Short term memory loss is becoming more and more frequent as we develop a greater dependency on technology. This need to be constantly connected makes our brains lazy and retaining information becomes harder because, well, you can just Google it right?
The problem lies in converting information from short term memory storage to long term memory storage, which you need when writing exams and tests
Short term memory is engaged for small things such as remembering to get milk on the way home or switching your lights off when parking your car at the mall. The problem with short term memory is that it is short term. The information received through short term memory usually stays in your brain for about a week depending on certain factors but it becomes increasingly difficult to recall as time goes by.
To swap information like the content of your Geography text book from short term memory to long term memory where it is easier to recall you need to employ some next level learning techniques, which we will obviously guide you through.
Be a little bit selective
You cannot remember the 1500 pages in your History so don’t even try. If you struggle with your memory try and bite off information in smaller chunks focussing on things that you believe to be important. Put yourself in the teacher’s shoes and think which questions they would ask from the content you’ve been reading through. Repeat it and use those main points as a foundation to building more information onto.
Chunky is not just good for soup
Did you know that the human brain can only remember 7 numbers at a time? So how do we remember things like telephone numbers? It’s quite simple actually. From a young age we are taught to see numbers as a set of 3, 3 and 4 numbers making it easier for us to remember them. So why not apply the same thinking to your studies? Break down information into smaller chunks and commit them to memory through repetition (or whichever study method works best for you) individually before stringing them together.
A mnemonic device is a rhyme, acronym or song that helps a person remember a long string of information easily. Much like breaking down information into chunks, a mnemonic device allows you to make large amounts of information more bite sized and easier to remember. A good example is medical students using made up words or songs to remember symptoms of diseases or every single bone in the human body.
Use your senses
The human brain is a strange machine but like all machines it has a few “work-arounds”. Have you ever wondered why you can remember things like your first trip to the sea, or those delicious cookies your mom used to make? The more of your 5 senses that you use while studying the more likely it is that you will remember what you’re learning. As an example if while studying Geography you go and lick a rock… Kidding, please don’t actually do that. In seriousness if you record yourself saying the information out loud and then listen to it and write it down you’ve employed 3 of your 5 senses making it that much easier for your brain to remember it all.
Make it your own
There is no right or wrong way to learn. The best thing to do is to find out what works best for you and play to your strengths. If you are a visual person try creating images that help you learn such as mind maps or drawing out the information visually. If you are a person that likes listening and you feel like you really learn when you hear the information out loud then record yourself speaking the information out loud and listen to that instead of music while making notes. The point is really to find what you’re comfortable with and use it.