If you want to pass physics, you need to memorize a lot of information. The fact that you are also taking other classes alongside it with more complex information can be overwhelming. Often, students can give up and feel like they do not have the best memory to effectively pass their classes. The good news is that anyone can train, improve and develop memory ability.
Though it may take some effort to cement the information into your long-term memory, these strategies help you retain information to help you pass your exams. According to research, students who use memory tricks outperform those who do not. If you are wondering how to improve working memory, these tricks are highly effective. Practicing these steps also leads to more understanding of the subject.
The Memory Palace
It is one of the go-to tips for how to improve memory and concentration. Many competitive memorizers use this trick to retain information. It is an effective method that helps you remember anything you study. This trick was developed in ancient Greece, and it is also known as the Method of Loci or Cicero Method. Other people also refer to it as Journey Method or Roman Room.
With this trick as you study physics, you need to associate all the information you study with a location that you are most familiar with. It can be your school or your house. In these locations, you place all the information you want to retain. As you internalize the strategy behind creating memory palaces, you can use the technique to remember complex terminologies, formulas, and numbers in physics.
If you are not a visual student, you can associate what you study with sounds, smells or touch other sensory elements in the location you are familiar with. The best thing about this technique is you can combine it with other mnemonic methods to enhance long-term memory.
Spaced Repetition Method
When you want to remember something, you need to rehearse several times to internalize it or store it in the long-term memory. However, this method focuses on when you reinforce your memory. It is known as the spacing effect.
With this method, the focus is on practicing to remember at the right time. The easiest way to do this having flashcards to use as you study. As you go through the cards, you need to split them into three groups. What you remember clearly should be in the first pile labeled ‘easy’. You can space out the time you go through this pile by a week or two. The second pile labeled ‘medium’ should contain information that you remember moderately. You can read this information after every few hours or a day.
For the third pile, it should be information that you do not recall. You need to reinforce the information in this ‘hard’ pile after 10 minutes each time. Spaced repetition is a useful trick when memorizing physics for an exam. Additionally, you can combine these cards with the first memory palace to improve your memory.
Focus Your Attention
Whether you are taking JC physics tuition or A-level, you need to know how to improve your focus. Attention is an important component of memory. When you study, you need to eliminate all the distractions around you. They could be from apps, texts, YouTube, Netflix, or a noisy environment.
These distractions interfere with the ability to reach a high level of concentration. It is not a good thing when you are trying to improve your memory when studying physics. According to research, a student can form long-term memory easily when they focus their attention. As a such, if you are studying get rid of all the distractions, including all the gadgets if you want to remember things better. below are a few things you can do to enhance focusing your attention:
- Mute all the notifications before you start to study. Activate the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on your devices.
- Choose an ideal study environment by isolating yourself from people. You can choose to study in the library.
- Avoid multitasking and work on one topic at a time. Switching tasks affects your concentration.
- Practice meditation to help you focus better.
Use Acronyms and Visualization Improve Memory
The most commonly used method of improving memory is acronyms. They are a great way of improving shortlists and sequences. Often, students use songs and jingles to help them with imagery and improving their ability to remember.
Visualizing is also a great technique in enhancing memory. When studying, focus your attention on photographs, charts, and other graphics in your books. If there are no visual cues in your books, you can create your own which will help to enhance memory. You can draw charts or figures using different pens and highlighters.
Change Lifestyle to Improve Memory
Your lifestyle comprising of food, activity, and sleep significantly affects your memory.
Have you ever cut back on the hours you need to sleep to exercise? Many students have done this several times. Unfortunately, it makes things works. One of the tips to improve memory is getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep affects your cognitive abilities.
Additionally, sleep helps improve procedural memory formation, creativity, and learning. You can also use sleep to reenergize. Sleep deprivation can make you mix up things and remember them incorrectly. Sleep also helps with memory consolidation.
If you want to study and remember physics, get a regular sleeping schedule with about 8 hours being ideal. Cut back on screens about an hour to your bedtime. If you have a lot of caffeine intake, cut back on this as it has different effects where you can be irritable in the morning.
As a student, what you eat also affects your memory. Eating foods with too much-added sugar can lead to cognitive decline and other problems. If you want to improve your memory, you need also to reduce your intake of saturated fats.
Instead, eat foods that boost your brainpower. Include fish oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are good for building up brain cells. You can include fish such as salmon, sardines, or tunas in your diet. You can find these nutrients in non-fish foods such as walnuts, broccoli, spinach, or soybeans.
Additionally, you need to add anti-oxidants to your diet. You can eat berries or drink green tea for these nutrients. Antioxidants help the brain cells by protecting them from slow aging and damage.
Exercise: Both Body and Brain
Exercise helps to boost cognitive function in many ways. Physical exercise increases oxygen to the brain, and they also reduce the risk of other disorders that can cause memory loss or cardiovascular disease. When you exercise, you help improve the effects of helpful brain chemicals. As a result, you enjoy reduced stress and neuroplasticity which boosts growth factors helping in the formation of new neuronal connections. You can follow the following tips.
- Aerobic exercises help the brain and the heart.
- Exercising in the morning helps clear the fog and primes you to start learning throughout the day.
- Choose physical activities requiring hand-eye coordination or complex motor skills as they help with brain building.
- In the afternoon, when you are going through a slump, take a short walk or do some jumping jacks to reboot your brain and help you get back to studying.
Apart from exercising the body, you need to exercise your brain. Memory is like muscles; you need to use it, or you may lose it. When you work out your brain, you are able to process new information and remember things that you study. This process also breaks your routine and challenges you to develop new pathways. A good brain-boosting activity should:
- Teach you something new. Choose to learn something completely new that takes you away from your comfort zone.
- It’s challenging. Ensure it is an activity that takes all your attention and requires more mental focus.
Recall Before Writing
Writing things down can help you boost your memory when studying physics. However, there are a few things you can add to this step to make it even better. First, recall, and mentally repeat what you have learnt before writing it down. You can also repeat it out loud to yourself. When you mentally repeat the information, you transfer it from the working memory to the long-term memory.
Additionally, you can combine this step with the memory palace method to ensure you do not forget what you studied. Once you have done this, you can write down the concepts. You can use flashcards which you can refer to when doing spaced repetition method.
Change Your Study Routine
If you want to increase your ability to recall, change your study routine occasionally. If you study in one area, you can move to a different location for the next session. If you prefer studying in the evening, you can switch the time to early morning. Switching up locations and study time enhances your long-term memory.