How to Remember What you Read?
- Jan 26, 2015
Can you remember the formulas of Differential Calculus? Or, those of Trigonometry? What were the words spoken by Mark Antony that impressed you the most as you studied Julius Caesar in your tenth standard? Come on, don’t tell me you cannot memorize them! They were once your favorites, I mean the dialogues in Shakespearean plays or even Math formulas.
But then, God did not spare you from the curse of oblivion, right? Strange how fragile the human memory can become at times. Or, most of the time. And, the worst part of it is that, memory loss isn’t something that erases parts of academics from your brain. But even adversely affects other portions. For instance, some of you would take at least five minutes to remember the names of your favorite authors, or novels written by them.
Wouldn’t life turn much easier if we were able to remember everything we read, or learnt? You wouldn’t need to search for the doctor’s prescription each time you needed to purchase medicines. Nor would you forget the History dates while writing your exam. Continue reading to explore how you can memorize whatever you read:
- Be attentive while reading: Focus your attention only on the material you’re reading. Read the caption or headline first and try to understand what it suggests. Next, proceed to the passage and read it carefully till the end. Don’t forget to switch off your television, cellphones and Internet during your reading exercise. If the article speaks about a person or important people and incidents associated with them, try to clarify their connections in your brain. Underline the parts that require attention and read the entire piece once more till it’s clear.
- Write down the keywords: Writing down the material you are reading is one of the best study hacks to improve memory. After you complete reading, close the book. Form a sentence that is related to the topic you just read, and write it down in a notebook. Now, jot down all the essential keywords you had marked while reading the article. Sometimes, however, it might not possible to derive keywords. In this case you can write down a small summary that describes the subject matter well, in your own words.
- Review occasionally: It is humanly impossible to transform our brain into a computer’s hard disk that stores large amount of data permanently. So, make it a point to review your notes, sample questions, definitions and formulas every now and then. Do this especially before any exams, class tests or revision sessions. It restores the information that is missing from your memory. Therefore, you find yourselves more capable of remembering the toughest definitions or Mathematical formulas. So, keep going back to your study or research materials to retain them in your memory.
- Discuss with friends: Communication is a splendid process that keeps topics on top of the mind. Why not discuss your subject of interest with your friends, pee groups and colleagues? It would help you imbibe fresh knowledge. Also, it would bring up things you almost forgot, as you might not have been in touch with them since long time. For instance, you are preparing for a film quiz in your college. You’ve collected a large amount of questions and answers from the Internet and trying to learn them all. Give your friend the questionnaire and request him to cask you some questions.
- Understand new ideas: You might come across brand new concepts, stories or ideas while you are reading your study materials. Or, reading about an exciting news story in a newspaper. Before closing your book or that newspaper, reflect on the new concepts. Concentrate and make attempts to interpret the deeper meaning and significance of the ideas. Reassemble proofs, definitions and formulas to make complete sense of them. It can be complicated chemical equations, or experiments in Physics or Biology. Don’t skip through new ideas because you are too lazy.
- Teach somebody: This always works. Did you just read about an interesting scientific discovery? Eager to retain this information in your brain as you would love to flaunt your new knowledge to your friends? If yes, then teach what you have read about to anybody who is interested in the subject. Clarify the doubts of the person you have taught, if he has any. It would help you know your level of understanding of the topic. And it also helps identify the ‘knowledge gaps’. Knowledge gaps are places that you’re unable to comprehend properly.
- Identify what kind of learner you are: Some of you might be visual learners, while others might be auditory learners. What I mean is, some people can learn well when they read materials accompanied by charts, graphical illustrations, highlighted text and diagrams. They associate words with certain images and pictures. On the other hand, some people are auditory learners. They memorize better when they hear voice recordings, lectures or video lessons. I would suggest you please employ the technique that best meets your requirements. And, is more convenient for you.
Remembering what you read is one of the best ways to be an effective learner. Would you like your time and energy you invested in reading up something go to waste? Or would you like to impress people around you with your newly acquired knowledge? The choice is yours. And I am quite certain the tips I mentioned above would come to your rescue, particularly if you are suffering from short-term memory loss. Do you have any more ideas that can help us memorize everything we study? Why don’t you share them with us in the comments section provided below? We would be happy to hear from you.
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