How to remember more of what you study

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    Have you ever wondered how to remember more of what you study? A good night’s sleep and these study tips can make the next study session more productive.

    How to remember more of what you study

    It’s no secret that repetition is the common standard for learning. But there’s more to studying than mere rote memorizing or repeating the study material. Study techniques have evolved over the years, and we now know that quality of sleep, diet, and stress levels also impact how well you retain new information.

    The learning process is also not the same for everyone, as some people are more auditory or visual learners. Still, there are many memory tricks one can try to improve the retention and reproduction of material. Learning to study correctly goes beyond good grades—it’s a vital life skill.

    Today, we’re sharing a few different memory techniques to consider.

    Why do we forget what we learn?

    When discussing the best ways to memorize information, we also have to ask why we forget what we learn. Perhaps you used to remember the phone numbers of your family and friends, but now you can barely remember yours.

    Of course, the introduction of mobile devices has made memorizing phone numbers unnecessary, which is also why we forget. Without repetition of the learned material, we’re bound to forget it.

    Humans have practically no limitations when storing new information, but our ability to access it is hamstrung by different factors. The problem of accessing information or forgetting always has interested scientists.

    In the late 19th century, Hermann Ebbinghaus developed the idea of the forgetting curve. Essentially, his graph of memory loss explains how we forget what we learn unless we repeat it at specific intervals. He also discovered that spaced repetition is the most effective way to retain information in the long term.

    Best techniques to improve your retention

    There’s nothing wrong with a last minute all-nighter for an exam if this is a sporadic event, but a successful long-term study solution requires a more systematic approach. The following list of study techniques can make a world of difference.

    Organize your space

    Information retention requires focus, and a well-organized space helps with achieving it. Clear the clutter from your desk or surroundings in general, prepare the material, set the lighting, and air out the room before sitting for a study session.

    Try acronyms and mnemonic devices

    One of the best ways to boost retention is to use acronyms and mnemonics. For example, a child may remember the first letter of each word in a sentence which is also the first letter for every word from a list of items they need to memorize. Mnemonic devices can also be note organization, music jingles, and visualization techniques.

    Exercise

    Research shows that regular exercise can improve memory and strengthen links between neurons in memorization areas of the brain. Combining cardio and resistance training is best to achieve the best results. However, even a light walk during the day surrounded by nature can help when it’s study time.

    Create a memory palace

    We often hear about mind maps, the practice of drawing radial maps for better learning and retention. While this technique has many benefits, you can also take a different visualization approach and create a memory palace.

    The process includes imagining a familiar place, like your childhood home or a classroom, and using it as a storage space for information. For example, you may want to remember a grocery list. Therefore, you’d imagine placing each item from the list in specific areas of the imagined place in your mind. It’s a more complex routine, but it can become very effective when practiced.

    Practice active reiteration

    A great way to embed information into your mind is to teach it to someone else. You could explain complex ideas to a friend and ask them if they understood you. This technique forces you to summarize and draw conclusions, a vital element of long-term learning.

    Sleep it out

    Our brains process and store information as we sleep. Reviewing the material, even briefly, before you go to sleep can help with being able to access it later. At the same time, chronic lack of sleep will affect your ability to focus and retain information.

    Honorable mentions

    Here are a few more study techniques you can try:

    • Flashcards

    • Pomodoro technique

    • Changing locations

    • Image-name associations

    • Self-testing

    • Metaphors and analogies

    Retain more with Speechify

    For some, studying is more challenging because they have difficulties with focus and text comprehension. You can better overcome these issues using a reliable text to speech tool like Speechify. Students can improve retention and focus by choosing one of many natural-sounding voices to read any digital text aloud.

    Text to speech tools are beneficial to students with dyslexia and ADHD but will help anyone who wants to go through material faster. With Speechify, you can adjust reading speeds to your preference, change the voice pitch, and even utilize the note-taking feature to boost your long-term memory. Try Speechify today for free and download the app to your iPhone or Android device.

    FAQ

    How can I remember what I study in 15 minutes?

    You can remember a lot if you study for 15 minutes if the conditions are right. Ensuring there are no distractions and you’ve had enough hours of sleep is vital. Taking deep breaths and focusing on creating quick links to ideas also helps.

    How do you remember everything you study in one day?

    If you’re cramming for an exam the next day, you’ll likely remember a lot of what you’ve studied. However, this form of studying is not great for long-term memorizing. Also, you’re probably not going to remember everything you’ve learned, but with a few hacks, you can retain enough to pass an exam.

    What makes studying harder?

    Many factors affect how difficult the studying process is. Not having relevant reasons to make an effort is a common problem. But also too many distractions like social media apps, lack of formed study habits in childhood, bad study material, insufficient rest, poor diet, and multitasking.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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