Holding on to information is greatly linked to being a success in academics.  Exams and quizzes are specifically designed to discover what information you have retained as derived from personal study and further from classroom lectures.  Especially since what has been studied will be required for workforce use once college is completed and career work begins.

Working with this techniques will help improve memory retention:

  • Find a way to make the information meaningful to you

Struggling with information often is because the information presented is confusing or in some way unclear.  One can find remembering concepts and ideas that are not completely understood difficult.  It may be easier to remember information that is new if it is presented in a way the learner can understand.  By summarizing it in their own words and ideas.  If that cannot be done, it is a sign to the student that the material being learned is not being fully comprehended and help at adjusting to the concepts may be required.

  • Find a way to organize the information

Organizing information is a big help in helping one t retain information.  For instance, find categories that the information can be organized in to or find word associations.  A foreign language class will require lots of memorization.  Find words that have similar meanings or are in similar classes such as nouns or verbs.  This way they can be associated together instead of seeming random.  Organization of this information in this manner makes it easier to be retained.

  • Find photos and pictures

Recent research has found that visual communications are more effective in communicating than verbal communication.  In other words, people remember more what they see than what they hear.  Everyone can agree that remembering a picture or photo is much easier than remembering information that one read or heard during a lecture.  This comes in handy and works best when studying confusing or abstract subject matter.  One can create images in one’s mind that have similarities or relate to the abstract concept.  Visualizing information imprints it on one’s mind, whether read or relayed, increasing the chances it will be remembered and retained.

  • Find a way to make study an active activity

Practice studying.  In order to remember or learn a concept, one will find that it may be difficult remembering what has been heard during lecture or read from a textbook.  For instance, critically analyze the material and then contrast it with details or make up questions regarding what has been learned.  Make up a lecture on the material to faux teach study group classmates.  Implementing active study strategies into one’s personal study habits will enhance one’s ability to create retention for confusing or even complicated material concepts.

  • Find a way to frequently review the material

Cramming is not the best way study and the least likely way to retain information.  Especially for the long-term and every college student is known to cram for tests.  Memory retention is key and the key to that retention is reviewing notes immediately following lectures and use other study materials for days and weeks prior to tests…not the night before.  Pen notes or highlight information likely to make its way on to a test.  One should do this after reading textbook material, as well, such as chapter headings.  Repetitive review and study will help one retain more information more quickly.

  • Use mnemonics to spark your memory

A mnemonic is a way of relating facts by making up acronyms, using rhyming schemes or other short phrases to remember specific details from lectures and reading materials.  For instance, Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit – is used by music teachers to help students remember the names of notes on the lines in the treble clef.  Many people use this method to study and remember content for all subjects.  Why not give it a try today!