How to Improve Your Memory and Other Skills to Approach Board Exams

Boards exams coming up? You must be all nervous and jittery. That’s natural! Coffee and Red bull might not be the right answer. Instead, work smart! Your memory is everything you have when you are approaching your board exams. There are multiple ways to sharpen your memory out there, but you might not know which ones are the most effective. Here are a few of our top picks to help you get started so that you can remember every word with crystal clarity.

Use memory retention techniques

It doesn’t have to be an actual place. The way it works, you put information there, and theoretically you’ll never forget it, you just have to find your way back to it.
– John Watson

Roman Room: If you have seen the series ‘Sherlock,’ you will know what a Roman Room of a mind palace is – an imagined graphic construction where you make a summary of all the important lectures and notes by taking the key points and linking them all through visual depictions contained in a room. The more detailed and clearly drawn your room is the more you will remember the information it holds.

Mnemonics: Mnemonics is one of the easier memory retention techniques and also one of the more popular ones. This is a format where you take the first letters of things you want to remember and make a phrase or an acronym out of the information you want to remember. There are many kinds of mnemonics, and you can pick and choose the kind that suits you best.

A simple example – Roy G Biv is a name that summarizes the colours of the rainbow.

Music and rhyming: Organization is the key to remembering any information most of the time. Putting the information you want to remember into a rhyme or to the tune of your favourite song is a popular memory retention technique, especially larger chunks of information. You don’t have to be a poet or a songwriter. Anything that makes music to your ears will do.

There are many more. Just adapt a learning style that you are most comfortable with and when you are sitting in front of your paper, the image will come to you in a flash with all the answers!

Use movement

Immediately prior to learning information and clenching your left hand immediately before recalling it would be helpful to improve memory
– Ruth

Making a fist: In 2013, a path-breaking study from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey said that clenching your right fist (left if you are left-handed) while memorizing information helps retain it longer. In an experiment, the University conducted, 50 students were divided into different groups. The group that clenched their right fists were able to remember more words from a list presented to them than the other groups. While it’s not conclusive yet and there’s more ongoing research looking into the connection, it’s certainly worth trying out for your exams!

Doorway effect: Another fascinating study points out how movement enables or disables memory in many ways. Labelled the ‘doorway effect’, it elaborates the phenomenon that occurs when we have inexplicable memory lapses. You go into a room and forget why you came here, you open the fridge and forget what you were looking for, open the drawer and forget what you wanted. All these instances involve doors, and scientists from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, US, found that entering or exiting spaces serves as mental boundaries in the brain. So, when you walk about reading those notes, it might just be better to stick to one particular room.

Write it out: Writing and memory have always been good friends. There’s a reason why we have endless apps to make to-do lists, write journals, and record fleeting thoughts. But pen and paper are sometimes better than Google Keep as the brain is more active and focused while you physically write notes or points to remember down on paper. Sometimes, old school is the way to go.

With just a few steps, you will learn to train your memory and ace that exam!

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