10 Proven Ways of Retaining More of What You Learn

Even though reading something once or twice then remembering it for the rest of our lives would be ideal, the truth of the matter is most of what we read or hear might go through one ear and out through the other. Research has also demonstrated that if we do not make use of whatever we read within an hour, we forget 50% of the information. What’s more, if we do not make use of the information within a day, 70% of it goes to waste, and a further 90% gets lost after one week. This text, therefore, discusses some of the techniques to use to memorize what you learn.

Sometimes you might be thinking, “I need to write my essay on a particular topic but do not know how to start.” to be able to retain more information within your mind, you need to do more than simply reading or perusing through your notes. The following tips can help you retain as much information as possible while revising for that exam or standard quiz.

  • Use visual aids

Research has proven that visual aids are highly effective when it comes to retention of learned information while reading, you can make use of flow charts and diagram to visualize correlations between facts. Visual associations of facts and information increase the rate at which information is transmitted to the brain. Other aides include videos, documentaries, infographics, maps, and photos.

  • Make use of demonstrations

Demonstrations reinforce the information in your memory. During lecture sessions, pay keen attention to any demonstrations your instructor gives. These provide a practical pathway through which you can gain a better understanding of a concept. Especially for technical topics, you can look for an expert instructor to guide you through apprenticeship and also watch demonstrative videos. These will reinforce the theory part.

  • Group discussions

This activity cannot be emphasized enough. Especially while studying for a major examination, group discussions can greatly help you in memorizing information and understanding facts. When group members contribute ideas, each of them can be dissected and all misconceptions eradicated. As such, you end up with quality knowledge you can easily remember.

  • Practicing

Practice to apply the information you learned in the classroom by doing exercises creates new neural pathways within your mind. The more you repeat the fundamentals of a concept or undertake practical activities; these neural pathways get strengthened.

For instance, if you are learning a foreign language, you can try to speak more of it with the natives. Try to read children’s books that use basic words of that language. Watch film tutorials of the language. If you are a photographer, take your photo each day and go out to take as many snapshots as you can to sharpen your skill.

  • Relate the information to something

Scientific studies have demonstrated that creating a correlation between learned content and something is a good way of boosting your memory. The possession of prior knowledge about a topic makes it easier to capture greater details about that particular thing. For instance, if you have some background knowledge of American history, you will understand the intricacies much faster.

  • Find opportunities to teach

If you do not have the requisite expertise on a given subject, you would not consider teaching it to anybody. However, it has been proven that teaching is a good way of enhancing the information you already know. When you explain facts to another person, you gain a better understanding of what you had learned through reading or lectures.

You can assist other students with their homework or look for someone to tutor. Some studies have also shown that students who were to teach a concept were more efficient at choosing the right content to instruct the learners and also remembered it better.

  • Read out loud

Try to read out the words verbally. This shall help you in retaining them in your memory, and you can also recall hearing them being spoken out loud. However, this is not possible in a classroom environment. You can do this in the privacy of your room.

  • Write content, not typing

Nowadays, technology has infiltrated all parts of our lives, including education. Students nowadays type their assignments and even projects. However, writing down information stimulates more parts of your brain and also makes you active. Even during talks, students who write down content recall information much better than those who type.

  • Embrace your mistakes

Nobody likes making mistakes. However, it is through mistakes that we get an opportunity to learn information and reinforce the learned message. Your attitude toward mistakes also determines how well you will learn from them.

In conclusion, memory is very important in the learning process. Therefore, the skills mentioned above are crucial if you want to recall information and ace all your tests thoroughly.