Utilizing your memory is one of the most effective tools available to college students. It will insure that details won’t escape you when taking an exam and studying will go much more smoothly.
Chunking is a memorization tool that involves grouping pieces of information. If you can associate things that are grouped together, it will be easier to remember what they have in common. For example, if you are trying to remember a series of numbers it is easier to separate them into groups. 8955204 is more difficult to remember than 8955 204 because it is more crowded and busy on the eyes. This works will all forms of information. Names can be grouped by the century they lived in or the battle they fought in. The entire history of a civilization can be broken down into groups that are easy to remember for an exam. Chunking is incredibly useful when attempting to memorize large amounts of information.
Mnemonic Devices are a common and highly advertised way to remember information. They involve taking the order of a group of items and putting the first letter of each word together. Students learn to adopt them from an early age. PEMDAS or “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” was often referred to as the process to solve mathematical formulas. “Never Eat Shredded Wheat” reminded students the order of North, East, South, and West. Mnemonic devices can be applied to a variety of subjects. They are especially useful in scientific fields, where the memorization of thousands of diseases is a necessity. Because they are so short, they are easy to remember after going over the letters a few times. They are useful because they are very likely to stay in your head for years.
Making a logical connection between what you already know and what you need to learn is great for memorizing. If it makes sense in your head and you are able to explain it to someone else it will be much easier to remember. Your brain will automatically connect them together. As your knowledge grows and you begin to learn the complex details of simple processes, logical connections are a must. You can say to yourself, this works because it is made of these parts and they all work together because of this. Having step by step connections make it easier to remember everything because you can’t logically skip a step.
Repetition is one of the most effective memorizing methods. If you read it twice to yourself then rehearse it out loud, you give your brain visual and auditory recognition. Reading aloud forces you to focus on each individual word and the sentences will make more sense. If you can rehearse to someone else, it will help even farther. Being able to effectively explain or tell someone what you know will put the information at the forefront of your brain and make it easily accessible. When you take a break from studying and go off to do something else, you should attempt to rehearse what you know while in a completely different atmosphere. If you can successfully recall what you previously learned, you shouldn’t have any trouble remembering it when it comes to exam time.
Color-coding items that belong together will give your brain a visual recognition that they are related. If you highlight the names of a group of plants with similar characteristics yellow, you will automatically group them together. All you have to do then is figure out what that characteristic it is they share. If you use a few different colors, it will also be easier to differentiate when you are studying. You will know exactly what you have already gone over and when reviewing should be able to tick off the blue section and the purple section as memorized. This will break up your studying, so you aren’t completely overwhelmed. Color-coding is a very simple process that can make a huge difference when trying to recall large amounts of information.
Memorization techniques will be a deciding factor in your grades. If you can find what works best for you from the start, your studying will produce much better results.