19 May 2010

Memory Techniques

Memory Techniques

There are some tips to remember what you have read previously.

1. Know Your Purpose

Everyone should have a purpose for their reading and think about how that purpose is being fulfilled during the actual reading. The advantage for remembering is that checking continuously for how the purpose is being fulfilled helps the reader to stay on task, to focus on the more relevant parts of the text, and to rehearse continuously as one reads. This also saves time and effort because relevant items are most attended.

2. Association

If you want to memorize something it should be memorable. That doesn’t necessarily mean the perfect date or football play – it means you need to make it mean something to you
Associate whatever it is you need to remember with whatever you think of instantly. For instance, you meet a person named Suhan, you think September. Use that association to remember that person’s name.
If you take new information and tack it to an older pathway of memory in the brain, it is more easily absorbed.

3. Mnemonics

Another way of making something memorable is to use a mnemonic. For example,“Every good boy deserves fudge” stands for the lines of the treble cleft in music: E, G, B, D, F.

4. Linking is another technique that works.

Take the words/items/numbers you need to remember and make them into a story or visualize a picture of it. For instance if you need to go to the pet store and also need to pick up wine and get a passport photo, you can picture your dog wandering around with a bottle of wine and traveling the world .

5. Memorable Chunks

Chunking works well for long strings of numbers like bank cards.
The human mind can remember about 7 things at a time, give or take a couple, so if you are given a string of 15 numbers, it is easier for you to remember chunks of it than the whole string.
For instance:
1963 – The year the Beatles came to America
911 is 9-1-1
250 – The price of coffee and a doughnut at the local coffee shop.
91 – The year you bought your house

6. Think in Pictures/Visualization

A picture may not be worth a thousand words, but it can certainly capture the essence of dozens of words. Moreover, pictures are much easier to memorize than words. Those memory wizards who put on stage shows owe their success (as do card counters in casinos) to use of gimmicks based on mental pictures. Ordinary readers can use to good effect the practice of making mental images of the meaning of text. The highlighted key words in text, for example, if used as a starting point for mental pictures, then become very useful for memorization.

7. Rehearse As You Go Along

Read in short segments (a few paragraphs to a few pages, depending on content density), all the while thinking about and paraphrasing the meaning of what is written.
To rehearse what you are memorizing, see how many of the mental pictures you can reconstruct. Use headings and highlighted words if needed to help you reinforce the mental pictures. Rehearse the mental pictures every day or so for the first few days after reading.

8. Rehearse Soon After Reading Is Finished

At the reading session end, rehearse what you learned― right away. Avoid distractions and multi-tasking because they interfere with the consolidation processes that enable longer-term memory.

9. Read the information.

Read the information then look away and try to repeat it. Read the information again. Then look away and try to write it.

10. Check yourself.

Ask a friend or relative to test you. You need to be sure you truly remember what you've been working on!

11. Overlearn.

To remember information for a long time, review many times. Review on different days. Practice until it's easy to recall.

12. Memory Devices

You can also make up special memory devices to help you remember. For example, to remember the order of the planets, students sometimes create a silly sentence to help them. Each word in the sentence starts with the letter of the name of the planet. Like this: My Very Early Mother Just Saw Us Near Paris. This stands for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. Try this for information that you need to remember in sequence.

13. Discuss What You’re Reading

Some of the books we remember most vividly are those that we read in our high school English class. Why? It is the practice of nearly every teacher to have lively class discussions and debates over each section of a book. In discussing the book we were able to process the information as a group, bouncing ideas off each other and hearing different perspectives.

14. Rule of Five

Finally, and probably the most “old school”, is the technique of review – or Rule of Five. How many times did you review multiplication tables in school?
Most of what we learn is forgotten within 24 hours. The pathway established deteriorates. But if you review it:
1. One hour later
2. One day later
3. One week later
4. One month later
5. One quarter later
You can firm up the pathway that is the memory in the brain. This is the basis for long term memory.
Short term memory is only about 30 seconds long, anything longer does have the potential to stay - pathways are being built. So, if you can remember something for more than 30 seconds, you are well on your way to keeping it in mind longer.

we live in a society where memory is important, but remember what Albert Schweitzer said: “Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”

***All the best***


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