Ace Your Finals With Memory Hacks
With finals season hurtling toward college campuses, the overwhelming task of conquering information and committing it to memory makes many students panic.
You’re probably familiar with all the conventional study tips: Review your notes daily, learn the format of the final, review old tests and the course objectives, organize a group study session, eat well, etc. And don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep before the exam.
But what if you’re following these tips and still finding it difficult to remember the information? How can you trick your mind into retaining it all?
Read on for five fantastic memory hacks that will help you ace those exams!
1.) Link new information to things you already know.
Instead of trying to teach yourself a totally new concept, connect it with a fact that’s already ingrained in your brain. Build onto what you already know to make retrieving information easier.
2.) Create a mind palace
A mind palace is a place you create in your imagination that exists in full detail.
Start by visualizing a large building or a road. Make sure you can picture it clearly in your mind. You can name your mind palace after a broad topic or a concept you’d like to memorize. Next, fill your image with as many details as possible, like a tree stump at the side of the road or a bookcase in one of your building’s rooms.
Now, connect those images with a small piece of information, such as an important date in history or a chemical formula. Think about the image and the information joined together until your mind instantly links the two.
You can continue building your palace by adding as many bits of information as you need. When you need to access all that information at the exam, simply take a mental walk through your mind palace, where your information will be waiting for you.
3.) Set facts to music
Songs have an annoying way of sticking in our minds even when we want them out of it. Capitalize on the power of music by setting your information to a tune. You can even try making the facts rhyme.
As an extension of this hack, you can also try creating mnemonic devices, such as acrostics or acronyms, to help you remember information.
4.) Use your sense of smell
Scent is an extraordinarily powerful memory tool. That’s why aromas can instantly transport you back to a certain time and place. Take advantage of this power by dabbing a bit of a specific perfume or cologne on your wrists each time you study a certain subject. Your mind will associate the smell with the information. Wear that scent to the exam for jogging your memory and watch how the information flows!
5.) Make up a story
It’s always easier to remember a story than it is to recall pages of dry facts. Turn your facts into a story to make your studying fun and easy. Of course, it’s not easy to spin a tale about a bunch of molecules in a chemical formula, but you can turn your molecules into characters by assigning them human names, such as Clara for Chlorine. Then, devise a plot for your characters and have each one act just like their molecular counterparts behave in the formula.
No more leafing through pages of boring information!
Your Turn: What are your best memory hacks for finals season? Share them with us in the comments!