How to Improve Your Memory Power for Study

One of the qualities of brilliant students is having good memory. Students have to understand and learn things as well as to retain that learning in their mind for a period of time so they can reproduce their learning in their exams. Apart from this normal aspect of memory power, good memory power is also important for the process of learning things in a sequence. For instance, some students may have such a short span of memory that they can even not retain ideas from the previous line when they start reading the next line of their book. Therefore, a good span of memory is required for understanding the ideas (of a topic of study) in a sequence as well as for understanding the topic in its entirety. This means that memory power has two aspects: 1) the longer aspect to retain things for a long time such as to be able to write, what you have learnt, in your exam, and 2) the shorter aspect to retain things in a sequence. Nowadays, the issues of memory power with regard to both these aspects have become quite common. This affects the overall academic productivity of some students.

However, if you are a student and want to enhance your memory power, here are some useful tips to enhance your memory power for your studies.

  One time study is not enough – Revisions helps improve memory

Studying a topic once is never enough to retain its ideas in brain for months. It is quite natural that when we study and learn something, this learning fades in our brain with the passage of time. It means that the studied topics should be revised at different times during an academic session. For instance, when you study and learn a topic, you should read it again after a month or two when you have time. When you revise it twice or thrice this way, the learning is strengthened in your brain, and this becomes a fairly permanent part of your memory. This is how the human brain works. No matter, how well you study and learn something but if you do not revise it after some period of time, you will forget it as you have never studied it. Revision is important; and most students practice it for strengthening their learning and retaining it in the brain for a long time.  

  Writing down the main points while you study – Reading loud to retain ideas

These are very helpful tips. While you are studying a topic, you should write down its important points on a separate paper. By doing so, you learn the topic in the best way as well as the learnt ideas are getting stored in your brain while you write them on a separate paper. This is because when you simply read, you just run on sentences without giving your brain enough time to process and store the information. Many students have this habit of writing down points on a paper while they study because it helps them in learning ideas and retaining them in their brain for longer. Moreover, the written points of the topics can also be used as study-notes for studying them in future.

Another good tip is reading sentences aloud while studying them. When you read some topic, you should read its sentences loud (at a normal volume of your voice so at least you can hear them while you read them) rather than reading them silently. Some students find it helpful in learning a topic and retaining that learning in their brain for a longer time. This is because this gives your brain an opportunity to learn by reading as well as by listening to it when you read them.

  Associating an idea with another idea to retain it in mind for a long time

According to some theories of Psychology, we learn and remember things by associating them with other relevant things. It is true when it comes to learning the ideas of a topic in its sequence as well as the topic in its entirety. Everything, we study, has many pieces of information (or ideas). Therefore, when you study a topic, try to associate its one idea with another idea of the same topic. This is simply like remembering the ideas of a topic the way we usually remember the pieces of information of a story in a sequence. For instance, a story has pieces of information in a sequence, its every piece of information gets naturally associated with the next piece of information occurring in a sequence; and this is why, we can easily remember the whole story. However, for remembering the ideas (pieces of information) of a topic, we should intentionally develop some association between them in our mind to easily remember them.   

  Build a sketch of ideas in your mind – a story form for long topics

As noted earlier, remembering by association helps. However, some topics are long; and they have many stages involved in them. For instance, a topic of chemistry where the chemical process includes a number of stages, and every stage has a good amount of information in them. You have to learn such topics as well as remember them in the proper sequence.

You need to develop a sketch of all the processes (e.g., stages, phases, etc.) of the topic in your mind. Then, convert it into a form of a story in your mind such as that this thing happened first, then this other thing happened and so on. When you build a memorizable story sketch for it, it becomes quite easier to remember all parts of the topic.

  Make short abbreviations (or phrases) for remembering complicated ideas

Every book has some formulas, equations, and specific terminologies. These are very specific things which the student must memorize. They should learn but they should also memorize them in their original form. For instance, you have to remember a formula or an equation to use them to solve a numerical question in your exam. It sometimes becomes very difficult because there are generally many such formulas and equations in a book; and the student has to remember every formula or equation in its exact form. It sometimes confuses students to remind themselves of these formulas in the exam. It is better to use a short abbreviation or phrase for such equations and formulas, as explained in the following example.

Example 1. We may see the following common formulas in 10th grade Mathematics and Physics.

Sin θ = Perpendicular / Base
Cos θ = Base / Hypotenuse
Tan θ = Perpendicular / Base

It is maybe a bit difficult to remember these three formulas in their original form without mixing their parts in mind. Therefore, some students have made the following sentence to easily remember these three formulas.

Some people have curly brown hair through proper brushing.


  Physical exercises as well as Brain exercises for enhancing memory

Physical exercise is good for brain health because it enhances blood flow to the brain as well as help the body release certain hormones which are good for brain health. Make a habit of at least going for a short walk daily.

Some specific exercises are especially important for brain health because they engage your brain in some activity. Brain, like any other part of the body, gets strong with use. Puzzle games specially designed for the brain, chess games, yoga and scrabble games are good for enhancing brain function. Similarly, recall-games are good for enhancing memory where you may look at some scenery for some time; and then go to another room and try to recall all the things shown in the scenery. When you do so, you give your brain an exercise to enhance its memory power.

  Eat Healthy – A diet rich in nutrients for memory

Certain proteins, vitamins and minerals are essential to brain health. Include things in your diet containing those nutrients in the right amount. For instance, include fish in your diet because they have good amount of Omega-3 fatty acid that is generally viewed as beneficial for brain health. Eat fruits and vegetables because they have good antioxidants such as carotene and vitamin E. These antioxidants protect the brain and junctions of brain cells from damage. Reduce the consumption of sugary foods.

  Have a good amount of sleep

Sleep is good for overall health, but it becomes even more important when it comes to brain health and memory power. When we sleep, our brain process and store the information that we have learnt all day. Sleep relaxes the brain and helps it restore its full capacity to understand and memorize things. Take about seven or eight hours of sleep every night to enhance your brain function.