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What are 3 things I can do to improve my memory?

July 25, 2018

Memory can be a tricky thing. We have all had the experience of wanting to remember something and it just not coming. Sometimes in exams. This is not good so here are 3 simple things you can do to improve your memory using the multi-store model of memory from cognitive psychology.

 

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1 Pay attention to the new information

Very simply, if we don't take in the information, we don't remember it. We need to take it in through our senses and focus on it to put it into our working memory. From our working memory it has the opportunity to become a long term memory. So pay attention and focus on the new information. If we are thinking about what we're doing later or how paying attention is difficult or we can't do that or looking at our phones or watching for a fly that might come into contact with us or finding any distraction, we're not going to take it in. And if we don't take it in, we don't learn it. If you feel tired it's difficult and tiring, you're doing it right.

 

2 Remember what you already know about the topic

There are two key processes in creating and maintaining long term memories: retrieval and encoding.

Retrieval is remembering what you already know about the topic.

Think of memories as places being connected by roads. Creating a new memory is creating a new road. It's hard work! It's better if you can connect to a road that has already been made. This is the memory pathway of what you already know.

 

Practical activities to active prior knowledge and prime retrieval include brainstorming and organising what you know on paper, asking questions and summarising old notes can be a great way of retrieving and remembering what you already know about the topic, improving your memory.

 

3 Connect new information with the old

Think about how the new information relates to the old. Memories are made from the "conversation" between short and long term memory. Really think about how the new information is connected to the old. The more you think and connect the new with the old, the easier it will be to recall the new information.

 

Practical activities to connect the new information with the old include sorting and organising information, sequencing, comparing and contrasting.

 

So, to improve your memory, try these three things

1 Pay attention

2 Remember what you already know about the topic

3 Actively connect the new information with the old memories

 

and enjoy learning better.

 

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