Seven strategies for improving memory in students

  • Have you ever been faced with a pile of study materials that won't just stick to your head? Many students find it hard to recall vital information when they need it most, during tests and exams. To prevent the occurrence of these embarrassing situations, it is important for students to develop their long term memory using tested memory training techniques and habits. Below are seven strategies to help increase your memory power.

    Pay attention

    Paying attention might seem obvious, but a lot of students, through different media of stimulation such as music and social media, fail to give the needed attention during the learning process. Studies have revealed that processing a piece of information into memory requires about eight seconds of deliberate concentration. Focus your attention during classes, try to get the full details and explanation from your teacher, and make sure to take notes. When studying on your own, remove any source of distraction, and avoid any form of interruption.

    Learn with multiple senses

    New studies in the field of learning have revealed that different people learn with different senses. Some people are visual learners, some are auditory learners, while others who learn with different senses are called universal learners. Try to relate new information to colors, smells, tastes, and textures. Reading out loud what you recall can help the brain retain more information because it involves the use of two senses, sight and audition. Writing down what you can remember from a text can also help to boost the brain's retention capacity.

    Related: An outline of Piaget’s four stages of development in concept formation

    Organize the learning material

    An effective way of improving your memory is to organize the material into a format that is easy to memorize. You can organize alphabetically or into chronological order. You can also separate simple from hard, e.g., calculus from word problems. Highlight facts in a logical sequence for easy recall. If you are dealing with a large material, arrange the ideas from simple, to general and specific for easy assimilation.

    Mind mapping

    A powerful tool for enhancing the memory is Mind Mapping. Mind mapping involves using diagrams to show relationships between different ideas and concept. The main idea will be in the middle of the page, and you start making your connections radially from the center of the paper. Mind mapping can help you recall related facts by providing you with the key points of the subject, which will help to trigger the rest of the material.

    Study during the day

    Research has found that studying during the day tends to be more productive, especially when studying complex subjects. Early morning study sessions have been proven to be more efficient and help to improve memorization.

    Attitude matters

    The kind of attitude you have towards a particular subject can affect your level of retention in the subject. Research shows that having a positive attitude about a subject helps the memory to retain the subject. If you are having difficulty understanding and committing a subject to mind, don't entertain any negative attitude towards the subject, while you continue to learn better ways of achieving success in the subject.

    Get enough sleep

    The life of a student can be full of so many distractions that they hardly get enough sleep. After putting in long hours of study, the brain requires some time of rest to file all the information into the long term memory. An average of eight hours of sound sleep is needed for full replenishment of the body. Studies have revealed that sleep is a fundamental requirement in the process of memory consolidation. Some of the ways of getting adequate sleep are by having a regular pattern of sleep and setting an alarm for bedtime. If you read in your bedroom, do not use electronic devices and ensure you reduce your consumption of caffeine if you notice it interferes with your sleep.

    After setting time tables and scheduling your study for the semester, how will you feel if you are unable to recall the information while writing an exam? Discouraged, sad, melancholic? To learn effectively, students and every seeker of knowledge need to learn the best way of learning and committing the learned material to memory. This list is not exhaustive but will go a long way in assisting students to boost their memory and brain power.


    Thorne, G. (2003, January 1.) What strategies can be used to increase memory. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

    Richards, R. (2008) Memory strategies for students: The value of strategies. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

    Stephen, G. (2013, January 15.) 20 ways to improve your memory. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

    Straus, C. (2016) Strategies for improving memory. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from the Web

Recent Articles

  • Eight techniques to facilitate learning new languages

    Posted Jun 8

    The more languages you speak, the broader your opportunities. Apart from your native or immediate languages, mastering some major global languages can avail you with exclusive global opportunities. These languages, I call them ‘language of opportunities,’ a...

  • Why you should not deny your children their mother tongue

    Posted Jun 8

    "It's okay to be proud of your good English. But don't be proud of being poor at your mother tongue. Only the scum of the earth do that." ― Manasa Rao Cambridge Dictionary defines mother tongue as the first language someone learns when he/she is a b...

  • The injustice in our justice system: A personal narration of a Nigerian lawyer

    Posted May 30

    How does it feel to see your entire life flash before your eyes and then at the last moment, when all hope is lost, something happens that changes the course of the universe and the next minute you open your eyes, you can see clearly again with no danger lurking anywher...

  • The dearth of investigative journalism in Nigeria: An analysis

    Posted May 25

    When we think of ‘investigative journalism’, more often than not, we picture an over-zealous, stubborn journalist who ducks behind trees and hedges to dig up the unsavoury details of intricate plots that can topple governments. Yet is investigative journali...

View All

Random Articles

  • Top five English language proficiency test providers for prospective students

    Posted August 8, 2017

    English language non-native speakers interested in studying in countries where the native English is used for educational instructions require English language proficiency test. Most of the universities/colleges in native English language speaking countries—UK, U...

  • 6 steps to getting published in an academic journal

    Posted November 13, 2016

    Very few experiences are as daunting as your first attempt to get published in an academic journal. There is a high rate of manuscript rejection when it comes to reputable journals in any field, and the thought of rejection alone is enough to make new authors baulk at t...

  • A brief review on biochemistry

    Posted January 28, 2017

    What is biochemistry? Biochemistry is the study of structure, composition, constituents, and chemical reactions of substances found in living systems. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes, it is the science in which chemistry is applied to the...

  • The toxicity of acetaminophen (paracetamol)

    Posted November 12, 2016

    Most drugs, as well as toxins, toxoids and other xenobiotic compounds, enter the body through membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, or skin. Drugs are frequently toxic if they accumulate in the body. They are often rather hydrophobic and are normally converte...

View All