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How do you improve on your memory

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I probably have one of the worst memory retaining skills around. I have trouble remembering the names of the kids in my class and they have a bad habit of trying to capitalize on that. I also have trouble remembering everything I read. For example, I have a midterm next Wed (classroom management). I've been keeping up with the readings and taking notes in class and today I did some more reading and tried to quiz myself on key points I should remember and how to apply them in classroom situations.


I read and re-read the stuff over to get it through my thick brain. Then I take a break and do other things, come back and try to remember the key points. Can only remember a few.


How can I make myself remember things, stick things in my brain and KEEP IT IN THERE? I am piss poor when it comes to remembering key facts, and names of people, esp a bunch of people.

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I've read there were studies done that people who did a daily crossword puzzle actually developed better "memory skills" because the crossword puzzle makes a certain part of brain "excersize"... so maybe try a daily crossword puzzle, and also when meeting someone new always "repeat thier name out loud" and say "hi Jane, it's nice to meet you"... of course you can't call everyone "jane"...

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There's a lot on study skills and exam skills. A lot of it is about breaking it down into simple concepts, and giving yourself a HOOK to remember things. Make it very very visual - and weave a story around it.


Also, I think there is a difference between deep and surface learning. I used to try to explain the topic I was studying to someone else, and that would make me realise that I KNEW the subject as opposed to regurgitating it. My mother learned a lot about the French Revolution!


Have a look at this site as well:


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I used to use mind maps extensively - there is something about getting everything down on to one sheet of paper that focuses the mind!


And don't worry - a lot of it is all about application and keeping going.


Good luck!

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Start taking fish oil supplements. My doc recommended them to me while I was in college as a boost. She said I wouldn't have to study as much. Not sure if that was the case for me, but I did note an improvement. Regardless if it had a placebo effect or not, it is good for your body.


As far as exercises, anything which requires learning and staying active will help. Read books, newspapers, do puzzles, etc.

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I had the same problem of fading memory, and I've experimented with various trained-memory techniques.


The original memory system was the ancient Greek system of memorizing buildings with many rooms, and putting in quirky, memorable images of things you want to remember that you can recall as you mentally walk through the rooms. That was the first method I tried, and it takes a while to get good at it, but even without practice it works better than rote memory alone.


The ancients actually created special imaginary structures in their minds, and could memorize vast lists very quickly, but, being illiterate, they grew up training their memories.


If you don't have a long list of things to remember, you can put pictures in the rooms of your house. If there's a school or hospital that you know well, those work well because they have lots of rooms.


That's because the mind remembers images, and especially quirky or funny ones, better than abstract thoughts.


Linking is an other easy method that doesn't require any special setup. If you have a list of things to remember, just begin with a funny or weird image of the first two items interacting in some way, then another image of the second and third images, and then the third and forth images, etc. If you forget part of the chain, you can usually work backwards or forward from the bit you remember and reconstruct the missing parts.


The thing about any trained memory technique is that it requires deliberate use; you won't retain things automatically. But if you often need to memorize a number of things, any good memory method is better than raw rote memory.


The best book on the topic that I've found is The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas. Here's a link to a page with very basic info on the various memory techniques; it's pretty elementary but there are better ones if you search.


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