Tips for Remembering a LOT of Information
Finals are just around the corner, which means it’s about time to get the eye of the tiger, grab some caffeine, and start memorizing a lot of information. While it’s true that some people are gifted with incredible memories, you can always improve your own by utilizing a few tips and tricks. Check out our list of memorization hacks to help you study, retain all of that information, and ace your final exams!
Get interested in what you’re learning.
For some subjects, this might be easier said than done…. But it’s important to try! If you view the topic you’re learning as pointless and dumb, you’re going to have trouble retaining anything you’re reading or hearing. Try hard to find something in the subject that piques your curiosity or resonates with you in some way. If you can get a little bit excited about what you’re learning, you’ll have an easier time memorizing it.
Head into a class or study session with background knowledge!
Imagine your favorite television show. Now imagine you’re tasked with memorizing everything that happens in an upcoming episode. You’d do a much better job than people who aren’t familiar with the show, because you understand a bit about whom the characters are and what the overarching plot is. The same goes for memorizing new information in class or in review sessions! If you have a bit of background knowledge about what you’re going to be learning about or brushing up on, you’ll be better able to understand and thus memorize what you’re discussing.
Learn to pinpoint the “important” stuff.
It’s impossible to memorize every single thing the teacher mentions in class or you read in your textbook, period. However, with a little practice, you can start figuring out what kind of stuff you should probably focus on memorizing… AKA what will likely be on the test! Before your final exam, brush up on old tests and see what kinds of questions your teacher tends to ask: do they like to focus on places & dates? Vocab words? Get a feel for what your teacher deems important, and use that as a tool to filter out the “unimportant” stuff!
Have a good attitude.
Cheesy, I know, but keeping a positive outlook on the subject matter at hand can aid in information retention. If you’re miserable the whole time you’re studying, or telling yourself that you’re bound to fail, you’ll be less likely to store the information and ace your exam.
Talk about concepts out loud!
This is an excellent way to not only memorize information, but to also highlight any areas that you’re weak on. Let’s pretend you’re studying for a history exam on the signing of the Declaration of Independence. After you’ve brushed up on your notes and read the related material in your textbook, sit someone down (a classmate or parent?) and explain everything to them. Where was the big shindig where everyone signed it? When was it? Who signed it? What did it say? You can explain it in layman’s terms – the important thing is that you understand and can relay what you are learning about.
Try to picture it.
After long days of memorizing words on a page, giving yourself visual cues can make ALL the difference. Close your eyes and picture the information that you’ve learned. That’s all there is to it! If you’re memorizing the chemical composition of a substance, picture the elements actually coming together to form it. If you’re learning about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, visualize that color-coded pyramid. Create an image in your mind, and you’ll be shocked at how much that helps you retain!
Give yourself time to retain new information.
We’re repeating ourselves on this one but it’s important. Do NOT cram for an exam the night before! You may be able to regurgitate that information, but it will not be stored in your long-term memory, which will only hurt you in the long run. Break up your study sessions: try to study for an hour each night, instead of pulling an all-nighter. Not only will you be much less sleep-deprived on test day, but all of that information will be safe and sound in your memory!