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Memory improvement strategies

Successful memory development depends on the ability to apply different strategies to the process of taking in, storing and retrieving information. This development takes practice and concentration.

New information must be processed from short-term memory to long-term memory before recall can occur. We are capable of storing approximately seven pieces of information at one time in our short-term memory. In order for our memory to recycle information we constantly make decisions about what information to retain and what information to discard. The information we choose to retain must be moved into long-term memory to ensure that we keep our short-term memory available for additional pieces of new information. One way to make the transfer of material memorable for recall is to make a meaningful connection between the new material and information already stored in your long-term memory.

It is a big advantage to know your learning style in order to improve your concentration and memory. It is easier to stay focused if you understand your learning style and use memory skills appropriate for that style.

Visual learners

Visual learners should create charts, diagrams, and matrixes, which are visual representations of information. The act of creating the study aid is a learning experience in itself. Visual learners should be able to "visualize" the study aid when recalling the information. Visual learners should also fill out all study guides or create their own study sheets.

Auditory learners

Auditory learners benefit by hearing information as well as writing notes. Taking detailed notes in class will help an auditory learner because their notes become a back-up file to their recall. A good strategy for auditory learners may be to use a tape recorder in class to tape the lecture, while also taking written notes, and read their notes out loud when reviewing.

Tactile learners

Tactile learners, as with visual learners, benefit from the act of creating a study aid such as a chart, diagram or matrix. For tactile learners, the act of creating the study aid is often the most beneficial exercise to help with retention of information. Tactile learners learn by doing, by being intricately involved in the creation process. Science experiments are a good example of a tactile learning experience. Tactile learners should make flashcards for new vocabulary, or name, date, and event recall, such as information from a history class.

For more in-depth information about learning styles and to determine your own learning styles, follow this link.

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