Improving Your Memory

If you’ve ever found yourself forgetting where you left your keys, or blanking out on information that’s right on the tip of your tongue, then you have probably wished that your memory was a little better. Fortunately, the psychology of memory suggests effective strategies for improving memory. Some good practices include:

  • Scheduling study times about the same time each day.
  • Study before going to sleep and don’t schedule study times for topics that might interfere with each other like studying Spanish then Russian.
  • Actively rehearse and think about the material. Newer memories are fragile. Exercise them and they will strengthen. Rehearsal and critical reflection help a great deal.
  • Study repeatedly to increase long-term recall. Take advantage of life’s little intervals like riding on the bus or studying while waiting for class to begin. Try to provide yourself with many different study sessions – in other words, over-learn.
  • Make the materials more meaningful by taking notes in your own words.
  • Increase retrieval cues by writing or thinking of as many different associations as possible.
  • To remember someone’s name, repeat it to yourself after being introduced. Wait a few moments and say it to yourself, wait a few more seconds and say it again to yourself.
  • Refresh your memory by mentally recreating the situation and the mood.
  • Remember facts and events while they are fresh in your mind and before possibly encountering misinformation. If you are involved in an event, record your memory before allowing others to inject what they think happened.
  • Trust your knowledge by rehearsing it and work on areas that you don’t remember as well. Take practice tests.

Self-Testing Enhances Recall

Without self-testing one can easily become over-confident. Self-testing enhances recall and can help you to know what you don’t know and then enable you to focus your study time on what you do not know.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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