Not a Bad Memory – Your Brain Just Needs Training
Did you know that our brains need to be trained to remember things? This article gives us tips on how we can get our brains in tip-top shape for exam revision.
Written by Lysette Offley
I bet you expect that when you turn the key in the ignition of your car that it will start. And that you believe that your car will get you from A to B with little incident. I trust that’s because you do what you have to do, to keep the car working for you.
But what about your brain?
Do you expect that it will do a good job for you? Do you do what you need to, to have it remember what you intend to remember?
If you don’t pay attention to how you go about studying, then it is likely that you will forget something important (And if you’ve spent a lot of time on revision, then I bet you don’t want to be forgetting what you’ve learned!)
Why is it that we accept that in order for the car to perform reliably, there are certain things we need to do; but we tend not to apply the same sort of thinking when we revise?
It’s a funny thing that most of the time, when what we’re doing isn’t working, our response is to do it even harder! Unfortunately this approach often leads to disappointment.
So instead, let’s take a moment to discover what it takes to get information into our head and then keep it there for the exam and beyond.
There are 3 simple keys to learning, and tending to all three will help you to achieve the success you want. And in doing so, not only will you remember what you’ve learnt for the exam, you’ll remember it for as long as you want afterwards.
The Three Keys to Learning
- Spend enough time with the information for your brain to make a pattern of it and send it to your long-term memory.
- Make brain-friendly notes. Make them highly visual, using just the key words.
- Revisit the information on a regular basis to keep it current and important to your unconscious mind, which will otherwise prune away the connections you no longer use.
Follow this procedure and your brain will perform when you need it to.
Because, contrary to popular belief, even as we get older, it is possible to get smarter and develop better memory retention – we can grow new brain cells!
Only if you give your brain the need to!
What happens in your brain will be determined by how you use it. Ask the Memory Champions, able to memorise, in just two minutes, the order of cards in a shuffled deck, and they’ll tell you that the brain is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better it’ll perform.
Research tells us that people who keep their minds actively engaged with, for example, crossword puzzles and chess, or by learning a new language, can stave off Alzheimer’s. So get that brain busy and check your revision strategy!
There’s no such thing as a bad memory – only an untrained one!