Study Smarter – Part I: Memory


The Y12 blog will be posting a five part smarter study series based on webinars hosted by Karen Boyes. She is an education guru that has become a leader in New Zealand for her thinking around studying and thinking dispositions. Her blog regularly contains informative articles and her company Spectrum Education has a range of useful products and resources that can assist a student in the market for a better approach to studying. Like the Smart Study Facebook page for regular study tips.

The following notes are taken for her webinar on study skills available in full here. The webinar went back and forward between the seven keys to memory and translated them into study tips to make them accessible and practical. The summaries here are elaborated considerably in the webinar.

Study Tips 

  1. Use colour – visual notes and mind maps help commit ideas to memory. Colour is right next to your long term memory in your brain, using it helps you to remember.
  2. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day – your brain doesn’t work well without water.
  3. Learn the most important information first
  4. Learn the information you don’t know
  5. Revise the most important information last
  6. Study for 20 minutes and take a 5 minute break – and thereby maximising #3 and #5 (use a study alarm)
  7. Go over your notes one day after learning them, then one week, one month and every six months (see 30 minutes into the webinar for more information)
  8. Make important information stand out in many difference ways
  9. books-927394_960_720Create real-life examples – if something is real to you it will stick much better
  10. Draw Pictures and diagrams
  11. Learn only 3-4 pieces of information at a time

Seven Keys to Memory

  1. Primacy – your brain is designed to remember the first things that happened
  2. Recency – your brain is also designed to remember the most recent things that have happened
  3. Repetition – repetition makes things stick
  4. Stands Out – any way you can make something stand out – make it funny, rhyme, odd, memorable for whatever reason – you are more likely to remember it.
  5. Association – make links and connections
  6. Visuals – images help things to remember
  7. Chunking – break information up into small manageable bits

These are helpful guidelines and strategies – make sure you put them into practice! Part Two will be posted later in the term.

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