Improving Your Information Retention Levels: a Guide for Students
Good and reliable memory is a must if you want to achieve any kind of academic success. In a sense, education is all about it – learning new information, processing it, putting it inside your head, and being able to recall it at will. This means that by improving your memory and information retention levels you can greatly increase your performance in school and college – especially if you study STEM disciplines. However, how does one improve one’s memory? Schools themselves do not seem to be particularly concerned with this issue – which means that you have to rely on yourself. In this article, we will tell you about a few strategies that can help.
Make Some Lifestyle Choices
The quality of your memory and your mental abilities as a whole fully reflect the state of your body and health. There can be no good memory without a healthy brain, and a brain cannot be healthy if the rest of your organism suffers from lack of sleep, poor diet, insufficient exercise, etc. You may believe that your body can take some punishment as you are young and can easily bounce back if you decide to live a healthier life. However, it may turn out more difficult than you believe, and the negative effects have a habit of accumulating and manifesting themselves suddenly.
In other words, if you want to remember more and spend less time memorizing things, you can make a step in this direction by simply changing some of your everyday choices. Start an exercising routine. Sleep at regular hours. Cut junk food out of your diet. Spend less time online and go outside more.
Find the Time when Your Brain Is Most Efficient
All people have their own periods of peak performance during the day. If you do homework during these periods, you will complete it faster and remember what you learned better. There is no surefire way to determine when you are at your best – even if you believe yourself to be a night owl or an early bird, your own preconceptions may have little in common with reality. The only way to find out is to try doing different types of homework at different times of day and see when you perform better. You may look for professional assignment help online to deal with a part of your work so that you can fully concentrate on this experiment, especially if you currently have a huge workload.
Treat your brain as a muscle. If you do not use it or use it only for the tasks you are already comfortable with, your ability to solve problems and master new things will gradually atrophy. If you want to sharpen your memory, you need to look for tasks that strain your abilities. For example, if you study programming, do not limit yourself by completing the assignments received from your professors. Look for additional tasks that are harder than those you are used to doing. Spend time solving unusual problems you never solved before. Only thus will you improve your ability to think and remember things.
Teaching somebody is not only one of the best ways to improve your own understanding of a subject; it also helps to improve your working memory and recall. You can choose any format you like: work as a tutor for other students, start a YouTube channel where you share your knowledge on a topic you know well, etc.
Utilize Sleep to the Fullest
Many studies link sleep with memory retention and recall. Apparently, it is during sleep that the brain sorts and processes the information received during the day. If you do not get enough sleep or the quality of your sleep is insufficient, you will have a harder time remembering things and learning new information. Different people need different amounts of sleep to function properly, so you have to use trial and error to figure out the right amount for yourself.
What is even more interesting is that some studies seem to indicate that revising information just before you go to sleep significantly improves its retention later on.
Learn a New Skill
Consider acquiring a skill or hobby that is wildly different from anything you normally do or ever did. If you try out something radically new, you will force your brain to create new neuron connections, in the long term improving your memory and mental acuity. Even if the skill seemingly has nothing to do with what you are going to do in life, it will improve your abilities across the board. For example, if you study mathematics or programming, you may think that studying a foreign language can hardly be of any particular use. However, learning a new way of perceiving the world and expressing your thoughts is one of the most challenging things you can do to your brain – which will certainly manifest itself in whatever else you do.
There is no quick and surefire way of improving one’s memory – it is a long and arduous process. You will not see the results tomorrow or the day after it. If you really want to get better at remembering things and processing information, you will have to put a lot of effort into it for a long time. You should not treat it as a one-time activity – it is more of a lifestyle change.