Virginia Tech is one of the top-ranking universities in America, known for its excellence in engineering in particular. Over the last century and a half, it has turned out numerous minds trained exceptionally well in everything from the aerospace industry to environmental engineering, and is also considered one of the most architecturally innovative schools in the country. One of the foundations to any left-brained activity, and success in the world in general, is found with a sharp memory, of course. Following are 17 tips for improving your memory from Virginia Tech.
- Understand thoroughly what is to be remembered and/or memorized
- Spot what is to be memorized verbatim. It is a good plan to use a special marking symbol in text and notebook to indicate parts and passages, rules, data, and all other information that is to be memorized instead of just understood and remembered.
- If verbatim memory is required, go over the material or try to repeat at odd times.
- Think about what you are trying to learn. Find an interest in the material if you wish to memorize it with ease.
- Study first the items that you want to remember longest.
- Learn complete units at one time, as that is the way it will have to be recalled.
- Overlearn to make certain.
- Analyze material and strive to intensify the impressions the material makes.
- Use concrete imagery whenever possible. Close your eyes and get a picture of the explanation and summary answer. Try to see it on the page. See the key words underlined.
- Make your own applications, examples, and illustrations.
- Reduce the material to be remembered to your own self-made system or series of numbered steps.
- Represent the idea graphically by use of pictorial or diagrammatic forms.
- Make a list of key words most useful in explaining the idea or content of the lesson.
- Form a variety of associations among the points you wish to remember. The richer the associations, the better the memory.
- Try making the idea clear to a friend without referring to your book or notes.
- Actually write out examination questions on the material you think you might get at the end of the term. Then write the answers to your own questions. Since you now have the chance, consult the text or your notes to improve your answers.
- Follow suggestions for reviewing. This is an important part of remembering.