Here are few techniques that will make your learning process more manageable:
Spreading out of the learning material over time improves the learning process. For example, you would learn and retain more if you stay consistent and study for a few hours every day rather than studying the whole night before the exam. This will also help in easing out the burden and sticking to a routine.
Dual coding includes combining words and visuals. It is a good practice to memorise study material using visuals and link them to the topic by explaining what they mean in your words. When you involve different modalities and senses, you tend to retain more information. This process reinforces the brain’s concepts through two different paths, i.e., words and visuals, making it easier to retrieve later and make things easier during exam time.
Various visuals can be deployed, for example, an infographic, a cartoon strip, a diagram, a graphic organizer, a timeline, anything that works for you.
Utilising Mnemonic techniques
Learning new information can be easier when we connect it with something already familiar to us. This helps in increasing the likelihood of remembering the new material in the future.
There are three main mnemonic strategies: keyword strategy, peg word strategy, and acronyms.
A keyword uses a familiar word that either sounds similar or reminds of the word or idea being taught. One can link prior and new information in the memory through illustration. Example: While learning scientific terms for common frogs, one can memorise it by a helpful keyword, i.e., rain, and can visualise it by seeing a picture of frogs hopping in the rain.
While utilising the Pegword Method, one needs to learn the peg words list. It can be used whenever a list of items needs to be memorised. “Peg” each item to the rhyme by creating a visual image that combines the peg object with whatever phone number or list one is trying to remember.
Acronyms involve taking the first letter from each of a set of words and creating a new word with those letters. For example, if you need to recall the order of the planets from the sun, you might know the planets’ names, but remembering the order and making sure you don’t leave one out is where an acronym helps.
Taking the first letter of each planet’s name in order based on distance from the sun yields M-V-E-M-J-S-U-N. As these letters do not form a word, they can be better memorised by using small sentences. It includes the first letter of each word representing the first letter of each planet which would be :
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos (or Noodles).
Recalling information without supporting material helps us learn it much more effectively. It is about bringing back information to mind from long-term memory. To effectively use this strategy, one can just write out what one can remember on a blank sheet of paper or even draw ideas in flowchart form or just keywords. This helps in bringing the information to mind from memory. It is not essential to remember everything, but one can check their notes or course materials after retrieval to fill in gaps. This strategy will help you understand how much you know and where you need to spend extra time.