.
If you follow certain clinical rules, it then becomes possible to ace all of your exams, impress your friends and family at parties because of your recall, the ability to remember more.
Know some of the methods which involves better memory are more supplemental, rather than replacing what you’re already currently doing.
Sleeping After Studying
Once you learn something new or do something spectacular it remains freshly imprinted on your mind, it remains vivid.
Eventually, you begin to forget things as time passes, and those previous memories begin to decay or become distorted.
The key becomes strengthening memories on these events, you recently learned while preserving them. One of the best ways to consolidate this process is sleeping.
Studies show going to sleep within 3 hours of learning new material, there’s far better recall than learning something 10 hours previous to going to sleep.
Sleep eliminates environmental stimuli and distractions which interferes with the learned content.
The key becomes to go to bed shortly after learning something new. If you have no interest in the subject however, it’s easier to forget.
The Need To Visualize
At times the brain can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined.
What mental imagery does is ignites certain areas of the brain, whether fact or fiction, so visualizing helps memory.
What’s known is better memory retention isn’t driven by exceptional cognitive ability, or because of the structural differences in the brain of certain individuals.
Those who are highly adept and can remember more, encode the information, store and organize it in their minds better.
The best known way to remember huge amounts of information is by visualizing the event.
This simply involves using mental imagery to represent the information you’re trying to remember.
Chunking Together Data
What’s thought is we can recall up to 7 pieces of data in our short-term memory, at any given time.
We can remember the 7 dwarves, but not if there’s 10 of them. We remember phone numbers because they’re 7 digits long.
Then there are those times we need to remember more than 7 bits of information.
One technique that’s used is known as “chunking,” which is breaking long streams of information into more manageable chunks.
If there’s a 12-digit number string you need to remember, such as “1-9-6-9-4-8-1-2-1-6-1-0,” it appears intimidating and hard to remember.
But once using the chunking method, you can break it down as 1969 – 4,8,12,16 – 10. It then becomes easier to remember.
Instead of needing to remember 12 separate pieces of data, it’s down to the moon landing (1969), multiples of 4; and Bo Derek.
Most information strings longer than 7 digits, can be reduced this way.
Take A Break
Always study for X number of minutes, say 20 minutes and then take a break. What taking a break doesn’t mean is you’re giving up or quitting.
What’s found best is studying in short spurts, taking short breaks, rather than cramming all the information at once.
The infamous all-night cram before an exam, leads to serious health issues such as anxiety and insomnia.
What’s known is you can only concentrate effectively on one thing at a time.
The advantage of short intermittent bursts of studying over a single continuous session, is known as the spacing effect.
Cramming is a byproduct of procrastination. It doesn’t matter who you are, your first choice is to delay things as long as possible. The “do-it-later” syndrome.
At times it’s justifiable to put things off, but usually things become rushed.
The most effective is studying in small segments then take a break, which leads to better retention, rather than confusing the mind by overloading it too much.
The problem for students when trading sleep for cramming, leads to memory issues the following day.
Sleeping the night before becomes crucial for academic success, while the lack of it impedes the learning process.
Always Be Testing Yourself
What making up questions and then self testing yourself does, is strengthens the encoding process in the brain. Read text with the intent of quizzing yourself later.
What self-testing does is gives you an idea on how much you know, which increases your ability to memorize it.
To improve your understanding and recall even better, try to explain it to someone else, or back to yourself.
Educators have always known the value of thinking out loud, and the reason why they ask questions in class.
Ask yourself questions, come up with different answers, which forces a conscious awareness of the processes your mind is going through.
When learning new material, ask yourself: What’s an example of this? How can I understand this better? Why would or wouldn’t this work?
Elaborate The Information
Think about a concept and then add meaning to it, by relating other things you know are similar. What doing so does is it embeds it into your long-term memory.
This is known as elaboration, because the association you’re making relates to something you already know, creating a link by using visualization.
Rather than blaming it on “senior moments” which we all know is a very true thing, there are a variety of effective ways to better enhance increased memory, which are known to work.
What’s known for certain is there are ways to definitely improve memory retention, which are all clinically proven. All it takes is effort.