One of the Study Methods subjects that generate the most interest and questions is Memory. It is clear that memory is an essential element in any study process. But it is important to correctly understand memory.
“Memory works like a great file. Find the information in the right place requires to speed up the material selection and retrieving process”
We will start by saying that memory and mnemonic devices are built in three phases:
Our memory works like a big closet or file in which it is clear that we will more easily find things if they are stored in a logical order. It is also proved that we will remember more and better those things that we understand.
– Registering: During this phase we get in touch with the elements that will later be memorized. It would be the first reading. In order to make the concepts that we read clearer we use underlining, charts, summaries or index cards. But it is essential that what is being read and written down is done in an orderly and logical way, understanding what is being read. Do not study a math subject that is based on previous one that has not being read or do not try to study the reasons behind the Civil War if you have not read about what happened during the previous years.
– Retaining: The more attention we pay to what we want to memorize, the easier it will be to retain it. That is a basic premise of the memorizing process: Attention. This is why interest and motivation before what we read and want to memorize are essential. Concentration is very important: isolate yourself from noise, smells, people around you, TV and even music in some situations. It is not a good idea to study around music for which you know the lyrics; that will distract you. Studying with the radio on is not a good idea either and of course TV is terrible. If you want to study listening to music, use classical or instrumental music. Avoid Rock or Heavy; better use Jazz, Blues, Reggae, New Age, Folk, etc. In order to retain concepts, read only the underlined or highlighted parts of the text, re-read the charts or side notes and, of course, re-read the subjects.