Memory & Review
May 30, 2017
Academic Resource Center
We forget about 50% of new material within 24 hours. The figure below illustrates how quickly we forget the majority of new material encountered.
The following are a few strategies that can help you retain and remember information as you learn it.
- Study from the general to the specific,
- Find something in the material that is meaningful to you.
- Create associations with other more familiar things.
- Learn actively: recite, write, discuss, manipulate.
- Use your imagination to visualize relationships, make vivid pictures, turn abstract ideas into concrete situations, details.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
- Distribute practice.
- Remember something else on the same subject.
- Combine memory techniques.
- Use mnemonic devices: acronyms, rhymes and songs, et al.
- Rework your notes—adding material that comes to mind. (Reworking is not recopying; to learn how to take and rework notes for efficient learning, make an appointment with an Learning Specialist)
- Organize class and reading notes using asterisks, arrows, additional comments, etc.
- Integrate new material with what you already know.
- Review recent notes for each subject at least twice per week (15-20 minutes per review session).
- Review all notes relevant to the next major assignment or test once a week; determine how new material relates to previously covered topics.
- Start early (at least one week prior to an exam).
- Assemble all study materials: textbooks, articles, lecture notes, reading notes, handouts, previous assignments, graded tests, practice tests/review sheets, any study aids made earlier in the term.
- Practice applying knowledge: try to predict test questions and then answer them. Practice what you will be asked to demonstrate on the test: create essay outlines, write essays, and work problems.
- Take timed practice tests.
- Stick to a regular schedule. Avoid excess caffeine/other stimulants. A stressed body leads to a stressed mind.
Being prepared is the best way to prevent test-related anxiety. If you are still feeling anxious, seek additional resources: CAPS, advisor, professor, or the ARC.