Memory Techniques for College Students

I don’t love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.
Natalie Portman

If you see yourself reflected in this quote, you are probably looking for ways to make the studying process easier. I found a nice long list of 20 memory techniques for college students on the Stonehill College website. The article suggests that you adapt the methods to suit your own learning style and helps you do this by splitting the techniques into 4 general categories for improving memory: organization, using your body, using your brain, and recalling. Here are a few of the techniques.

Memory Techniques for College Students

10. Overlearn.  One way to fight mental fuzziness is to learn more than you need to know about a subject simply to pass a test.  You can pick a subject apart, examine it, add to it, and go over it until it becomes second nature.
This technique is especially effective for problem solving.  Do the assigned problems, and then do more problems.  Then make up up your own problems and solve them.

memory techniques for college students

try some of these 20 memory techniques for college students

11. Escape the short-term memory trap.  Short-term memory is different from the kind of memory you’ll need during exam week.  For example, most of us can look at an unfamiliar seven-digit phone number once and remember it long enough to dial it.  See if you can recall the number the next day.
Short-term memory can fade after a few minutes, and it rarely lasts more than several hours.  A short review within minutes or hours of a study session can move material from short-term memory into long-term memory.

15. Give your “secret brain” a chance.  Sometimes the way you combine studying with other activities can affect how well you remember information.  The trick is to avoid what psychologists call retroactive inhibition, something that happens when a new or unrelated activity interferes with previous learning.
Say that you’ve just left your evening psychology class, which included a fascinating lecture on Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams.  You then check your team schedule and realize that you have a competition coming up in two days.  You begin to analyze your opponent and soon find that you can think about your opponent and soon find that you can think of little else.  In this scenario, the key concepts of psychology lecture are pushed aside by your gripping concern about the competition.
Consider another scenario instead.  You arrange to carpool with a teammate who is in the same class.  On the way home, you talk about the lecture.  The discussion ignites into a debate as you and your friend take opposite stands on a principle of Freud’s theory.  Later, just before going to sleep, your brain can now process the key points of the lecture – something that will come in handy for the mid-term exam.  The beauty of this scenario is that you keep your head in your course work rather than worrying about the competition.   In the process, your memory benefits.

Go here for the rest of the list.

There are lots of good ideas in this article. Which of these memory techniques for college students have you found to be most effective for you? Tell us in the comment section and then share this list with your friends.

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