As we already know...the brain is an astonishing organ. It consumes the most energy of all our organs and has a virtually limitless ability to remember information.
It is important to remember that your memory is:
1. Trainable (oh thank goodness!)
Once you learn different systems to read and retain information your ability to remember information, places, names etc is much improved.
2. Your memory is based on associations.
Have you ever had the experience whereby you smelt something and "instantly" it reminded you of a particular memory, or person, or situation. This is what we call an association. It "links" to what you are trying to remember.
How is what you are trying to learn relevant to YOU? What is it like? What is similar to? How is this information completely different to ...? Answer these questions to help you form an association with what you are trying to remember.
3. Your memory is conditioned by your conscious and unconscious thoughts...so be careful.
DON'T get caught in the trap of saying things like:
"I can't remember this" "I have a bad memory" "You'll have to excuse me I have forgotten your name because I have a bad memory". "Sorry I have a memory like a sieve"
Your habits and what you say to yourself on a consistent basis can really affect whether or not your brain is "switched on" or "switched off" to learning and remembering.
4. Your Brain Needs reinforcement and repetition.
Repetition is the mother of all skill. EVERY SINGLE DAY...you should review the information that you have learnt in the school day. WHY? IF YOU DON'T REVIEW THAT INFORMATION...statistics show that within 10 days you can forget...
UP TO 94% of the information you have learnt in that class.
REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW.
Have you ever had the experience of revising for an exam and can't actually remember studying the topic...OUCH!
The moral of the story is review each night (each class) for about 5 minutes total.
Review at the end of the week. Review at the end of the month.
...and theoretically you will have a significant improvement in retaining that information (all from just 15 minutes of reviewing over 3 sessions).
5. Your memory improves as you develop more knowledge (yes you actually remember more exponentially!)
More knowledge equals an improved ability to "associate" with other bits of knowledge and memory.
More associations = greater memory.
6. Get vivid and have fun with your memories.
Your mind switches off when people talk too slow or things move too slow. When this happens...your mind seems to wander and daydream (no doubt it may have happened today in one of your classes!) How can you make the memory more exciting? Visualise the information you need to recall. Compare the following strategies:
using colour vs black/white
2D vs 3D imagery
Still photos vs video imagery
Be creative and try to create fun, interesting, outrageous and wacky associations to whatever you are trying to remember.
Your brain will love you for it! :O)
7. Requires good sleep, adequate hydration and nutrition as well as a relaxed and confident attitude.
I'm sure you have heard of the expression: "Healthy body equals a Healthy Mind"
...so in order for you to remember critical information on the day of an exam you'll need a good night's sleep (as sleep plays an important role in memory processing), quality nutrition and lots of fresh, good quality...
So there you have it...some great little pointers to help you sharpen up for those VCE exams.
Posted on 07/10/2008 at 12:00:00 AM