Study Skills

Study Skills

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12 Effective Memory Techniques

1. Early Review and Rehearsal To remember any piece of information, begin the review/rehearsal process as soon as possible after the information enters your short-term memory. If nothing active is done to create long-term memories, most of what you learn will be forgotten. This means that you must interact with the material or information when first encountering it and then do active review exercises to avoid forgetting.

2. Multi-Sensory Effect The more senses and intelligences that you use in the review stages, the more likely you are to remember the material. Using many different sensory associations increases your chances of recall. Research has shown that visual associations are the most powerful of all.

3. Recency and Primacy It has been proven that individuals remember more of what was learned at the beginning and end of a learning session. In other words, you remember things or events that happened first or that happened most recently. In terms of learning, this suggests that it is wise to have many beginnings and endings during the study period, whether it is in class or at home.

4. Similarity Effect It is easier to remember information that has been grouped, organized, or clustered than information that has not. This simple principle can help improve the capacity of your memory. For example if you are trying to remember what to do to plan for a birthday party, you could group like items together, such as Guests, Food & Drink, Games and Decorations.

5. Assimilation Effect Items that have been grouped together are easier to remember because your memory works more efficiently when it makes associations. Linking similar items is just one example of association which aids memory. Other ways are listed below:

6. Emotional Effect We also remember information or events that have strong emotional attachments, either negative or positive. To test this, ask yourself if you remember the first time you fell in love or your first kiss. The memories are clear and vivid because of the intense emotions attached to them.

7. Intensity Effect The more intense the feeling, color, smell, pain, or joy, the more likely you are to remember it.

8. Meaning Effect The more meaning you attach to something, the less likely you are to forget it. For example, it is easier to remember a sentence than a list of random words because our brain latches on to the meaning conveyed through patterns of language.

9. Strangeness Effect You are more likely to remember something that is outrageous, shocking, or out of place. So by creating zany, wild, or untraditional associations, you are sharpening your memory.

10. Specificity Effect Specific and definite information is easier to remember than vague information that lacks easy definition.

11. Repetition Effect The more something is repeated, the more it is embedded in your long-term memory. This is an essential aspect of memory training which cannot always be compensated for by other factors.

12. Storytelling Effect Weaving random items into a story is an excellent way to aid memory, often producing 100% recall. This is one of the most effective ways of remembering a list of unrelated items. It's easy to learn and almost anyone can master the technique after a few tries. The challenge then becomes how many items you can add and how outrageous, funny, or colorful you can make your story, for maximum effect.

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Donah Shine

Head Master

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