I know that most of us have problems remembering facts and statistics especially as we are studying for our exams be it minor or major exams. Or probably, we tend to forget what we learnt from from the first few chapters as we go on to study the last few chapters. Hence, in this article I would like to share a few tips and methods on how to remember facts and points in a fast and concise manner (Since I have been doing a lot of memory work since I was 7, the following methods which I am going to share will be the ones which I have already tried and tested and they are proven to have worked for me.)
Things You Will NeedOk. So here's what you will need: 1) A condusive place to study (preferably somewhere quiet for people who can't handle distractions every now and then.) 2) A considerable amount of time before your exams commence - Say, 1 to 2 months minimum depending on how much facts you will have to remember. The more facts, the more time you have to set aside for study. Remember: Success does not come without effort! So be prepared to sacrifice! 3) Rough papers or note books on which you will write your stuff on. (I normally use foolscap papers for my notes and writings.) 4) A voice ( you will know what it is for later.) 5) Patience and determination (these are VERY IMPORTANT!)
Step 1Open your textbook or lecture notes on the topic(s) that you are planning to study for on that day. Read through briefly on the important points which are emphasised for the topic. It will help if there is a list of objectives which are supposed to be met at the end of every chapter. This will help keep your mind alert on which important points to look out for. When you're done with this, take out your rough papers (or whatever you can use to write on) and write the important points again and again several times on that piece of paper. After about 5 to 7 times writing (maybe more, maybe less depending on each individual), you will find that somehow the facts just 'stick' onto your brain.
Step 2If you are more of an auditory or verbal kind of person, then after writing down your notes/points as in step one, say them out loud! After saying them a few times, try not to look and say it out loud again. You should be able to get it after a few tries. Do make sure that you have a glass of water in front of you as you will need them to wet your throat every now and then. *Tip: It will help a lot if your notes and concise and colourful. Draw a few patterns or change colours for different points and sub-points.
Step 3If both those methods do not work, then, probably you are a visual kind of person. What I usually do if I am too lazy to recite and write down my stuff again and again, I will make things more fun by drawing! However, here's the catch, to make this method more effective, you have draw the pictures which relates to your facts adjacent to and TOUCHING each other! This is especially helpful for subjects like history and geography where sequencing is important. By drawing the pictures in this manner, I found that it somehow forces your mind to link the first object to the second one and the second to the third one and so on and so forth. Eg: If you are trying to remember that: "Everyday, after John wakes up in the morning, he goes to the toilet to brush his teeth. After which, he goes down to have his breakfast which usually consists of bread and egg...." You can draw: A toothbrush followed by a bread and egg stuck on its brushes (or whatever you can think of but make sure the sequence is there as it is the most important!) You can think of other creative ways to draw the picture too! Try it! *Note: If your facts come in a specific sequence, be sure to draw your pictures in sequence too!
Step 4Next, for people who learns through music, you can compose your own 'lyrics' by using the facts and stuff in your studying material. After which, find a familiar melody you know which matches with those 'lyrics' you have written. This may take some time but quite fun if you have the time to do it. Once, I did one with the 'twinkle-twinkle little star' melody. I still remember it up till today!
Step 5Finally, is the utilisation of mnemonics. From the various points contained in your facts, pick out the one word from each main point and make use of the first letter to create a word or a sentence. It will be best if it's something ridiculous as it will help your mind to remember it more.
There you go. Five methods of memorising and remembering facts! Remember to maintain your patience while trying to memorise stuff especially if you are a first-timer. What I found out is that, this memorising thing will get so much easier after a few successful tries as your brain is somehow used to it already. Do not stick to one method if you are sick of it, try other methods as well! Who knows, the 'newer' method may suit you better? GOOD LUCK!