Clearing Cobwebs: Tips on How to Enhance your Retention


To students, a late night sleep should equate to a high score in a big exam but sometimes, things just go out of hand and students find themselves either looking up at the ceiling or squinting for that forgotten information. When it gets worse, students find themselves not remembering even just a single page.

Remove the unnecessary

  1. Keep it simple. – Free yourself from distractions and diversions. One thing you should remember when studying is that when you’re at it, you have to be in it. Dedicate at least an hour or two for you to focus. Remove the clutters in your room and play your soft music mix tape (that is, if you find music stimulating).
  1. Just do it. – The more prepared you are, the more positive the results are. Set time for studying and be firm with following this study schedule. This will give you adequate time to absorb your lessons. Remember, cramming isn’t healthy and can only take you for not so far.

Then, you tinker

  1. Create your plot – Create a mental representation of the topic you are studying. In an effort to make it move, imagine yourself as the narrator. You can tell this to a friend or even to yourself in front of the mirror. Pay attention to the visual cues you see on the study material such as photographs, charts and graphs.
  1. Stories evolve from other stories – Topics are interrelated. Disciplines do not grow independently without branching. By this, try to relate unfamiliar concepts to something that you already know. The key word here is LINK. Link it to something that rhymes with it or to whatever that you can easily remember and associate with. Psychology tells us that you can increase the likelihood of retaining information when you associate it with previously existing information in your brain.
  1. Be your own author – Using mnemonics is probably one of the traditional techniques that never gets old and ineffective. It is especially effective if you can come up with something humorous and you can maximize it by creating a tune.

Storing information is pretty much like singing to your favorite song or taking in the plot of your favorite book: both of which are new materials before you decide to take them in. There are no special formulas to successful retention, just adherence to the basics.