Friday, January 3, 2014

Remember To Study (About Studying and Memorization)

Getting better at having discipline is my New Years Resolution, however I need to also get better at other skills.  I have been working on memory, studying, discipline, critical thinking, and test taking.  I found some similarities and differences that I want to share with you in the process to get better at studying and having a stronger memory.

Studying sometimes doesn't have to be done alone.  They suggest study groups of few people who really care about getting good grades.  They don't suggest re-reading the material, and they day that underlining/highlighting the information is not the key to success.  This surprised me because it is what I do most when I study.  They also said that using mnemonics for everything try to relate information.  

When you are memorizing a piece of information start early.  One of the key tips was to not cram, to practice, and to try to make it into a daily routine.  They said that chunking was an effective method.   To chunk you have to take and break down what you need to memorize into groups.  An example would be a long list of numbers that you break down into 3 or 5.  The other process they mentioned was the method of loci which is when you think about something you do everyday and relate it to what you need to learn.  If you need to memorize the order of the Chinese dynasties, and every day when you come home you see a quirky house where the cat lady lives, then a hallow house in which no one live, then a silver house where you live then it would be easy to memorize Qin, Han, and Sui as the first three dynasties in China.

What I found interesting was that both for studying and having good memory you need to make sure you focus on the material given at hand.  Another thing is that they both suggest just letting the mind wander and think of different scenarios.  They said that this was effective so that later you could recall the information for when your taking a test.  Goal and motivation were also a big key.  You actually have to care about the information that is being given to you so that it will be memorized and learned effectively.  They described various types of memory, then they described learning styles such as visual, aural, reading, and kinesthetic.  Both mentioned that breaks were key in retaining the information quickly and efficiently.  Relating the information to what you already know can be important and very helpful in remembering the information for weeks and weeks.

Memorizing and studying have similar ways to study.  This is obvious to me because studying sometimes involves memorizing.  I noticed that memorizing in this and several articles I read is sometimes meant to be learning.  They constantly mention connections and that isn't something one tends to do when memorizing.

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