Do you remember what you were doing last Monday at 2:30 p.m.? Probably not; however, if you were given some clues or a couple of choices, you might have less difficulty remembering.
Human memory has been compared to a filing cabinet. You have drawers of information, and you have files within each drawer. If you file in an organized manner, it follows that you will retrieve easily when requested. There are several principles that, when utilized, can help improve memory. Learning is impossible without memorizing facts and details. However, memorizing is just the first step in the learning process.
Intention: Plan to remember. Have a positive attitude and use active techniques.
Selectivity: Focus on the important pieces of information. It is impossible to remember everything!
Organization: Group ideas into categories. Use outlining and mind mapping to increase retention and retrieval.
Visualization: Make a mental picture of what needs to be learned. Use mnemonic devices, such as POACHER, for adverse possession in property.
Recitation: We retain more information for a much longer period of time if we recite it in our own words, over a longer period of time.
Association: Relate the information to something you already know and understand.
Steeping: Allow time for new information to be processed. Make time for reflection, helping consolidate ideas in long-term memory.
Layer Your Learning: While working on one week’s assignments, continue to review and practice information given throughout the semester. Use it or you will lose it!