Improving your Memory as a Student

Ever been in an exam hall and as you start to write, you just go blank, and not remembering a thing for a while? Or even before writing your first answer, your friends are already calling out to you for the answer to nos. 3,4 and 5 and you are wondering if they read at all.

I’ve been there a couple of times, and I know how frustrating it could be knowing that the time given is running fast, but with time I got to realize it all boils down to how effective and retentive one’s memory is.

There’s a short-term and there’s also a long-term memory and basically most people find themselves between either of these two, but on whichever side one is, there is always room for improvement especially when it comes to students and teens.

I remember a time while I was still in high school, I found Maths very difficult, but by the time I was rounding up my first degree, I was the best student in Statistics. How did that happen? I guess I found a way to improve myself, which is why I’d be suggesting some ways which I have tried overtime on how to improve your memory.

1. Sleep

After a lot of struggles with remembering what I read after a while, I realized that whenever I read before sleeping, by the time I’m awake, if not all, I’d be able to recapture an appreciable lot out of what I read. So it became an attitude for me to sleep on what I read and it has been helping me so far.

2. Reading Time

Since I realized reading for a while and sleeping a bit helps me to memorize what I read, I found it easy to choose the cool of the evening to read before going to bed. And obviously, coupled with the fact that I’m a night person (my active period), it was easy for me to read a lot before going to sleep. Likewise, you also must find a convenient reading time to study.

3. Arts

The use of images and crafts has also helped a lot. I remember walking into my room one day and on my wall were various formulas and anatomical terms scribbled on pieces of papers tagged, and I knew some of my friends who would use drawings to remind themselves of important stuff. Even my bunkmate, who was in Med Lab would tag small sheets to my bunk beneath, right over his head, so that whenever he looks up, all he’s seeing is chemical equations. These visual images created by hand while reading helps a lot to give the brain an image to capture.

4. Organized Reading

I found out that when I read after a personal timetable or structure, I tend to remember majority of what I have read due to the free flow of thoughts. So, having a personal timetable is a good start to improving the memory.

5. Switching Sides

I used the term “switching sides” because I remember reading specific courses or topics in particular locations and times, to serve as a reminder for me while in the exam hall. Trying out new locations once in a while also helps retention in memory.

6. Paying Attention

As a student, there are a lot of things that try to pull our attention, most especially while in class, but nothing can help improve the memory as much as the first hand information which is gotten while paying attention in class. If need be, I do record the lectures while it is ongoing, then I listen to them a few days to exam to complement my reading.

There are still many more ways through which the memory can be improved, but I believe trying out these few tips above is worth a trial.


Do you have more suggestions on how to improve memory retention? What are some other unique methods you use? do share in the comments below.

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