Exam Tips

How to Remember What You Read for Exams?

how to remember what you read for exams

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are taking an exam and come across a particular question that you just cannot recall the answer to, no matter how hard you try? If you can relate to this feeling, then don’t worry, you are not alone. Some tricks can help you learn how to remember what you read for exams. 

Most students who have a lot of material to study find it difficult to remember certain things from the chapters. Memorizing for one class can be challenging, but it can be even more frustrating when you have multiple classes to study for. However, just reading and rereading things to memorize them is not the only solution here.

In order to excel academically, it’s essential to have a strong ability to retain information and keep important topics in mind for an extended period. To achieve this, there are various effective techniques and tactics that you can use. Our blog aims to delve into these strategies in detail and provide practical guidance about the best ways to remember what you read. 

Whether you’re revising for standardized tests, or final exams or simply want to enhance your retention skills, the insights shared in this blog will prove to be invaluable in achieving your academic goals.

How Does Your Memory Work?

Do you wish to learn how to remember everything you read? But first, it is important to have a good grasp of how the human memory functions. The process of memorizing can be broken down into three crucial steps: Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval. Encoding refers to the process of acquiring information and transforming it into a memory. Storage is the act of retaining the encoded information, and retrieval is the ability to access the stored information when needed.

There are two types of memories – explicit or declarative and implicit or non-declarative. Declarative memories are the ones that are consciously and deliberately stored for specific reasons. For instance, remember your friend’s phone number or your home address. On the other hand, non-declarative memories are the ones that are subconsciously stored, without any conscious effort. For instance, knowing how to ride a bike or play an instrument.

In what follows, you will discover numerous effective techniques that can be put into practice to enhance your ability to retain significant information before, during, and after reading. So, without any further delay, let’s dive into the topic and explore these useful strategies.

Best Memorising Strategies To Remember What You Studied

Talking about how to remember what you read for exams, understanding the best memorising methods is crucial. When it comes to academic performance, students are often required to learn and memorize a plethora of information. This task can be particularly challenging during exam periods when the pressure to recall information is at its highest. 

To tackle this challenge, many students opt for various study techniques, one of which involves choosing peaceful and distraction-free locations to study. The idea behind this method is that by studying in a quiet and peaceful environment, students can focus better, concentrate for longer periods, and ultimately retain information more effectively. There are various other tips to remember what you study

  1. Effective Reading Strategies

If you find yourself losing focus while reading, you might struggle to retain the information you’re trying to absorb. To improve your reading efficiency, a helpful tip or an exam hack is to break down the reading material into shorter, more manageable segments. This will allow you to read with greater attention and retain more of what you’re reading. There are two techniques under this strategy.

  • Skimming and Scanning

When you are faced with a large amount of reading material, it can be overwhelming. However, there are ways to make it easier. One helpful technique is to skim the material to pick out the main points. By doing so, it can help jog your memory and give you an idea of what to expect from the content. Additionally, it can help you recognize important information that you should pay attention to and take note of while reading.

When you need to find specific information quickly, scanning is your friend. It’s like speed reading, but with a purpose! Unlike skimming, which gives you a general idea of what a section is about, scanning helps you pinpoint the exact fact you’re looking for.

  • Active Reading Techniques

As you read, make sure to take notes and jot down any relevant information that stands out to you. Active reading involves more than just passively absorbing material–it requires engaging and interacting with what you’re reading. By taking notes, you’ll be better able to fully absorb and retain the information. You can even annotate the book itself by writing in the margins, or keep a separate notebook for all your notes.

For instance, when studying the five tenets of Islam, jot them down to reinforce your memory. Additionally, note any novel ideas or reflections that may arise while reading. The physical act of writing can enhance your ability to recall the information, and you can always refer back to your notes for a quick review later on.

  1. Note Taking Methods

This is a compulsory method if you’re looking for ways how to remember what you read for exams. A helpful tip to improve memory retention during a lecture is to write your notes by hand. Additionally, after the lecture, reorganize and rewrite your notes by hand to reinforce the concepts learned. As you write, it may also be beneficial to say the information out loud and visualize the concept to aid in memory recall. There are two further techniques of this strategy.

  • Cornell Method

The Cornell Method is a note-taking system that helps students organize their notes effectively. It divides the paper into three sections: a narrow left column, a wider right column, and a bottom section for summarizing key points. Students jot down key points in the right-hand column and write questions or cues in the left-hand column. A summary of the main ideas and key points is written at the bottom. This method encourages active engagement with the material and can help students improve their comprehension, retention, and recall of important concepts.

  • Mind Mapping

The Mind Map method is a way to take notes using pictures and words to connect ideas. It makes it easy to remember and review information. Mind maps are good for all types of learners, but especially for people who learn visually. To make a mind map, write or type the topic of the lecture in the middle of a blank page. Then, as you listen to the lecture, draw lines from the main topic to show details.

The Mind Mapping Method is an effective technique that enables individuals to retain key information and ideas quickly and efficiently. This method involves the use of images to represent important data, which encourages the individual to identify patterns and connections between ideas. Mind mapping is a powerful tool that enhances learning, improves memory retention, and promotes an organized thought process.

  1. Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is crucial while checking out the ways how to remember what you read for exams. The approach of spaced repetition has been proven to be highly effective in developing a study-oriented mind and aiding students in memorizing things more quickly. Spaced repetition involves reviewing a study material repeatedly at certain intervals of time. 

When you learn something and attempt to recall it immediately, you can retain all of the information accurately. If you try to recall it after an hour, you may forget some details. However, what if you were to review the material over and over again after certain intervals of time? In that case, your brain may be deceived into forming a photographic memory of the text.

  • Use of Flashcards

Flashcards can be a great way to learn new things, but reviewing them can become tedious over time. The Leitner system, proposed by the science journalist Sebastian Leitner in the 1970s, offers a helpful solution. This method implements spaced repetition, which means you review your cards at increasing intervals.

The flashcards are sorted into groups based on the learner’s familiarity with each one. The learner tries to recall the information on each flashcard. If successful, the card is moved to the next group; if not, it is moved back to the first group. The time interval between reviewing flashcards increases with each successive group.

  1. Practice Retrieval

Did you know that restudying, rereading, and reviewing might not be the most effective learning strategies? The reason is that these strategies do not involve the actual cognitive processes that exams require. During an exam, you have to retrieve information from memory without any notes, lecture slides, or textbooks to consult. That’s why it’s important to absorb course content thoroughly and be able to successfully retrieve that information during an exam. This way, you’re likely to do better.

Retrieval practice is an effective method to help retain and retrieve information. After learning, try to recall what you’ve learned without looking at the materials. Check for accuracy, review unclear parts, and repeat the process. There are several ways to improve your ability to retrieve information from memory. 

One of the most straightforward methods which is discussed above, is to put away your study materials and try to recall what you have learned mentally or by writing it down on a sheet of paper. Additionally, there are other strategies you can use to practice retrieval. 

  • Self-quizzing

One of the other important points in how to remember what you read for exams is self-assessment. Actively recall the material by asking yourself questions and attempting to remember them without referring to any notes or study materials. This approach not only helps you to retain the information better but also highlights areas where you may be struggling. 

However, it is important to avoid quizzing yourself immediately after memorizing something. Instead, wait for a few hours or even a day or two to allow the information to settle in your memory. By doing so, you can determine if you have truly mastered the material or if you need to review it again.

  • Group Study Sessions

A study group is a gathering of a few individuals who share a common area of study and come together to explore and learn from it collaboratively. The benefits of group study are numerous: it provides a supportive environment that fosters learning and encourages a sense of community among learners. 

When studying together, members can solve problems and clarify concepts more quickly than when studying alone. Additionally, group study helps learners develop important social and communication skills, such as active listening, effective questioning, and constructive feedback.

  1. Create Memory Aids

Creating associations is a helpful technique to access memories easily. This technique involves using various methods such as acronyms, wordplay, or mental imagery that can trigger the memory you are trying to recall. By using these associations, you can enhance your memory and make it easier to retrieve information when you need it. There are different ways of doing this.

  • Acronyms and Mnemonics

You can utilize word association as a memory tool for important information. For instance, you could create rhymes, songs, or acronyms to help you recall key details. The most frequently used mnemonic devices include crafting acronyms that represent the words you want to remember, forming an acrostic sentence where each word’s first letter represents what you’re trying to remember, and using rhymes to aid in memory retention.

  • Visual Imagery

Do you ever find yourself struggling to remember what you read, like a crucial piece of information or an item on your to-do list? Well, here’s a tip: next time you’re faced with a memory challenge, try creating a vivid visual image to represent that item. Using images is a powerful way to boost your memory because they connect directly to your brain’s visual centers. By tapping into these areas, images help you remember even the toughest concepts.

  1. Review Regularly

One effective way to enhance memory retention is to review the information just before going to sleep, even if it’s only for a few minutes. This strategy helps to embed the information in your memory, making it more likely to be transferred from short-term to long-term memory. By engaging in a weekly review of study materials, you can further solidify your knowledge and skills, improving overall retention. 

This practice can also reduce stress and improve performance during exams by allowing for a better pace of learning and helping you manage your time more effectively. By implementing pre-exam reviews, you can boost your confidence and ensure that you are fully prepared to excel on test day.

Wrapping Up 

Developing certain techniques may take time, but with consistent practice and patience, progress is achievable. It’s important to remember that struggling to recall what you’ve read is not a cause for concern. Nothing is impossible in this world. The more you practice, the more natural these techniques will feel. 

Following the tips mentioned above can help ensure that you don’t forget important details as you read. This can improve your overall reading habits and help you perform better on exams.

FAQs on How to Remember What You Read For Exams

Q1. What if I’m having trouble understanding what I’m reading?

Ans. It’s important to have a solid foundation before attempting to tackle more complex tasks. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with a task, take a step back and make sure you have a strong base to work from.

Q2. Why don’t I remember anything that I study?

Ans. You may be putting too much pressure on yourself. Allow more time for studying and create a comfortable study environment. Test yourself frequently to ensure retention of information.

Q3. I am unable to focus on my studies. My concentration is not much. What should I do?

Ans. You need to manage your distractions and keep them away while studying. Define your study goals everyday and try to follow them regularly, this will help you in bringing back your focus. 

Q4. If I start reading late for an exam, what advice can you give me to catch up?

Ans. To optimize your studying experience, it is recommended that you prioritize the main concepts, topics, and information that you anticipate will be covered on the upcoming test. Additionally, focus on reviewing the material that you are less familiar with. For everything else, it can be more efficient to simply skim through the content.

Q5. Are these memory techniques applicable to all subjects?

Ans. Yes, regardless of whether you are studying science, humanities, or languages, these techniques are adaptable to meet the specific requirements of each subject.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *