How to Study For Long-Term Memory Skills
Studying for long-term memory retention is not easy. Even students with great study skills who find studying easy can forget what they have spent so much time learning. So what’s going on?
Many students have experienced this when preparing to write an exam: there’s a big test, and they stayed up all night cramming all the information needed to ace the test.
Then a week later, all those facts, figures, and dates are poof! Gone from memory. Where did all that information go?
Fighting the Forgetting Curve
Something known as the forgetting curve may be to blame for why information seems to disappear from the brain. The forgetting curve is a theory that tracks memory decline over time.
Memory isn’t perfect. It takes skill and practice to study for long-term memory. Developing top-notch study skills is one way of combating the forgetting curve.
Study skills such as starting early, paraphrasing, taking notes, and active learning can help students avoid last-minute cram-a-thons and hopefully help them remember what they studied for longer than one week.
A Computer for Long-Term Memory?
Planning, organizing, time management, taking notes: studying is a lot of work! Wouldn’t it be great if a computer could tell us when to study so that we never forget? According to Wired Magazine, such a program exists.
The program was developed in response to decades of research into memory and optimal learning. Researchers found that there is an ideal moment to review material that you have learned so that you don’t forget it. It’s called the spacing effect, and it’s the best-known way to remember what you have learnt so that we never forget.
The Spacing Effect
The spacing effect demonstrates that learning is more effective when study sessions are spaced out. The trick is to be able to recognize the moment when forgetting happens and review at that moment. If too much time passes between learning and reviewing, students forget. Too soon, and there’s no point.
Practice the spacing effect and improve study skills. Here’s how:
- Look up a word that you’ve never heard of
- Write down the word and the definition on a piece of paper
- Wait a day or so and try to see if you can remember
- If yes, choose another word and wait longer
- If no, choose another word and shorten the length of time
- Keep track of how much time passes before you begin to forget
If students study when they are about to forget, they will remember better and for longer periods.
GradePower Learning Can Help!
For more study and learning tips contact a GradePower Learning location near you today! Happy studying!