memory hacks

(January 2020)

Andrea Leyden writes…We have scoured our brains and the internet for the best study hacks to help your brain remember information. Memory is a muscle. Get it in shape. This well help you to remember quicker and more easily. This will help you in your exams and in your life.

1. Walk Before An Exam

It’s been proven that exercise can boost your memory and brain power. Research conducted by Dr. Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois provides evidence that about 20 minutes exercise before an exam can improve performance.

2. Speak Out Loud Instead of Simply Reading

Although this may make you look a little crazy, give it a go! You will be surprised how much more you can remember when you’ve said it out loud.

3. Reward Yourself With A Treat

There are many ways to integrate a reward system into your habits so you learn how to study for exams more efficiently.

4. Teach What You Have Learned

The best way to test if you really understand something is to try to teach it to someone else.

5. Create Mental Associations

The ability to make connections is not only an easier way to remember information, but it’s the fuel of creativity and intelligence. Steve Jobs famously said “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something”. Mind Maps are an easy way to connect ideas by creating a visual overview of different connections.

6. Draw Diagrams

Drawing diagrams will help you to visualise information which would be hard to describe. This creates a visual memory in your mind which can be recalled in an exam.

7. Times New Roman is the Fastest Font to Read

Simply put – there’s a reason why Times New Roman is the default font on most applications!

8. Use Apps to Block Distracting Sites

The Self Control apps helps you to avoid distractions by blocking websites for a certain amount of time. Discover more student apps to make student life easier.

9. Watch a Documentary on the Topic

Documentaries are an entertaining way of compacting an entire story into a short timeframe. This will help you remember key details from a story plus you may even get extra credit for mentioning that you took the initiative and watched a film about the topic!

10. Search Google Like a Pro

Save time when researching sources online by mastering the biggest search engine in the world; Google. Follow Google tips to find what you need at your fingertips.

11. Create Flashcards for Quick Memory Buzz

Quickly test your knowledge of key concepts, definitions, quotes and formulas with the use of flashcards.

12. Take Regular Study Breaks

When your brain is working, you need to take regular study breaks to help your brain absorb more information but also to keep you motivated and focused when you are working. Take a short break after 45-50 minutes study as your focus and concentration will become impaired after this period, anything new after 1 hour 30 minutes does not get assimilated.

13. Listen to the Correct Type of Music

We looked into the area of how the correct types of music can lead to more productive studying by elevating your mood. Have you made your Mozart Spotify playlist yet?

14. Make Your Study Space Portable

We may be creatures of habit with favourite seats in the library, but information retention actually improves when you vary the places where you study.

15. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practicing sample answers to past exam questions can help train your brain to retrieve information. Create realistic, exam-like conditions and test your understanding.

16. Don’t Stay Up All Night Before an Exam

Make sure to get adequate rest the nights leading up to your exams. When you sleep, your brain assimilates the information you have learned when studying so getting a good night’s sleep will help you remember those pesky maths formulas you need for your exam!

17. Discover News Ways to Learn

Trying new study methods can help you find what really works for you. Use technology to your advantage by watching educational TED Talks or downloading useful dictionary apps for example.

18. Use Scents or Gum to Jog Your Memory

This may seem a bit random but spraying an unfamiliar scent while you’re studying is one of the study methods that can help jog your memory when you spray it again just before an exam. Chewing a strange kind of gum will work the same way.

19. Study in a Group

Studying in a group can help you collect new insights to enhance your learning experience.

20. Meditate

Meditation is one of the study methods that can help students stay focused when studying. Not only will meditation help you concentrate when studying but it will help reduce pre-exam stress as it improves both mental and physical health.

Source: goconqr.com

With only a matter of weeks to go to the Leaving Certificate examinations, it is now time to transition from doing homework to full-time study. Indeed your teachers should have by now ceased giving homework and be focused on study, passed papers and particular areas of examination questions that might come up in the examinations.

When it comes to study, you should have by now summarised each chapter in each subject book that can be summarised into manageable study notes like a mind-map, pointer cards and / or note-pad. Studying from the actual books themselves is difficult as you are looking at and reading all of this information, trying to decipher what is core and key, and what part of it could be asked in an examination. If you haven’t already done this, then do it, it is not too late. You still have lots of time left to transfer the main subject chapter information that could be asked about in an exanimation into manageable study notes. This will make your study periods easier, more productive and indeed more enjoyable.

Speaking of study periods, how long should you be studying for as you head into the final furlong of this long 5-6 year school race?

There are many different theories of this from many experts. Some suggest 45 minute periods with a 15 minutes break, some say 60 minutes and so on. I guess it is really what works best for you. You should have some form of study plan / agenda that gives you some structure to your day and ensures that you are giving adequate, ample and the necessary time to each subject that require it. Whatever you choose, include break times, put the study plan on paper and stick to it.

 

Fail to plan, plan to fail…

 

 

Most of us spend minimum 10 years and up to 20 years in school, whether it be in primary, secondary and / or third level education striving to achieve an education and a qualification that will secure us a job / career that we will like and that will pay us a salary to meet our desired future lifestyle.

As we begin our education, we have no idea why we are doing it, where it will lead us to, where it will take us to and what will be the outcome / reward at the end in the areas of a job / career. As we progress, we realise that the reward is to get a job, build a career, become self-sufficient and pay our way.

Some people begin to pay their way when their third level education is completed, while others start working as soon as they are legally able to i.e. @ 16 years young, whether it be in their parents / guardians family business or through someone they know.

Work experience during your academic years can be such a rewarding experience. Never mind the ‘paying your way’ mentality, which is really only a by-product; the true benefit is the opportunity for you to grow, meet all types of people, do all kinds of work tasks and get an idea of what you’re good at, what your skills / competencies are and decide on a job / career future before your academic years are complete.

In the years that you have no major examinations, force yourself to search for and secure a job at w/e’s, during mid-term breaks and of course in summertime; a job that you like, that will challenge you and that you will learn from.

Some of these jobs might not deliver all of these; however you are at the very least making some money, meeting new people and not wasting all of your precious time watching other people doing well in their lives…

So far it has been a fantastic, memorable summer with respect to the weather. Most of us have basked in the weather since 1st July and do not want it to end, though it has been hard to sleep at night. In this weather where our energy is sapped out of us, it can be very difficult to get up in the morning, keep going all day and then to go to bed early that night. The heat can be a significant demotivator with respect to work and study, so how do you stay motivated…?

  • Appreciate
  • Plan
  • Enjoy
  • Reflect
  • Look forward

Appreciate:

Appreciate what you have done since this time last year, indeed since last January. Appreciate that you are still here, enjoying the sunshine. Appreciate that you can work if you wish to work, study if you wish to study (though some people have no choice, because of repeats!). Appreciate that you are in control and that you have to do what you have to do to succeed and to stay on top.

Plan:

Plan your summer vacation. For each month, each week and each day have things to do that will build on and improve you as a person, in your work and in your education. Many people take up an activity and try to become the best they can be at it. Many people travel to other countries for employment, education and personal reasons. Whatever you do, plan your summer, make each day worthwhile and don’t waste a day.

Enjoy:

Whatever you do this summer, enjoy it. If it is just lazing around, that is perfectly fine too, you are in control. Enjoy the weather, enjoy meeting people, and enjoy doing things and making memories this summer. Meet up with friends and relations. As you enjoy your summer, there is also so much to learn.

Reflect:

As you get to the end of your wonderful, eventful and memorable summer, reflect on what you have done, what you have achieved and what you could have done differently. Did you do everything that you said you would? Did you stick to the plan that you made at the start of the summer and did you really enjoy it?

Look forward:

And finally, we hope that you are already looking forward to next summer and how you will plan it and what you will do differently or what you will do that you wanted to do this summer, but couldn’t. It is good to look forward to things, but be careful what you wish for.

Look forward to things that will improve you as a person in your education and in your work.

Even during a summer vacation period, we can do small things that helps us in our work and our education.

Summer, between the months of June and August is a fantastic time of year. It is where we should almost go into hibernation and rest after our hard efforts in work and education so as to rejuvenate for the next four months. But don’t forget that it is also a time where we should keep the ‘fire lighting’ and don’t lose what we have being doing since the start of the year and to complete it and complete it well before year end…