How to remember what you read during exams

Have you been revising for your exams and you are wondering, how to remember what you have
read during exams? Examinations are known to cause anxiety among students. The ability to recall and use information learnt in order to give correct answer is a great challenge.

Many times, students find themselves unable to answer questions just because of memory loss. There are times when students may feel that they are having more difficulty retaining information. The big question to answer is ‘How to remember what you have read during exams’.

Below are some tips that can help you improve your memory, and remember during exams what you read.
Studies have proven that eight seconds is the minimum amount of time that people need to remember a piece of information. It is therefore advised that students should study for a period of time and then have a small break.

For instance, after reading for continuous 30 minutes, one should have a break and try to recall what has just been read. This will help transfer information from short-term memory to long-term memory

Use association to remember important facts/acronyms

This is where you create an image in your mind to help you remember a word or an image.

For example, if you have a hard time remembering nine planets, create an easy way to remember phrases having the first initials of each planet, for example ‘My-Very-Educated-Mother-Just-Showed-Us-Nine-Planets’. The first letter of each word in the phrase indicated the first letter of each planet – M-Mercury, V-Venus, E-Earth, M-Mars, J-Jupiter, S-Saturn, U-Uranus, N-Neptune, P-Pluto.

Special fonts
Researchers have keenly pointed out that when people read something that have a weird font, their brain will focus more and force them to concentrate on it more. Students find it easier to pay more attention to such fonts and hence information becomes easier to remember.

For instance, use bold letters to emphasise on important points. Underline with a different colour. Also, use bright coloured pens to note important facts.

Engage in exercise
Exercise is considered as an effective way to resolve memory problems. Physical exercise is important for your brain because it adds oxygen and nutrients vital for proper brain function. In addition, the nutrients also enhance cell growth in the brain specifically in the area which is responsible for memory. As they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Our brains are drawn to information that is well organised. This explains why books have chapters and outlines are recommended as a studying method in school. Students should summarise their notes in short notes as they read through their books. The revision notes should have headings, sub-headings and major and minor points.

Write it down
The actual act of physically writing something helps to register text in your mind where you can recover it later. If you write down an idea or a passage several times, in different areas, you increase your chances of remembering it.

Information stored in the long-term memory may become difficult to recall if you do not use it.

To avoid this one should simply read it, write it, speak about it and/or apply it. This is especially effective when you have to recall formulas or facts from a previous course.

The process of learning how to improve the memory level during examination time might require much effort, time and patience. It is important to make reading a habit, other than a one-time activity done few days before the exams.

Students should avoid cramming so as to effectively use their long-term and short-term memory.
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