Secret Tips to Memorise Quickly for an Exam

Do you know that the average individual can remember only about 7 words and will fail to recall the same the next day? Ever wondered why this happens? Or why do we forget things easily? That’s because our brain works like a hard drive, and the space there is limited. It retains the information it feels is necessary and erases something it considers as ‘irrelevant’ or something that it ‘won’t need’. It protects you from overloading it with information. And, that is why all new data is stored in the short-term memory and not the long-term one. As a student, you need to retain, recall and retrieve a load of information. This can be a challenge, especially when you are studying for a test. So, here are some ways to memorise fast for an exam.

According to a German psychologist, Herman Ebbinghaus, who did extensive research on ‘memory’ and its mechanisms, there’s something called the ‘forgetting curve’. This depicts that we tend to forget half of what we learn (new information) only 1 hour after we’ve learnt it. And, after a day, we remember merely 30% of it.

So, then, how do we go about remembering things for a longer time? It’s simple; we must simply keep repeating. Now there’s a method to this as well, which is known as ‘spaced repetition’. Basically, if you wish to remember something for a longer time, you must put it into your long-term memory. Therefore, forced memorisation is ineffective as your brain is unable to make sense of the information and hence, cannot form any connection with it.

So, how do you learn everything quickly? According to this technique, repeating it helps greatly. Here’s how you can follow it:

  • Repeat what you’ve learnt right after learning it.
  • Repeat it again after 15-20 minutes.
  • Repeat what you’ve learnt the third time after 6-8 hours.
  • Do the final repetition 24 hours after the very first contact with the information.

However, there’s no need to return to the information between repetitions. Simply rest and do some other activity, letting your brain relax. This method will help you retain what you’ve learnt quickly.

Now, let us see how you can memorise what you’ve learnt, for a longer period. Now, if you wish to remember things for a long time, you must extend the ‘memorisation’ period. So, here’s the method:

The first time you learn something, repeat it immediately (just like we mentioned earlier)

  • Repeat it after 2-3 minutes, and here comes the change
  • Do the third repetition only after one day
  • Then, repeat after 2-3 weeks
  • Finally, repeat what you’ve learnt after 2-3 months.

Now, this way, you will learn something for a longer time. This is because your brain thinks that if you return to the information, it means it’s necessary. Hence, it does not get erased, and you remember it for a longer period.

The above are some simple ways to retain information for a longer time. However, when it comes to studying, there are some intense memorising techniques that will help you fortify your learnings.

Understand what you’re learning

Memorising techniques - Understand what you’re learning This is very imperative, as rote learning really does not work. Hence, understand the topic you are learning. Break it, into small nuggets to organise it, as this will help you memorise it easily. Connect this new information to something you already know. This too will make it easier for you to remember it.

Sleep on what you’ve learnt

Review what you’ve learnt just before going to bed. Do note that your brain processes and stores information better when you’re asleep. It embeds in your memory, and you retain it better. So, literally sleep over what you’ve learnt. This is backed by several studies as well.

Jot down what you’ve learnt

Making notes while studying, jotting down important points, key features, helps retain information for a longer time. This is because there’s a direct connection between your brain and your hand. When you write down something or take notes during a lecture, you are playing it out in your mind as well.

Learn the most necessary information first

Memorising techniques - Learn the most necessary information firstNow sometimes, you may feel as though you’ve too much on your plate. This is when you can set your priorities straight and decide what you must know and what you can be left out. After that, focus on the key parts of what you need to memorise, and you’re sorted.

Use songs and jingles

If you’re the creative type, you can create your own tune for a formula and/or concept or any sub-topic you find difficult to learn. Or, you can look it up on the internet. The right hemisphere of your brain is at work while doing this, which helps you remember for a longer time.

Link it to a story

Another creative way to memorise and recall information is to form a story out of it. This works when you have to memorise a lot of information in a particular order. However, when you break it down into pieces, be sure to connect them to each other with some kind of plot.

Learn opposite things

This is a great way of learning and retaining information, as opposites are easily memorized in pairs. For e.g., if you’re learning a new language, memorise ‘day and night’ together. This helps you build a connection between the two, and if you forget one, the other will help you recall the information.

Serial positioning

This is very effective when learning something new and retaining it for a longer time. When you learn something new, things that are at the beginning and at the end are memorised the best. Therefore, sort the information in a way that the key parts are at the beginning and at the end.

Visual imagery

Now this is as simple as it sounds. So, you can form images while learning key concepts or difficult items. How this works? Images help you remember these difficult topics by tapping into the visual areas of the brain. And using all five senses will help you retain it better. So, try to use the others while visualising.

The Memory Palace method

Here, you imagine a room or place familiar to you to deposit concept-images. For e.g., a grocery list – where you can visualise items from the list in their respective places in the kitchen. You can even choose spots along a journey, and when you’re passing these ‘spots’, you can visualise those objects there.

Record what you learn

Now this is an age-old technique, but it works wonders. Record what you’re learning and listen to it a few times. This works as it allows all types of memory to work. Firstly, you’re reading the information, so your eyes are at work, and then you hear it with your ears. Hence, you retain better.

The above are some techniques on how to study and remember what you’ve learnt. These methods will help you learn faster and retain information for a longer period, bolstering your preparation for your exams. TG Campus uses effective learning methods in all its courses that bolster our preparation further. Besides these techniques, do eat nutritious meals and add up to those vitamins to sharpen your brain.

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Written by Today's Geniuses
Today’s Geniuses comprises of all the members of TG Campus. It includes IIT Alumni, PhD holders with fellowship and Subject Matter Experts, creating an enthusiastic bunch of Geniuses who are driven by their passion to empower learning.