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6 Ways to Remember What You Need to Learn


1. Select it.

Be selective about what you need to learn. Make choices wisely. Distinguish the significant from the less significant material. Know what your professors will expect you to remember and use. Keywords in the margins of texts or your notes, terms on index cards, written summaries, graphic organizers, and taped summaries are all products of selecting out the information you need to learn.

2. Write it.

Taking notes in lecture, writing a summary of what you read, and writing information on index cards or as margin notes all contribute to your learning the information

3. Recite it.

Discussing the material in a study group, saying the information aloud after you read, taping your summary or an explanation of the material, and using key words on index cards or in margins as cues to recite details are all ways to help you remember.

4. Relate it

Think about how the new information relates to what you already know about the topic. Associate it with your own experiences and opinions. Creating a graphic organizer or creating a memory device such as an acronym helps you relate the information in a way that is meaningful.

5. Imagine it.

Use your imagination to mentally visualize the material. Turning words into concrete images helps you retain them. The more absurd, ridiculous, and unusual the image is, the easier it will be to remember.

6. Practice it.

Review the material in any way that helps you learn best. Distributing your practice over time is effective. Once a day, every other day, choose whatever interval of time will help you master the information. Reviewing your index cards, replaying a tape of your lecture summary, and reviewing your margin notes to cue your recall of the material are all examples of using distributed practice to improve your memory.


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