Using your memory to get better results

As a student I remember at times I would love the material I was learning and I found it easy to study and then perform in the exams and assessments. But most of the time this wasn’t the case. I remember struggling with many subjects in both assessments and exams. For some of these, especially in the first year of study, after many hours of study I could raise my grade to a pass or credit in the final results. By the end of the 4th year my marks were distinctions and high distinctions. I’d like to believe this was a reflection of hours of devotion to my studies and a greater understanding of the material. But I’m afraid it was just better use of my memory to help me recall information. I’ve included some of my tips below, and a few extra I’ve discovered since that might just help you maximise your chance at better grades this semester.

  1. Go for a walk before an exam to improve your cognitive functioning
  2. When you are studying try teaching the material to someone, or something else (pets, siblings, a camera)
  3. Reward yourself with a small treat at the end of each block within the subject and a bigger reward at the end of a topic.
  4. Create mental associations with the use of mind maps – use different colours to break into topic areas and different lines to show relationships between certain topics.
  5. Draw diagrams to help you recall process, parts of the body, machines etc
  6. Use times new roman font – its the fastest to read
  7. Create Flash cards in different colours to help you review the material
  8. Watch a documentary or TED talk on the topic
  9. Vary your place of study – changing environment helps you improve recall and retention
  10. Use practice exams
  11. Take regular study breaks – after 1.5 hrs no new information is assimilated
  12. Study in a group
  13. Don’t stay up all night the night before an exam, sleep improves the functioning of the brain.
  14. Engage in some mediation or relaxation techniques to help with concentration and reduce stress levels.
  15. Use a Self Control app that helps block your access to social media and websites for a specific period of time. I’ll post more about this app later in the week.

So give them a go and see if you can improve your results this semester!

About the author

The material or views expressed on this Blog are those of the author and do not represent those of the University.  Please report any offensive or improper use of this Blog to RPS@newcastle.edu.au.
%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar