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How to remember your study material
How to remember your study material
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How to remember your study material

You probably have some strategy about learning new material and studying in general - you built it throughout your school years. But what if it is not very effective and even wrong? Now we got you thinking… don’t worry, we have gathered some pretty useful methods about learning and remembering your study material. 

Most students just reread the study materials repeatedly, which is a passive way of learning and remembering. What you need to do is implementing a more active approach, such as using notes, diagrams, self-examination, creating associations, etc.

Ask yourself questions about the study material

Asking questions is a simple but very effective technique to use instead of just rereading the notes you took during the lecture, or from the text book. Rereading the study materials several times will just give you a false feeling that you already know and remember everything. Stop right there! Separate the text in few parts and think of suitable questions about each one. Write the questions down and start asking yourself. If you cannot answer properly and you feel like you are missing something, go back to the part related to your question and find the answer there. 

This learning technique improves your memory and also gives you a deeper understanding of the study material, because you are not just repeating what you have read, but you actually answer real questions that might later reappear in your work or life.

Visualise the study material

Make diagrams of the information you must memorise. First, in order to create a good visualisation, you need a good understanding of the study material. Second, you need to find and summarize the most important information of a certain topic. And third, you will need to find a good way to make the visualisation understandable and to the point. These 3 steps are all active learning and will help you remembering the study material easily.

The last and most important advantage of this method is that you will be able to connect the big blocks of text and your notes to a sole diagram or table. You can use all the visualisations that you created while revising the study material even in the last hours before the actual test or exam.

Arrange your study time

A common practice among students is to study at the last moment – with some it works just fine, but only with the sole purpose of passing the exams. We know that passing exams and forgetting everything you have studied the last couple of days, the moment you pass it, is really ruining everything. You cannot use this information that you studied anymore, neither in your next exams nor in your life in the future.

The best thing to do is to study over a longer time period, using breaks. Prepare your flashcards and your questions while you are resting. 

9 additional tips on how to remember better

  1. Before you start the study process, read everything and try to understand it. Forget about remembering - just try to understand the topic completely.
  2. Mark the most important information that you need to remember - prioritising is very important.
  3. Try to switch to different topics. Trying to remember similar things one after another might get you very confused and you will most certainly merge the information.
  4. Try to learn opposite terms together, as you will remember them better in pairs. For example, if you study a foreign language and you need to remember the word for “big” learn it together with the word for “small”.
  5. Record yourself! Use a recorder to save your own voice reading from the study material - listen to the recording anywhere. This technique is very helpful to anyone, especially people who learn and remember better by hearing.
  6. Use and choose only the latest and the best materials to study from. Don’t waste your time on some old books or learning methods. In addition, in some old text books the information might even be wrong (depending on the subject), so be careful. Be modern in your style of study and even innovative.
  7. Make associations, connect the study material with some stories, or items – something that you know and remember very well, or that you can see at any time.
  8. Gather with other fellow students and try to teach them what you have already learned. Sharing your newly acquired knowledge is a good way to make it “stick” in your memory for longer.
  9. Physical exercises help you clearing your head. If you are stuck and you can neither learn anything more nor remember what you have learned – just spend some 15 minutes exercising to give your brain some rest.

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