10 Tips for Improving Memory


Before start with the main point, let’s think of why we forget what we read. The most important reason we forget is the negative programming / thinking in our mind. We think we will forget so we do.

But the truth is, we all possess the same capacity of memorizing. The difference comes from lack of practices by us. Your ‘memory bank’ has no limits. Your brain can absorb a thousand pieces of new information every second. No matter how much information you give it, it never runs out of space to store in it.

Below are some tips which could help us to improve our memorizing power:

1) Pay Attention:
Concentrate on what you are reading or hearing. It will be easier to concentrate if you deal with one thing at a time. Also remember, lack of concentration comes from lack of interest. So paying attention is very important while learning something new.

2) Know what is Important and what is Not:
Identify the things you need to remember and concentrate on them only. For example, concentrate more on new or difficult information’s.

3) Try to Relate New Information with Old:
The more you analyze the subject from different angles, the more you will remember it. Try to compare or relate the new information with what you know already. For example, suppose you have learnt that the name of the father of Medical Science is Hypocritas. You may notice that the name sounds similar to the word hypocrite which means double faced. But Hypocritas has nothing to do with hypocrisy. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Till today, when doctors complete medical school, they take an oath called the Hypocritic Oath, in which they pledge to serve their patients to the best of their ability, maintain strict confidentiality and live with honesty and integrity.

4) Learn as a Whole:
Rather than trying to remember partial or disjointed information, find out how the different parts relate to each other and learn the study material as a whole.

5) Revise:
Revise the study material within one or two days of studying it the first time. Studies have found that an average person will forget around 75% of the information he has learnt within a day or so if he does not use it. Skim through it in the Quanta Reading technique. Skim through your class notes on a regular basis. Research has also found that revising something at regular intervals is much more effective than cramming at the last moment.

6) Pictures:
Try to represent complex subjects through a chart or diagram. You will find it easier to remember. This will help any student a lot to increase memory power.

7) Use Clues:
You can use different kinds of clues on mnemonics to remember something. These can be: Visual Images, follow the below examples:

Think of a rose to remember the name Rosie.
Sentences in which each word represents the initial of what you want to remember: For example, Bangla speakers often use the sentence Babar hoylo abar jor, sarilo oushodhe (father got sick again but he recovered with the help of medicine) to remember the names of Mughal Emperors: Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan, Aurongjeb.
Rhymes: For example, people often use the rhyme ‘Thirty days has September, April, June and November’ to remember which months have 30 days and which 31.
Acronyms: For example, the acronym VIBGYOR is used to remember the colors of the rainbow: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.

8) Turn Your Study Material into Something Funny:
Professor Stephen Schidt of Tennessee State University made his students read sentences like this one:

‘There are three ways a man can wear his hair: parted, imparted and departed.’ He also made them read straight versions of the same sentences: ‘Men can wear their hair with or without a part, unless they are bald.’ The students remembered the funny sentences and words from those sentences better than they recalled the unfunny words.

9) Find Out How You Remember Best:
Some people remember well when they see something, other people remember best when they hear it, some people remember best when they act something out. Find out how you remember best and study that way. Apply your own technique.

10) Take Care of Yourself:
Healthy habits such as walking, good sleeping habits and drinking plenty of water help improve memory.

Though the tips above are most common, we know these but only few of us practically apply those tips / rules in our practical life.



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