You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!
Suppose that you study something just to the point where you can recall it without aid and let's say that this takes 1 hour. These facts have barely made it into your long-term memory. If you want to keep them there, you'll need reinforce them with a little over-learning. Aiming for at least 50% over-learning will give you a much better chance at recalling the facts correctly. 50% over-learning in this case would be an additional 30 minutes of study.
Over-learning can also increase your confidence in the material, which has been shown to improve recall.
For example, suppose you want to memorize some French phrases before going on a trip to France. Try putting the longer and more difficult phrases at the beginning and end of the list and the short simple phrases in the middle.
Another method of making sure you give equal attention to all the items in a list is to use flash cards and shuffle the order every time.
Looking for patterns in dates, phone numbers, addresses, etc. will give you a much better chance at remembering the information later. This is because you've instantly made the information more meaningful, you've concentrated on it long enough to push it into long-term memory, and you've chunked it.
In the above example, you only need to remember "4 squared, 25 doubled" which is, at 4 chunks, much easier to remember than the original 7 chunks.
You can use this technique to help you remember things in your daily life. For example, if you need to remember that you have a doctor's appointment, you could remember the phrase, "When I put on my sock, remember the doc." Now, every morning when you put on your socks, it's likely that you'll remember your rhyme and thus the appointment. Likewise, if you need to remember that your boss is allergic to nuts, you could remember "I'll feel like a klutz if I feed him some nuts."
Naturally, the bigger you make your chunks, the fewer chunks you are able to remember. The "7 pieces of information" statistic is based on remembering single characters. If you are remembering short words, you'll be limited to around 6 chunks. If you are remembering short sentences the chunk number drops to 2, however at that point you've managed to cram over 40 letters into your brain!
- Memory Tests - Determine how good your memory is.
- Flash Cards - Create and use flash cards to learn new information.
- Vocab Builder - Build a better vocabulary with these words from the SAT and GRE standardized tests.