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Memory and menmonics to be an ace performer

Updated on February 9, 2011

Memory-the key to effective learning

Memory is an essential tool when it comes to any aspect of a student’s life. It is an essential study skill and many kids and adults both need to learn some good techniques to improve their memory skills. The human brain is a complex organ and exercising it is important to sharpen the skills and become more effective in using it. Memory is essentially the faculty that lets you remember and recall important details. Memory can be short term where information gets stored for a few minutes or seconds and long term where it involves storage for lifelong recall.

Stages of memory and tips to improve

Stages of Memory Foundation and Maintenance

Acquisition → Consolidation → Retrieval

New information enters the brain through the neurons. Concentrate and pay attention to learn better! When you concentrate well the information gets encoded into long term memory. When it’s related to past experiences, retention is better Recall occurs along the same channels that storing does. When you recall the pathways are frequently used and hence improves memory. Simply put, practice makes perfect.

  1. Use Novel sensory stimuli : To exercise your brain, you should use pathways of the brain that are previously unused and interesting stimuli. One way of doing this is for example using the non dominant hand, thus exercising previously unused brain pathways.
  2. Learn new skills: This is also an excellent way to exercise the brain, as it employs heretofore unused neural pathways and provides ‘brain exercise’ keeping your mind sharp. Learning a new language or skill such as gaming or swimming are a good way.
  3. Use memory tools: Make use of mnemonic tools such as having mind maps, acronyms of things you want to remember, tag words which will help you recall and so on. Use cognitive techniques such as linking mentally using images.
  4. Use multiple senses: Engage multiple senses such as sight, sound and more to learn better. This will make the learning process more enjoyable and easy to remember as well.
  5. Rehearse and review: The more you practice repeating ideas you learn, the better you can perform. Repeat, review and recall ideas to imprint them well for your exams.
  6. Eat, Exercise and sleep well: An essential skill for good memory is to eat right, sleep right and exercise right. This is an important key to healthy living which automatically improves your other skills.


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