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For some subjects you need to learn a lot of content but a pure understanding just isn’t enough. You need to memorise it and know it backwards. This can be daunting, and really stressful, when there is a lot you need to memorise and it can sometimes feel impossible (we’ve all been there…panic mode!). Here are a few tips on how you can memorise all of the information you need before an exam or test:
STUDY 3 WEEKS AHEAD
The best case scenario is that you have given yourself a few weeks to study the content for your test or exam. This is the most effective way to study as you use both your long and short term memory, and by doing so you will be able to memorise a lot of content as compared to cramming it all in the night before. Memorise chunks of information two weeks before the test or exam, and go over past papers or problem questions the week before.
REPEAT IT OUT LOUD
By repeating the the work out loud to yourself again and again will help you memorise it really well. Studies have shown that your memory may be better than those who study in silence. Professor Victor Boucher of the University of Montreal said: ‘The simple fact of articulating without making a sound creates a sensorimotor link that increases our ability to remember, but if it is related to the functionality of speech, we remember even more.’
TEACH A FRIEND
For even better results studies (the same one as mentioned above) have shown that you remember even more when you teach a friend or relate the work outlaid to someone else, as it creates an additional sensorimotor link. So find a study buddy and teach each other your work for a better ability to recall information.
This is my go-to for memorising my notes, but I use it in conjunction with the above. Basically a mnemonic is where you take the first letters of a string of information and then use those letters to create a phrase that’s easy to remember. You can then remember this phrase and in doing so recall the original information. This works really well in an exam setting as you can write down the mnemonics when the exam starts and can refer back to them when the relevant question pops up.
An example of a mnemonic is remembering the points of a compass with the mnemonic ‘Never Eat Shredded Wheat’ (North East South West)
FILM YOURSELF OR USE VOICE NOTES
A new technique in studying has surfaced and that’s filing yourself or using voice notes. Turn on your camera and read out your notes and teach the camera. You can then rewatch it later as if you were watching a youtube video. Another way is to record yourself talking in a voice note or two and listen to them later.
REWRITE YOUR NOTES OUT AGAIN
This is another one of my personal favourite that I use, and thats rewriting your notes outer and over again. It’s best to write your notes out as you go in class and after class to rewrite them and compile a final set (see more about my guide on how to take flawless notes here). Once you have a final set of notes try rewrite them again and then make a summary sheet for each topic/section. I take this a bit too far and end up with about 4 sets of notes, but it really works!
Using visual memory can be a very good way of memorising notes. It’s especially helpful for those with photographic memory (I wish that was me) but if you don’t have a photographic memory fear not you can still use your visual memory as a really great way to memorise your notes. Various types of visuals can be effective. From photos, illustrations, icons, symbols, and sketches, to figures and mind-maps, these graphics are easily recognisable and you can remember the information behind them before even reading a word. By retrieving a visual cue you can accurately retrieve the information associated with it.
Putting information into a rhyme is another way of making it easier to remember and can be quite fun. Or use the tune of your favourite song to make up lyrics (that have to do with your notes) that you can learn.
I hope this was helpful? Let me know what you do to memorise your notes! Don’t forget to check out my guide to flawless note making here.