Improving Your Memory

1. Make the effort to remember. Your memory improves if you pay attention to the task and concentrate on trying to remember something.

2. It must make sense to you. It is easier to remember something you understand. Try to understand a subject, formula, date or other facts before you try to memorize them. It is very hard to memorize and retain nonsense.

3. It is easier to remember something in context with other things you already know. Try to see how the information that you are trying to memorize fits in with other bits of information. Use outlines, or use mnemonic devices to help your recall of lists and dates.

4. Complete ideas are easier to recall than details. Main ideas are easier to remember than the parts. If you focus on the whole, the details will follow.

5. Your physical needs will affect your memory. You can actually make yourself stupid by not getting enough air, food, water, and sleep. A regular schedule beats a hectic unplanned, sleepless lifestyle while you are in school. Be aware of how drugs, prescribed or not, may affect your ability to pay attention or to remember things. Also, don't get too relaxed when you study. If your body is too comfortable, then your brain will soon follow.