Tips from the Science of Memory for Studying and for Life

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Memory should be perceived as a certain type of a physical event taking place directly in the brain. Such an approach to the concept of memory helps identify it in the relation of the person to him/herself as long as it takes the following schema of memorizing: in order to make something more meaningful and to secure its place in memory, we must make it matter to ourselves. The process of memorizing is complex and multidimensional. Therefore, several tips on its successful application in practice will be helpful.

The first step in the course of memorizing improvement is as follows: in order to memorize efficiently, it is recommended to work with the text that is properly organized and contains only correct and relevant data (King, 2011). First of all, there is no reason to memorize inappropriate or poorly structured data as there will be no efficient results. It is better to take some time to organize it and correct it properly, and only afterwards one should start learning new material. Moreover, in the process of organization of the data brain memorizes certain percent of the information as well. The reason is that consciousness is involved in the process of synthesis a person applies while correcting or structuring a new material. Besides, a person may decide on one's own what kind of structure is preferable for subsequent effective memorizing, for example, an outline or a concept map. This step may be considered a preparatory one.

The second recommended step is to "store" a new material within the long-term memory. This process will be more efficient if a person is attentive and involves imagery as well as certain efforts. Besides, it is essential to realize that the process of memorizing of the whole course just before the exam can hardly be efficient eventually. The reason is that the preparation and learning of the course material is a continuous process that involves gradual and efficient memorizing or at least building associative links. It is possible in the course of lectures, seminars, discussions, and self preparation.

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One more tip comprises such efficient phenomena as association and exemplification. They help connect a new issue or term to something a person already knows and this something matters for a person. Hence, connection to personal experience is always effective in the course of memorizing.

Moreover, there are two ways the majority of people choose in order to solidify the newly learnt material. The first one comprises writing down the most crucial aspects in the form of notes or summary (King, 2011). Others prefer to have a discussion with the counterparts. These methods differ greatly though both involve the rehearsal element. The choice of mechanical rewriting of the data rarely results in long-term memorizing, while discussion appears to be more efficient. The reason is the following rule: when a person comprehends something - he/she knows it. One more option to replace discussion in case there are no counterparts is to explain the material to another person. When one is able to explain something properly to another person means that such person comprehends and knows it perfectly well.

The efficient tool for improvement of the memory performance is the use of mnemonic strategy (King, 2011). The mnemonic devices are divided into 3 main types: method of loci, keyword method, and acronyms. All these types are directly connected with mnemonics. Therefore, they rely upon particular verbal and/or visual memory aid.

The method of loci comprises visual memory aid in the course of memorizing the data or item. Keyword method involves attachment of "vivid imagery to important words" (King, 2011). Acronyms are formed from the initial letters of the issue that is to be memorized.

Thus, there are diverse techniques available which are targeted to improve memory performance. Their choice depends upon personal preferences and the essence of the item to be remembered.

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