Five quick ways to improve your memory
by StudyMalaysia.com on October 14, 2019 | Top Stories
So exam season is just around the corner and one of the things you’re probably doing every day is trying to memorise as many facts and information as you can. Would you like to improve your memory? We know the answer—who doesn’t? Having a super memory can have many advantages especially when you want to ace an exam.
Here are some quick memory-boosting hacks you can try.
1. Exercise before you study
The research findings from Oregon Health & Science University in an experiment using mice shows that a single session of exercise can enhance the expression of a gene that promotes synaptic growth in the hippocampus. In other words, they found that learning may be enhanced when it is preceded by physical exercise. Scientists also found that this short burst of exercise can be as quick as 10 minutes. So, go do some jumping jacks before you study or take a walk around your neighbourhood. But don’t overdo it—you don’t want to tire yourself out and end up sleeping instead.
2. Draw out your memory
Whether or not you have artistic talent, drawing is a powerful way to boost memory. Compared to activities such as reading or writing, drawing makes you process information in multiple ways: visually, kinaesthetically, and semantically. Your level of expertise doesn’t matter much—it is the process that helps improve recall by challenging students to explore an idea in different ways. How do you start? Try drawing diagrams and mind maps!
3. Teach someone
They say the best way to understand something is to teach it to someone else. That’s true of course. And in the process of explaining a concept, it will also boost your power of recall. Interestingly, a study also showed that when a student was told that they were expected to teach someone after learning a passage, they performed better. So the next time you finish revising a topic, seat you buddy or sibling down and get started on giving a mini lesson. Or, begin your studying with the mind-set that you might have to teach someone after.
4. Get musical
If you’re the type who likes listening to music while studying, you might want to re-think your strategy. Studies show that music has the potential to help create the perfect state of mind for studying but listening to music (especially songs with lyrics) is not such a good idea. In a nutshell, listening to some of your favourite music before hitting the books could help, but when you’re doing the actual brainwork, silence is definitely golden.
5. Sleep, relax, repeat
Building a good memory needs a healthy, well rested body. That means getting enough sleep, particularly the night before an exam and the weeks leading to an exam. When you’re studying, make sure you give yourself regular breaks—experts say short breaks after 45-50mins work best; also, after 1.5hours of continuous learning, we find it hard to memorise new information. Another technique to help you relax is meditation. A number of studies carried out by neuroscientists have confirmed that there is a clear link between meditation practice and enhanced memory.
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