Memory and recall are an important part of learning and scoring well on exams. When the information you are learning isn’t something you use in your daily life, it can be hard to learn it and then remember it later so that you can recall it on an exam. These three study techniques will help improve your memory so that you can recall the information you are learning on the exam.
1) Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation simply means clearing your mind for a few minutes to focus it and relax. Fast Company cites a study that found participants who practiced mindful meditation for eight weeks improved their memory. You can start practicing meditation for just five or ten minutes a day. Try to do it right before you study so your mind is clear, relaxed, and ready to learn. In addition to improving memory, meditation can reduce stress. Less stress also usually equates to better exam scores.
2) Read Out Loud
A study conducted by the University of Waterloo found that students who read material out loud had better recall. It is suspected that memory is improved because you are engaging with the material in two ways, both reading it and hearing it. Your brain has multiple interactions, cementing the material in your mind. Teaching material to a friend, or explaining significant points out loud also has a similar effect. Verbalizing information may make it easier for you to recall it later.
3) Take Breaks
It may seem counterintuitive to study less in order to remember more, however, the brain gets fatigued. Just like any other part of your body you can only work it for so long before it gets exhausted and needs a break. Some studies have found that the maximum amount of focused work your brain can do is 90 minutes. After that, you aren’t likely to remember the information you are studying. Instead of pushing yourself too hard, stop and take regular breaks. The reward of a break will stimulate you and a few minutes rest for the brain will get you ready to focus and learn more material.
Using these methods to study can help improve your memory recall. Try to study intentionally so that you can remember important information on your exams and long after your exams.