College students today deal with many problems: essay writing, plagiarism, lack of time, the overabundance of homework, or exams just to name a few. However, although one can say anything about how difficult it is to write all the assignments you are given, education has always been and still is primarily about learning and memorising new information. Approaches may change, but at the end of the day, a lot still depends on how fast you are at learning new things and how good you are at recalling them. Fortunately, you can improve your memorisation skills by using a few tricks and hacks – and we can help you learn them.
It has been proven time and again that cramming for an exam the night before is almost useless, especially for long-term memory. If you take an ‘all-nighter’ in order to memorise everything you were supposed to study over the course of a term, you will most likely forget most of it by the time of the exam, and will certainly forget everything in a couple of days.
Now, there is an easy and stress-free way to memorise anything. Divide the material into cards and study them, a little at a time, every day. When you are able to recall a card, set it aside to revise it tomorrow. If you can remember its contents tomorrow, set aside to repeat it in three days. Then in five days. Then in ten days, and so on. You can either prepare the cards on your own or use an app (like Anki) that deals with technical aspects on its own.
Physical exertion has proved to be effective in improving a person’s cognition and memory, especially when immediately preceding the memorisation process. What to do if you have a paper due tomorrow and have no time to spare on exercise? Delegate some of your work. Contact an online writing service and say, “Find me someone who will be able to write essay for me cheap, please.”
The best way to improve your own recall of information is to teach it to somebody else. To do so, you will have to reorganise this information in your head, and it will help you understand it instead of mechanically memorising it word for word. As a bonus, it will help you develop your people skills, especially if your personality has no aptitude for interactions of this kind.
Write Things Down
Research by UK and the USA scientists shows that writing things down (that is, doing it by hand, not through typing) significantly improves memory and recall. The reason is that writing by hand is slow, and encourages you to shorten the text and boil things down to their essence. This means that you process things in your head and write down your custom interpretation of what you hear. As a result, the information is more meaningful for you than if you simply typed it exactly the way you heard it. As you can see, saying “I have no time to do my notes by hand” is actually counterproductive – by doing so, you can save time you would otherwise spend memorising and revising.
Spread It Out and Take Breaks
Now, pay attention: memorise for a little bit at a time over a prolonged period. The human brain can only process so much information before it gets “clogged up” and refuses to accept anything new until it rests. Trying to cram more into it after that point will bring diminishing returns and can even prevent you from learning anything at all. It is important to get sufficient sleep between the periods of memorisation – although we do not know exactly what the brain does while it sleeps, there is plenty of evidence showing that it categorises information and prepares it for recall further down the line. We hope these tips will be helpful the next time you have to prepare for an exam!