How to improve memory during the VCE?

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Boosting your memory can benefit you throughout VCE – although you cannot rely on memory alone to help you throughout the VCE, it will help you if your memory is sharp. So what are some good strategies that you can use as a VCE student to boost your memory? Are there any specific techniques that you can use to remember terms and definitions accurately. Within this article will be having a look at some tips that can help you develop a better memory during the VCE.

Traditional way of memorising – through repetition

Usually the way we learn a new skill, or prepare for a test, is through repetition. By repeating an action several times it can cause connections to strengthen between neurons and therefore be encrypted into our long-term memory. For example you remember your phone number usually by repeating it several times. Repetition is one of the most traditional ways of using memory, however it is time consuming because it has to be done multiple times. Sometimes repetition is not the best and most time effective way of memorising – especially when there is little time left for remembering.

How to improve your memory.

(1) Be interested in what you are learning

If you are not interested in what you are learning, it will be very difficult for you to memorise information adequately. The mind orders things in terms of importance, if you find that something is not important to you, it will be difficult to fool yourself to memorise it. So be sure to be curious about what you are learning. Don’t just accept knowledge blindly, but question what you learn. This is known as critical learning and it is important for improving your memory.

(2) Sleep properly and exercise

Being sure that you are well rested is important for boosting memory. A tired mind does not function very well, particularly when dealing with new information. From personal experience, when I studied all night for my engineering exam, the next day it seemed like I could not access the knowledge – even though I studied the material a few hours earlier. The only reason this happened was because of severe sleep deprival – search you don’t do this in VCE, particularly since marks will affect your ATAR score. Exercise helps relax your body and mind, enough exercise can allow you to focus on your studies. By focusing sharply, your ability to memorise facts and terms will improve significantly.

(3) Eat more omega 3 as well as nuts, fruit and vegetables

A poor diet will not allow neuron connections to form quickly, therefore you will find that your memory sluggish – particularly on a diet high in sugar or processed foods. By eating more omega 3 fats which can be found in fish, flaxseed oil as well as fish oil tablets – it will promote a better functioning mind and memory. Fruit and vegetables are excellent for memory as well as immunity and general health. Nuts particularly almonds and walnuts are great for boosting memory as well.

(4) Laugh as much as you can

By keeping your mood positive and light it can help the brain form neuron connections, depression and negativity can significantly slow down the way your mind functions. So make sure you watch many comedies, spend some fun time with your friends and keep relationships as positive as possible. By being happy, you are improving the way your brain functions!

(5) Keep working out your mind

Your brain is a large, complicated muscle which needs a workout to stay fit. The more you use your mind, the better it will get at remembering. So make sure that stimulate your brain by practising different memory games to strengthen your memory. Some games that you can practice include remembering car registration numbers (as quickly as possible), foreign telephone numbers or perhaps your bank account details. Try to remember difficult things, this will challenge your mind and therefore improve the efficiency of your memory.

Memorisation techniques

There are other ways than simply repetition to improve your memory. In this section will be having a look at these different methods, hopefully you will be able to use some of these techniques for your own studies.

(i) Visualisation techniques

A picture usually speaks 1000 words – sometimes it is better to look an animation or a picture to improve your understanding of a topic. You are more likely to remember a picture, compared to 1000 words about the picture. So be sure to look for animations, videos and good quality mind maps – since this can allow you to remember a large portion of knowledge. During my Biomedical degree, we had about 55 new terms to remember in one single lecture, this amounted to about 1500 new words per subject! Instead of remembering each of these terms, usually I looked for pictures and animations that integrated knowledge together. This was often a quick and effective way of learning foreign concepts.

(ii) Acronym

In this method a single letter of each term is used to represent a new word. For example OILRIG can be used to remember that “oxidation is loss, reduction is gain” – the first letter of each word is used to make OILRIG. An acronym helps to condense information into smaller pieces, this allows the mind to remember more information without becoming too confused.

(iii) Rhymes or songs

Sometimes by remembering silly songs or rhymes, you can efficiently store information. This is because it stimulates a different area in your mind, therefore making it easier to store information. Usually creative songs and rhythms help stimulate the mind to remember more efficiently.

(iv) Chunking

This is breaking down information into smaller manageable pieces. Rather than remembering a number of such as 568798756958, chunking would break it up into smaller pieces. You would be more efficient to remember information as: 568-798-756-958.


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