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Memorizing for classes.


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How can I train myself to increase my memory?

 

 

Many times where I have joined my friends to study, I have noticed when they were look at the PPT slides, many of them looked at the slides over and over and they were able to memorize it. Others, just looked at the power point slides like a newspaper, and the information registered. For me, I can only memorize by writing down the material, and though its useful for me, it is extremely time consuming. Are there ways for me to increase my memory or train my memory where storing information in my mind is easier.

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Well, there are a lot of memory training methods. However, what I would suggest is not trying to memorize things, but rather try to learn context. Instead of focusing on the content of each slide, only write down a short sentence summarizing the general concept or at least keywords so that you can read up later. Lecture slides are not supposed to replace actual textbooks (though I realize for most students it is more important to get the grades rather than content and I sympathize to some degree with that).

 

I know that this is not trivial, as one need to acquire some basic knowledge before one can quickly understand context of certain tidbits of info. Typically the ideal case is when the student already reads the material before the lecture and uses the lecture to exclusively fill in gaps or to see what the most relevant parts are.

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It's fate, free will, or something else. Notecards turned into flashcards. Wrote memorization. Verbal practice.

 

Everyone is supposed to have access to the lecture material. The professors generally give a lecture-in-a-can teaching style. As such, the lecture slides (ppts) are used over and over again. You learn to memorize the slides and abstract: Minimalize information and expand from just the slides.

 

Turn the slides into flashcards: another idea.

Edited by Genecks
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There are several ways of increasing your memory, but perhaps the most efficient way to improve your memory is the use of mnemonic techniques or the Method of Loci. The Method of Loci in particular capitalizes on our already extensive visual-spatial memory system built into our brains.

 

You can take a look at this short list here for various mnemonic techniques: http://www.learningassistance.com/2006/january/mnemonics.html

 

The Method of Loci on the otherhand is a much more advanced technique, and requires more practice. You may be interested in watching this video for a short primer on how to do it:

 

 

The thing to understand that memory is very much like a muscle; as long as you practice using it and stretching it just beyond its limits, you should be able to improve your memory over time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are several ways to get information to stick in your brain, and these are dependent on the largely misunderstood and poorly researched learning styles. To increase recall, skim the outline and summary of the material first, then read it in its entirety. Next look at the summary again. Now, read the material carefully, and relate it to what you already know. Take notes, or jot down correlations, or for some people, make mental notes. This is much more important for adult learners than children based on changes in the brain as we age. I did a two month lit review on adult learning for my job last spring. This is the key for adult learning (for most adults, but not all) so try it and see if it works for you. Adult learning works best when relevance of the information is established. Relate what you are reading to examples in your work, or life.

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  • 8 months later...

You could also try to use Anki flash card with spaced repetition; to test your memory and also use it to formulate questions about the concept, the context and some useful questions about anatomy that can help you to get the content also trying to create analogies, and metaphores that could explain some processes to make sense also use the ethymology of some words to create mnenomics and useful images of some tricky words. Also you can practice with a group of peers to make this flash cards as a game and throw some questions to each other or even using a body to use also visualization.

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  • 2 months later...

In my studies I found that what really helps improve memorizing a lot of information before exams is making cheat sheets. I made them nice and tiny and laminated and all handwritten. I didn't actually use those at exams, but the process of making those helps immensely. First of all, as cheat sheet is generally small, you can only put so much information on one, and also you should try to limit the number of them to a minimum, as a result you have to carefully process all the information that you're going to write down and prioritize. This alone stimulates your memory a lot since long-term memory works best by association and you've already done such a work on carefully ranking all the data by the matter of priority.

 

Then comes the writing part, where the very mechanical process of scribbling words on a piece of paper and obviously reading them at the same time improves your memorizing. Most of the time, when I was thinking about some question on the exam I could picture in my head which particular cheat sheet the answer was on and where on the sheet it was located. After that remembering is extremely easy.

 

Also you could try mnemonic methods as other posters have suggested.

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