Seven strategies for improving memory in students

  • Have you ever been faced with a pile of study materials that won't just stick to your head? Many students find it hard to recall vital information when they need it most, during tests and exams. To prevent the occurrence of these embarrassing situations, it is important for students to develop their long term memory using tested memory training techniques and habits. Below are seven strategies to help increase your memory power.

    Pay attention

    Paying attention might seem obvious, but a lot of students, through different media of stimulation such as music and social media, fail to give the needed attention during the learning process. Studies have revealed that processing a piece of information into memory requires about eight seconds of deliberate concentration. Focus your attention during classes, try to get the full details and explanation from your teacher, and make sure to take notes. When studying on your own, remove any source of distraction, and avoid any form of interruption.

    Learn with multiple senses

    New studies in the field of learning have revealed that different people learn with different senses. Some people are visual learners, some are auditory learners, while others who learn with different senses are called universal learners. Try to relate new information to colors, smells, tastes, and textures. Reading out loud what you recall can help the brain retain more information because it involves the use of two senses, sight and audition. Writing down what you can remember from a text can also help to boost the brain's retention capacity.

    Related: An outline of Piaget’s four stages of development in concept formation

    Organize the learning material

    An effective way of improving your memory is to organize the material into a format that is easy to memorize. You can organize alphabetically or into chronological order. You can also separate simple from hard, e.g., calculus from word problems. Highlight facts in a logical sequence for easy recall. If you are dealing with a large material, arrange the ideas from simple, to general and specific for easy assimilation.

    Mind mapping

    A powerful tool for enhancing the memory is Mind Mapping. Mind mapping involves using diagrams to show relationships between different ideas and concept. The main idea will be in the middle of the page, and you start making your connections radially from the center of the paper. Mind mapping can help you recall related facts by providing you with the key points of the subject, which will help to trigger the rest of the material.

    Study during the day

    Research has found that studying during the day tends to be more productive, especially when studying complex subjects. Early morning study sessions have been proven to be more efficient and help to improve memorization.

    Attitude matters

    The kind of attitude you have towards a particular subject can affect your level of retention in the subject. Research shows that having a positive attitude about a subject helps the memory to retain the subject. If you are having difficulty understanding and committing a subject to mind, don't entertain any negative attitude towards the subject, while you continue to learn better ways of achieving success in the subject.

    Get enough sleep

    The life of a student can be full of so many distractions that they hardly get enough sleep. After putting in long hours of study, the brain requires some time of rest to file all the information into the long term memory. An average of eight hours of sound sleep is needed for full replenishment of the body. Studies have revealed that sleep is a fundamental requirement in the process of memory consolidation. Some of the ways of getting adequate sleep are by having a regular pattern of sleep and setting an alarm for bedtime. If you read in your bedroom, do not use electronic devices and ensure you reduce your consumption of caffeine if you notice it interferes with your sleep.

    After setting time tables and scheduling your study for the semester, how will you feel if you are unable to recall the information while writing an exam? Discouraged, sad, melancholic? To learn effectively, students and every seeker of knowledge need to learn the best way of learning and committing the learned material to memory. This list is not exhaustive but will go a long way in assisting students to boost their memory and brain power.


    Thorne, G. (2003, January 1.) What strategies can be used to increase memory. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

    Richards, R. (2008) Memory strategies for students: The value of strategies. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

    Stephen, G. (2013, January 15.) 20 ways to improve your memory. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

    Straus, C. (2016) Strategies for improving memory. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

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