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Memory Strategies for College Students to Use

written by: Sarah Arnette•edited by: Noreen Gunnell•updated: 6/27/2011

Finding the right memory strategies for college students to use is essential for the student to experience success in college. While each student learns differently, these methods are very effective for providing the average student the best chance to learn subject matter.

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    Study Classes

    Studying subject matter is not a basic human behavior. Most people are not good at studying or learning new material over the long term. Finding the best memory strategies for college students has become a study in itself. There are even classes for those students who want to be better studiers. These classes teach students how to take notes, study for tests, take tests and apply their education to the real world. This helps students to have a better college experience and actually learn something in their classes. Some of the best lessons that these classes offered are the lessons on memory strategies for college students.

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    The 4 "R"s

    Review, Reread, Recite and Rewrite are some of the best ways to memorize class information. These are the 4 R's and are considered the most effective memory strategies for college students. This method includes reviewing the notes that were taken during class. Rereading the chapters that were discussed in the classroom. reciting any of the lists or important facts that were brought up during the class. Finally a student should rewrite the information that they find to be relevant to the education that the teacher is attempting to impart to the student. This method helps to expose the student to the information several times, providing the brain with more time and chances to make this information part of the long term memory rather than short term.

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    Mnemonic Devices

    Using memory techniques known as mnemonic devices helps to retain information for a test. There are several devices that can be used to absorb the information. The different devices are used to remember different pieces of information. One of the oldest forms of mnemonic device use is the rhyme. This was used to memorize whole documents in ancient to modern times. Another method is the acronym. This method creates a word out of a list of words. A well known acronym is HOMES which stands for the names of each of the Great Lakes, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. Abbreviations are similar to acronyms because they use the first letter of each world, but they do not form a word. An example of this is the IRS, Internal Revenue Services. Acrostics create phases out of the first letter of each word and work best with association. These words create a visual image and that image is what triggers the memory of a fact.

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    Repetition

    The brain often does not remember things the first time that it sees something. Repeating something over and over again will help the brain remember whatever a person wants it to remember. When doing this, do not simply repeat the same thing over and over again. Instead read it, then read it allowed. If the thing is a definition, consider covering the definition and then say the definition aloud, rereading it if it is not correct. Flash cards can also be used to present the information to the brain over and over again in different patterns.

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    Finding Help

    Sometimes a student will find it almost impossible to learn something. This could be due to repression because the learned information goes against things that the student has previously learned or believes. This could be because the student is learning similar information and is experiencing confusion between the two subjects. No matter the reason for the student having a difficult time learning the subject matter, the student should seek assistance. Student counselors will be able to assist the student in finding classes and tutors that can help the student learn the information. This will help the student learn better study skills and be a better student overall. These changes can also be applied to other classes and help to improve the student's overall scores.