Methods To Enhance Students Memory


Students who have deficits in the storage and retrieval of information from long-term memory may study for tests, but not be able to recall the information they studied when taking the tests. They frequently have difficulty recalling specific factual information such as dates or rules of grammar. 

They have a poor memory of material they learned earlier in the school year or last year. They may also be unable to answer specific questions asked of them in class even when their parents and/or teachers think they really know the information.

The following ten general strategies are offered to help students develop a more efficient and effective memory.

1. Over-learn material Method:

“Knowledge of no value unless you put it into practice.”

Students should be taught the necessity of “over-learning” new information. Often they practice only until they are able to perform one error-free repetition of the material. However, several error-free repetitions are needed to solidify the information.

2. Visual images for words and other memory strategies

The substitute word system can be used for information that is hard to visualise, for example, for the word occipital or parietal. These words can be converted into words that sound familiar that can be visualised. The word occipital can be converted to exhibit hall.

 The student can then make a visual image of walking into an art museum and seeing a big painting of a brain with big bulging eyes (occipital is the region of the brain that controls vision).

3. Be active readers

To enhance short-term memory registration and/or working memory when reading, students should underline, highlight, or jot key words down in the margin when reading chapters. They can then go back and read what is underlined, highlighted, or written in the margins. 

To consolidate this information in long-term memory, they can make outlines or use graphic organisers. Research has shown that the use of graphic organisers increases academic achievement for all students.

4. Take Steps by Step solution in math problems

Students who have a weakness in working memory should not rely on mental computations when solving math problems. For example, if they are performing long division problems, they should write down every step including carrying numbers. 

When solving word problems, they should always have a scratch piece of paper handy and write down the steps in their calculations. This will help prevent them from losing their place and forgetting what they are doing.

5. Retrieval practice 

Research has shown that long-term memory is enhanced when students engage in retrieval practice. Taking a test is a retrieval practice, i.e., the act of recalling information that has been studied from long-term memory. Thus, it can be very helpful for students to take practice tests.Also, if students are required or encouraged to make up their own tests and take them, it will give their parents and/or teachers information about whether they know the most important information or are instead focused on details that are less important.

6. Review material before going to sleep

Research has shown that information studied this way is better remembered. Any other task that is performed after reviewing and prior to sleeping (such as getting a snack, brushing teeth, listening to music) interferes with consolidation of information in memory.