Memory power is always a topic of discussion among students. We consider memorizing skills essential during our student life and not after that. People do not care so much about their memory lapses in later life. But good memory is a sign of good health and cognition. Every individual should try to keep their memory sound throughout their life.
If you are preparing for GATE/ESE, you will have to memorize a large amount of information, including formulas, theorems and terms. Continue reading to know some of the proven memorization techniques that you can use.
- Understand the concept before you memorize it
You need to remember a lot of information while preparing for GATE/ESE. But do not ever memorize things just for the sake of an exam. You need to understand the concepts very well because you need to apply them in future, in a job. Simply memorizing is not the right way of learning. If you want to fulfil the purpose of your education, you must understand the concepts and information included in your curriculum. So, understand the concepts/information before you memorize them.
For example, if you want to memorize a theorem, listen to the lectures covering that topic and read the study materials. Understand the theorem first and it will help you retain the information for a long time.
2. Read it out loud
Read out the part that you want to memorize loud. This way, you are engaging your auditory sense as well. Reading out something loud helps you memorize the information real quick.
This method is also called linking or chaining. You are connecting a term or idea with something that you already know or things that are easy to remember. For instance, you want to remember the features and atomic number of Argon, an inert gas. Imagine you have a friend whose name is Argon. He is celebrating his 18th birthday, wearing a birthday crown, and guess what, he is too lazy to cut his birthday cake! Now, you have all the necessary information about Argon – its atomic number (18) and properties (inert and noble gas)!
4. Teach what you learn
This method is highly effective to learn complex concepts and boring topics. After understanding the material, you should teach yourself or your friends. This increases the interest and comprehension of the subject. Also, if you are teaching others, you feel committed to the process, and it helps you store and remember the concepts clearly.
5. Use colors
Our brain is attracted to colors more than words. Incorporating colors into your learning strategy will help in memorizing the key information. Use highlighters, color pens and colored sticky notes to highlight the keywords, formulas, and main points. If you highlight specific information using a highlighter, the brain catches and processes that information faster.
6. Use memory devices
Using mnemonics or memory devices such as acronyms, rhymes, songs, phrases or images to remember words and sentences. Many techniques discussed in the article are mnemonic devices. The most common example of a mnemonic is the phrase Please Excuse us My Dear Aunt Sally which stands for the order of operations – parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction (PEMDAS).
7. Take notes
Taking short notes while listening to a class or reading a study material helps in the effective retention of the information. While taking notes, you focus on the necessary points and engage actively rather than passively listen to a class.
Want to know how to take effective notes to crack GATE/ESE? Read GATE, SET, GO!: How to Make Killer Notes to Crack GATE 2022.
Regular exercise keeps your mind and body healthy and fit. Several studies have shown that the brain activity becomes efficient if you regularly work out. This is basically because of the increased blood circulation after exercise. Make sure you do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. You can also include yoga or meditation to boost your memory and concentration.
9. Use visual elements
Use tables, flowcharts, mind maps and diagrams in your notes as they are easier for the brain to process and recollect when needed. Do not ignore tables or diagrams during your preparation as they are easily digestible to the brain. Recreate the visual elements given in the study materials on your notebook while taking notes for improved retention.
10. Method of Loci (Memory Palace)
This is the method of memorizing important information or a list of words by spatially arranging them in a familiar interior (your house or hostel, for example). The memory palace technique is very effective to memorize information with a particular order. Let me give an example. Suppose you want to memorize the below list of words;
Now, you have to place these items in your memory palace and associate them with the objects in the house. Imagine that you see a bottle in front of the door. You pick it up and step inside. You see a piece of paper on the floor. Suddenly you hear a sound coming from the kitchen. You see a cat eating the pizza on the kitchen counter.
Like this, you can use this technique to remember the necessary information. It requires some practice to get its maximum benefits. So, practice them occasionally with your preparation.
Break down the information into meaningful chunks. The method of chunking can be easily understood by the way we memorize our phone numbers. We memorize our phone numbers in chunks. We remember it 456-367-0014 rather than 4-5-6-3-6-7-0-0-1-4. We are grouping the information into meaningful chunks to make it easily understandable. In fact, when you organize your study plan as per the syllabus, you are breaking down the complete information.
For example, in the subject Thermodynamics, you have a subsection Laws of Thermodynamics, and in that, you have four laws. In the zeroth law, there are some aspects and applications of it you need to study. By breaking it down like this, you can understand the concept faster.
12. Sleep on it
Do you remember the advertisement of the Duroflex mattress with the tagline “sleep to perform”? Researches show that it is beneficial to sleep after learning important topics. Our brain processes information and stores it during sleep. Make sure you go through the notes/keywords/formulas before going to bed. Taking a power nap after tackling a complex concept also increases your memorization ability. Create a sleep routine and follow it strictly to ensure at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
So, sleep well to perform well in the exam!
13. Balanced diet
Eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods that are known to have memory-boosting power. You might resort to unhealthy snacking during the long study hours. Have healthy snacks such as peanuts, poha, fruits etc., instead of eating crisps or oily food.
Read A Desi List of Brain Foods that Boost Your GATE/ESE Preparation to see the list of brain foods that are readily available in India.
We hope this article helps you to make your learning process more efficient. However, memory techniques alone will not help you crack GATE/ESE. You need to have a productive preparation strategy, proper time management skills and focus on the preparation to be at your best during the exam.