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Top 5 memory techniques for exam preparation

Oct 11, 2021

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Oct 11, 2021 | Blog

Don’t cram for that exam!

If you’ve ever tried to improve your exam revision strategy, then this golden rule is likely well acquainted with.

It’s true – leaving exams until the last minute can be detrimental and frustrating.

When we don’t prepare adequately, our memory becomes a source of frustration because it feels like something important in that information, but now what?

And just like me, when I’m trying not to forget my password at work, so I have no choice but to take time off from studying or working on other tasks.

Association, Association, Association

Top 5 memory techniques for exam preparation

“Revising topics in isolation is an ineffective strategy.

Studies show that if you associate new knowledge with existing knowledge, the new information sticks! Why should this be?

You want to go from point A (old understanding) and end up at Point B (new understanding). When it comes time for a recall, your brain can tap into multiple pathways of old information–like a road map.”

Creating a mind map can help you memorize information more efficiently.

A critical step in the process is to add already well-known topics, making for stronger connections between old and new knowledge.

A topic such as “What causes global warming?” may not come quickly when trying to remember what we studied about it last week.

But adding something like our understanding of Earth’s energy balance (something students who have taken physics should be confident with), will make linking back much more accessible!

2. Sleep solidifies memory

Sleep solidifies memory

Students are not often told they should sleep more!

However, studies have shown that good quality sleep is essential for solidifying memories.

Our dreams may even have a role to play in this process!

The phrase ‘Let me think about it’ indicates that a good night’s rest can do wonders for helping us sort, arrange and store information.

Plan if you know the date of your exam; try doing 1 hour or revision per day instead of 2 hours at once so you will process new information correctly.

3. Stories help cement memories.

Stories help cement memories.

If you want to learn and remember information, think of it as a story.

One study showed that when people tell their memories in the form of stories – explaining why they happened – they find it easier to recall them!

As a student who needs help remembering material for exams, this might be just what you need.

4. Rehearsal is vital

Exam Rehearsal is vital

It’s best to take a break from your textbook every hour or so.

You should review what you’ve already covered and looked for the gaps in knowledge that need revision.

This will allow you to focus on what needs more attention and time down to exam day!

Group study is a great way to test and cement your understanding of the topics you’ve revised.

Please take it in turns with each other’s group members to teach what they know best; encourage them by asking some challenging questions to test their knowledge! If this type of learning isn’t possible, try recording yourself lecturing on your phone – does it sound convincing?

5. Meditation can improve memory.

Meditation can improve memory.

Meditation has been found to improve memory significantly, with scientists unsure about the exact reason why.

Some studies speculate that visualization and concentration are vital for meditation and memorizing, which explains how this may work.

In any case, it’s worth giving it a go!

The way you think about things can have a significant impact on the work that gets done.

One of my favorite tricks is guided meditation before studying or working out; it helps me focus, and I don’t get distracted by other thoughts as easily!

Some students are put off using memory techniques for revision because they seem like too much mental effort, but in reality, these strategies make efficient study sessions possible.

Psychologists say that it takes about 30 days to change any cognitive habit – so try guiding yourself through 10 minutes of mindfulness each morning or evening this week and see if your concentration improves when you need it most: during exams!


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