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Updated At: Mar 23, 2022 09:23 PM (IST)
Memorisation is crucial for excelling during exams. Memorising equations, formulae, theorems, and connector types the list is endless.
Struggling to memorise all these key terms and concepts can be frustrating. We may be able to do several things at once if some of them are habitual, but we can only attend to one thing at a time, especially when studying.
Often when we say we have forgotten something – it would be closer to the truth to say we never learned it because we never gave it proper attention.
Fortunately, there are science-based principles you can adopt to boost your memory retention power. The students must train diligently with good rest, low stress, a little caffeine, and a lot of focus. While you’re at it, you might as well put the phone away for a while. Here are a few tips that you can use while studying for your exam.
Our brains are made up of cells called neurons that communicate with each other. Although we form memories while we are awake, they are actually crystallised in our minds when we are resting. This is also why not sleeping enough can lead to memory problems — in addition to a host of other physical and mood-related ailments.
Eat a “Memory-Friendly” Diet
According to Harvard Medical School, eating the right foods can enhance your memory function. Science shows that the same unhealthy low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that can clog arteries and damage the heart can also have harmful effects on the brain. In a study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, participants who ate a diet high in saturated fat (red meat, butter, etc.) performed poorly on tests of memory and cognition than participants who ate a diet low in saturated fat. Based on this study, the researchers recommended a diet high in healthy unsaturated fats, such as those in olive oil, fish, and nuts. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil promote blood vessel health. Plus, these foods will leave you feeling full and give you the energy you need for exam preparation.
Give up multitasking
You’re studying for an exam, with your cell phone by your side and you receive a text from a friend. It may seem logical to kill two birds with one stone and distract yourself by replying to your friend. However, you’re bucking science and reducing your memory retention capabilities.
Get more (better) sleep
Neuropsychologists believe that memories are first stored as short-term memories, and then minted into longer-term memories during sleep. Typically, it is thought that this occurs during the latter phases of sleep, such as slow-wave sleep (the third phase). Slow-wave sleep typically occurs 45 minutes into falling asleep, but you cycle through the different phases of sleep many times each night. This is why you need to make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Sufficient sleep enables your body and mind to experience all of the phases of the sleep cycle for proper memory consolidation.
Get more exercise
According to research exercising increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which can help your neurons function optimally. Harvard Medical School reports that you begin to reap the memory benefits of exercise six months after starting a regular exercise program.
Finally, don’t stress too much
Stress elevates levels of the hormone cortisol, which interferes with memory consolidation and can have a host of other harmful effects on the body. Next time you’re feeling stressed, watch a funny movie, listen to music, take a nap, play with a pet, meditate, or engage in another fun, stress-busting activity.
Passing exams requires you to memorise a lot of key terms and concepts. As a result, you need to take deliberate steps to make sure your brain is ready for the tasks ahead. From getting more rest to choosing your beverages more carefully, you can boost your memory retention — and your odds of earning that score.
So, here are quick 8 quick tips for higher retention during exams… Follow them! Score More!
1. Be Flexible: Try new learning styles.
2. Make a List: Create a framework and organize ideas.
3. Review: Practice and review materials.
4. Get Involved: Find an emotional connection to your work.
5. Schedule: Be strategic about studying.
6. Use a Support: Create tables, charts, and other aids as needed.
7. Rephrase: Use your own words to explain concepts.
8. Avoid Distractions: Turn off TV, phone, and other electronics
The writer is Principal, Orchids The International School, Yelahanka, Bangalore
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