Friday, March 24, 2017

6 Simple Ways to Improve Memory


The following article is a guest post from Ethan Miller. He is a private ESL teacher who also works as an online tutor. Apart from his passion for teaching, he loves to write and holds a degree in creative writing. When he is not teaching or writing his book, Miller loves to blog and is a huge fan of educational technology.


Spring breaks, Christmas vacations, hanging out with friends, being pampered by family, playing basketball with Dad, hogging on ice creams - these are a few of the fond memories that come to my mind when I think about childhood. But there are a few unpleasant memories that crop up as well, like struggling with homework, being extremely tense the night before an exam, feeling the pressure to perform well at school, forgetting all that I studied just minutes before the test, etc.


It wasn’t just me. Many students struggle to retain what they have learnt and as they grow up they start forgetting most of the academic knowledge that was imparted to them at school. With the pressure to perform well at school, students may have a hard time recollecting what they have studied. But thankfully, there are very simple ways to sharpen your memory power. Listen up students! Here are 6 ways to improve your memory:  
 
Mind Mapping


Let’s start with mind mapping, a technique that is growing in popularity these days. Mind Mapping is a memory device that helps you remember things by the method of association, using pictures, images, numbers, arrow lines and keywords. Instead of memorizing pages and pages of a chapter, Mind Mapping helps you in recollecting concepts by associating key phrases with images, numbers, diagrams, etc. Apart from helping you connect one concept to another, this technique uses colors and images that spark your creativity, which in turn helps in improving brain memory. The process of learning and retaining what you learnt can’t get more interesting than this. Here’s an example of how mind mapping can be used to learn about global warming:


mind-1.jpg
                               Image Courtesy: mindmapsunleashed.com


Flashcards


When I was at school, flashcards were one of my trusted aides to recollect what I studied. I relied heavily on flashcards to memorize math formulas and develop my vocabulary. With questions on one side and answers on the other, flashcards are great tools to review what you have learnt. By continuing the process of revising through flashcards, one can definitely improve their memory. As today’s students are highly active on the internet, one can try websites like Cram.com that allows you to create and share flashcards online.


Teaching others  


I had a friend at school who would teach me the entire syllabus the night before the exams. And every time, he would pass these tests with flying colors. As a kid, I had no doubt that he was brainy. But now I realise that he was able to outperform everyone by teaching others. When you teach others, you are indirectly recalling and revising what you have learnt. When you explain a topic to others, you get a better understanding of it compared to what you grasped while studying it for the first time. This helps in driving the ideas and concepts deep into your mind and eventually improve your memory power.    


Writing it down


One of the most common ways to revise, recollect and retain knowledge is by writing what you have learnt. While it can be a bit of a tedious process and your laziness might make you want to avoid it completely, it is highly effective when it comes to improving your memory. When you write down what you have studied, the topic gets ingrained in your brain and you will not have a hard time recollecting it in the future.   


Meditation/exercise


While preparing for exams, most students torture themselves by going on a studying marathon. They avoid any kind of physical activity as they pretty much have no time for anything but studying. Putting your brain in intense pressure situations is not a good idea if you are trying to sharpen your memory. Indulging in meditation or exercise can be a great stress buster as it relaxes your brain and helps it to focus better. Exercising releases protein-rich chemicals in your body that help in improving the overall cognitive functions including learning and recalling.


Space it out


Most students have cultivated the bad habit of procrastinating studying and later cramming their brains with all they can learn the night before the exams. Such practices put your brain under a lot of stress and reduces its memory power considerably. To learn any topic thoroughly, the brain needs time and constant revision. So it is necessary that you space out your learning routine in such a way that your brain gets enough time to grasp the topic thoroughly. If you want to improve your memory, then devote some time to studying in your daily routine instead of memorizing everything at once right before the exams.    

These are a few techniques that I have personally found useful and have recommended them to my students. There are other interesting ways as well to sharpen your memory power. Choose the ones that work for you and enhance your memory for better recollection of what you learnt.   

Author Bio:'

Ethan Miller is an online ESL tutor. Apart from his passion for teaching, he loves to write and holds a degree in creative writing. When he is not teaching or working on his book, Miller loves to blog and is a huge fan of educational technology. You can follow Miller on Twitter and check out his blog.

 

Woman Behind A Teacher's Odyssey

My name is Miracel Juanta and I write ATeachersOdyssey to help students and teachers create better English. I have been in the teaching profession for more than 10 years. My field of expertise includes ESL,IELTS,TOEFL,Business English etc. If you have questions about English, feel free to email me at msjuanta@yahoo.com or add my twitter @msjuanta.