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Study hacks to improve your memory

News story

Juggling all your units and assignments can be a real struggle for most students. By the time exams come around it can be difficult to remember everything you have covered during the semester.

So is there anything you can do to help yourself remember all the content you need to know? Below are 10 study hacks to help improve your memory:

  1. Go for a Walk

Or do any other exercise you enjoy. By doing 20 minutes of exercise before a test or exam, you can help to improve your overall performance, so get up and get moving!

  1. Read your notes out loud

Reading your notes out loud (in an area that does not annoy others) to yourself can help improve how much information you are able to retain.

  1. Teach what you know 

In addition to reading your notes out loud, teach what you know to someone else. Teaching someone else the content you have learnt can help you to recognise what areas you are confident in and can remember clearly, and what areas you may need to study further. Try and teach without using your notes for a clear indication of this.

  1. Draw it out

You don’t have to be an artist to do this one. Try drawing out the information you need to remember as small infographics or diagrams. If you need to remember a process order, create a flow chart that you can follow. Mind maps are also a great way to concisely display information. Using colours, images and keywords can enhance memory and retention.

  1. Take regular study breaks

Don’t overload yourself! Make sure to give yourself clear breaks throughout the day and give yourself time to process the information you have just learnt before jumping into the next topic. After 1 hour and 30 minutes of continuous study, any new information will not be effectively received or processed. One recommendation is to take a short 5-10 minute break after every 50 minutes of study you complete.

  1. Don’t pull all-nighters

Especially the night before an exam! When we’re sleepy we are less productive and more likely to forget information. Sleeping gives our brain time to assimilate all the information we have taken in during the day. A well-rested brain is more capable of retaining, processing and remembering information.

  1. Time New Roman 

If you are typing your notes up on a computer, use a serif font like Times New Roman. It is one of the easiest fonts to read and allows readers to process the material faster due to its simple letters. Perfect for scanning through your notes quickly and effectively before an exam.

  1. Find a documentary on your topic

Everyone has their favourite way to study. If you’re a visual learner, try and find a reliable documentary on the topic you are studying. It will give you a break from traditional note-taking and help you remember key details.

  1. Create and Use Flashcards

Making flashcards and using them to test yourself is a great way to encourage active recall. This means you are attempting to remember the concept on the card from scratch and not via recognition. This is a great technique to practice short or extended answer questions as in the exam you will have no prompts to jog your memory.

  1. Reward Yourself

Create a rewards system that you can integrate into your study timetable. For example, allow yourself 5 minutes of social media time after completing a chapter or giving yourself a treat if you can remember all of your flashcards.

Apply these hacks to your study routine to ensure your brain is sharp and ready to take in all the content you need to know. Knowledge is power!

Written by public relations student Taysha Sullivan