When it comes to revision, your memory is your greatest asset. It’s what allows you to retain all of your knowledge about the world, and therefore it’s the leading factor in how to study well in short time frames. So, even if you have the best study techniques and revision tactics under your belt, you can still go wrong if you haven’t got the memory to hold it all. For this reason, you should take time to learn some effective study methods specifically for improving your memory. Today, we’re going to take a look at some ways you can improve your memory to improve your revision potential.
How to Study Well in Short Time Frames – Improve Your Memory
Change Your Diet
Firstly, there’s some scientific evidence to suggest that different foods have an impact on your memory. For example, there seems to be a connection between chewing gum and having better memory. Scientists have observed heightened activity in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that handles memory, while participants in studies chewed gum. While this doesn’t guarantee that chewing gum makes your memory better, it might be worth giving a try.
In addition, eating berries might improve your memory. This might be worth trying if you want to gain an advantage while revising.
Re-write Information in Your Own Words
When revising, it’s tempting to just mindlessly write out the notes from your textbook, word for word. You can go into an ‘autopilot’ mode whilst doing this. However, this won’t do you any favours when it comes to revising. Make sure that, when you’re writing out notes, you re-word everything because this means that you understand the material. You’ll be much more likely to remember things if you write them out using your own vocabulary, making this one of the best study techniques – particularly for visual learners.
Discuss with a Friend
This is one of the most effective study methods because it’s similar to the previous point about re-writing in your own words. Discussing ideas with a friend will mean you have to put them in your own words, which again means that you’ll have to understand the information in order to re-word it. It also means that you’ll be more likely to remember what you’ve said than if you’d just wrote it down, or read it word for word from a textbook.
Create Representations in the Brain
This method of making associations in the brain is really common. It also makes for one of the most effective study methods for smaller pieces of information. The goal of this method is to give your own meaning to facts so that you’re representing them in a unique way. For example, if you had to remember that the Easter Rising in Ireland toom place in 1916, you might want to represent this as a pile of Easter eggs rising up in an elevator to floor 1916. Quirky representations like this can help you remember smaller pieces of information really easily, and it’s how to study well in short time frames for a lot of people.
Method of Loci
The method of loci’s use can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome. It involves mentally visualising locations, then ‘placing’ information in them. This is how to do it:
1. Think of a familiar place (e.g. your bedroom, classroom or office) OR imagine a familiar route (e.g. your commute to school or work);
2. Start to imagine placing the information you need to remember in this space, such as key dates and names;
3. Then, keep this location in your mind for a while, and just imagine the ideas in this environment;
4. When you think of this location, or when you’re actually there, you should also be able to recall the memories that have been placed there.
Chunking is the process of chopping up larger pieces of information into smaller ‘chunks’. This makes them more manageable and easier to remember. Rather than having to remember one long string of information, you just need to remember a few smaller pieces. Chunking is particularly useful in day-to-day life when remembering things like phone numbers and addresses. It also serves a purpose in revision. If you needed to remember the spelling of a long word, you could break it down into syllables. Then, you could just come up with representations for each of these pieces of information, then put them all back together to remember the whole word.
Finally, one of the best ways to improve memory is to do memory games. Take a look at the video below to see how good your memory really is!
Now you have some advice on how to study well in short time frames by improving your memory. These are some of the best study techniques that you can employ in tandem with other effective study methods to improve your memory and increase your chances of passing. Check out the video below for more tips on how to improve your memory. If you would like access to even more of the best study techniques and most effective study methods, take a look at our book: How to Study: Ace Your Grades.