A Step-By-Step Guide To Study and Remember Information Long-Term
The amount of information at our disposal has made our modern society an information-based one. Consistently, the amount of this said information being made available is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, there’s actually a term for it, called information overload. To find out more about information overload, read this Wikipedia article
This is more on the part of students who no longer find it possible to study every bit of information made available to them by their teachers. Each effort made to absorb everything, tend to give rise to overwhelming information overload.
What you need are strategies, a system or steps that will aid you to make the most of every study session and thereby remember information after a longer period of time. Simply going through these guides below will help you find the gold in all this information and allow you to process it in a more usable form.
Be Focused and take Notes while Studying
The very first thing you need do in order to process information correctly is FOCUS. What does it mean to focus? Focusing is becoming aware of what is important and what is not. When you learn to filter out the dross from the gold you are focusing.
You will only learn what your professor thinks is important if you attend class, so attend class. If you miss class, get notes from someone. In order to develop focus, you must know what the professor is thinking.
The next most important action line to toe is to cultivate the habit of taking notes while studying. You will not succeed in your studies unless you learn how to properly take notes and then use those notes. But taking proper notes is a skill that comes from constant practice.
When striving to develop a proper note taking skills, you need to develop the abbreviations taking skills, shortcuts, and methods that will allow you to take notes quickly.
Learn by Teaching
A great way to strengthen what you have learned is to teach someone else. You could organize a study group that often meet before the test and exchange ideas or you could tutor someone who is struggling.
If you tutor someone on one on one basis, do not be afraid to request stipends for your help. If your student does well, you might find a source of extra cash while also developing your personal study and information retaining skills.
Create Learning Tools and Practice
You can’t rely only on your notes for studying. You need to create study tools that will help you reinforce the new important information. You should put together practice quizzes, study guides and practice tests and then share them. If you take the time to create quality study guides you can sell them to other students for extra cash
If you truly want to retain all the new information that is coming your way, you must endeavor to practice relentlessly. You cannot expect to do anything with any sort of excellence without practice. Practice is a prerequisite for success. Even professional athletes practice in order to maintain their edge.
Put these three strategies above into action and you will begin to process more information, in less time and be more productive than you thought possible. But remember it doesn’t happen overnight or by accident, it happens on purpose.
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO REMEMBERING EVERY DETAIL
Every student wants a good memory. The constant question that probes the mind is how to get one? The below guide will help you remember anything.
Remembering any item of information can take time and effort but there are a number of simple things you can do to make heighten your chances of remembering anything.
- Be interested in what you need to remember. If you are interested in the information you need to remember it will be much easier to lock it into your memory.
- Break the information down into smaller, more manageable, chunks to remember.
- Associate what you already know with what you need to remember.
- Make the information interesting so that it jumps out of the page at you. For example, where possible make the information (and connections, as we will discuss later):
The Number Rhyme System
This system gives you easy to remember images that you can then link your new information to.
4 = Door
5 = Hive
6 = Sticks
7 = Heaven
8 = Gate
9 = Vine
10 = Hen
If you need to remember 10 items of information you can easily link information to these ten standardized items. This will also let you easily remember what position your information is placed.
Obviously, the limitation of this system is that it only provides you with information for numbers 1 – 10. However, I have developed my own system which I have called the IMP Memory System. This is an eBook that gives simple to remember images for numbers 1-100. It also gives images for 0 and 00 in addition to each of the 100 marks i.e. 200, 300, 400 etc.
The IMP System also lets you remember numbers easily because you automatically associate the numbers with these easy to remember images. If you need to remember long numbers then you simply link the easy to remember images together in a string.
The Link System
This is simply the act of linking one item of information to another. Again you would make the images colorful, interesting, vibrant and funny etc so that they stand out in your mind.
How this works:
Let’s take the example of a shopping list (although any information could, in theory, be used). You need to remember:
Bananas, tomatoes, beans, milk, cornflakes etc…
I would first think about the supermarket and link to this an image of a large vibrant picture of bananas. Perhaps the bananas are fluorescent. To the image of the bananas, you then link tomatoes. Perhaps you are peeling the banana and inside is a ripe shiny tomato that shouts ‘eat me’ to you. You then link tomato to the beans. The tomato might pop as you hold it and out pops a tin of beans. And so on for the rest of the list.
This is a great quick and easy method of memorizing a list of items. The only downside to this is that you cannot recall the number an item occupies in your list but then this might not be necessary.
The Roman Room Method
Basically, this is a method of using the already familiar to remember the unfamiliar.
This can be used to remember a list of items or a number of chunks of information.
How it works:
Basically, think about your house and the first room you get as you enter it. Let’s say this is the kitchen.
As this is your house you will no doubt be able to recall, with very little effort, the layout of that room starting from the left and working your way round to the right clockwise. So you might start with the fridge, dishwasher, microwave, a clock on the wall, television etc.
You now link or ‘peg’ the items in your unfamiliar list to these familiar items one by one.
So let’s say you are remembering a simple shopping list and the first thing you need to buy are bananas. You link your first item in the kitchen, fridge, with bananas. Use the general rules above to make the link interesting, unusual, colorful etc. For example, imagine the bananas extremely big sticking out of the fridge door and perhaps when the door shuts on them they explode.
You now have an image locked in your mind for the first position. You continue this with the other items you need to remember and the other positions in your room: dishwasher, microwave, clock etc.
You could utilize a number of key positions in your room and of course, use all the rooms in your house for memory pegs. Once you have exhausted your own house move onto the houses of other family members and friends to give you an enormous number of memory positions to link information to.
Just remember to make the connections colorful, vibrant and unusual etc, for the best success and accuracy.
Do you ever meet someone and have trouble remembering their name later on? I used to have the same problem but figured out an easy way to solve it.
The first thing to do is after hearing their name to repeat it. Use the name in conversation with that person. The act of repeating the name should help to lock the name in your mind.
What you then do is think about someone you already know with the same name. For example, say you have just met someone called Frank and you already know someone by that name. You should simply connect the person you already know with the person you have just met. The way to do this is to think about things that the two Franks have in common. Perhaps they both have the same spiky hair. Perhaps they are both short or have the same shaped/sized nose. This all helps to remember the name of this person.
One other method is to take a feature of their face and to use this to then link to their name. For example, if the person has large ears and their surname is Castle you can imagine a castle with large ears making the image of the castle in your mind. When you meet that person and see their large ears you can immediately be reminded of their surname.
Remembering anything is not easy but it can be. Sometimes you will need to prepare the groundwork so that what you need to remember in the future becomes so much easier for you at the required time, and successfully avoid information overload..
For example, in the case of the roman room method think about the rooms of your house. Take the time to move around the room in your mind and lock into it the positions of the items you will use to peg future memory items too. In this way and if you continue to practice you will find that using the Roman Room system when you need it will be easy for you.
Also, and to touch again on the point of the Roman Room system, I would advise that whenever you go anywhere new to think about the layout of the room. When you leave, go back to the layout in your mind so that this new place can also become a place to peg items to in your mind.
Also, the more you know the more you will find to connect to what you wish to remember. You will find that you have more familiar connections with which to use. This, in turn, allows you to remember more.
Be interested in learning and bear in mind that being interested will improve your memory.
One further point to remember is that the more you use these systems and your memory; in general, the easier it becomes to remember information. Strive each day to remember what you hear, see and learn and you will soon find that you are capable of remembering anything. This strikes a happy balance between being unable to remember much at all and complete information overload.