January 22, 2018

Cram it in one ear and it goes right out the other

Cram it in one ear - Photo copyright 2012 Rick Sherrell

In d-Nile about Bad Memory?

This is a great graphic below from OnlineColleges.net that drives home some points I’ve been making to colleges students all across the country. It makes several great points but these are the ones that really stick out to me when it comes to colleges students and study skills:

  1. Most of the ‘forgetting’ happens right after you learn something.
  2. You lose half of what you learned within a few days unless the information is reviewed.
  3. The more you review something the stronger you’ll make the memory and the longer you’ll retain it.
  4. Expose yourself to the same information repeatedly and you’ll be able to pull it from your long-term memory quicker.

This is typical of rote memory and exactly why ‘cramming’ doesn’t work. By learning some simple but powerful memory techniques any student can improve their retention by leaps and bounds. With learned memory techniques (like Focus Bursts) and regular review you can double and triple the amount of time before it fades and retain even more.

About ten years ago I learned about 1,400 words of Cantonese by spacing it out and reviewing over a span of four to five days. It allowed me to follow along with some of my favorite kung-fu movies when they didn’t have sub-titles and understand what an ex-girlfriend’s parents were saying about me! (But that’s another blog post altogether!) Although that was over 10 years ago and I’ve lost some of it from not brushing up, I can still recall most of it with very little review. You’ll often find that even people whose first language is not English will forget some of their native tongue if they’re not speaking it every day.  You’d think it wasn’t possible to ‘forget’ your mother tongue, but it too will fade with time.

So the bottom line is when you cram the information only stays in your memory for a few days at best – and often just a few minutes! Like your mom used to say – or was that my mom? – I just goes in one ear and right out the other. You’re just going to have to cram again,,, and again… and again and still with little to no long term benefit.

Instead, I teach alternative methods of memorizing and how to do regular reviews that can stretch out that memory curve, help you retain information longer and avoid the need to cram. You’ll be more confident in your studies and your ability to retain. Your learning will be less stress-based because you be mastering a skill that will last you a lifetime.

Memory Retention and the Forgetting Curve Brought to you by: OnlineColleges.net

About the Author: Dave Farrow (16 Posts)

Dave Farrow is today's most requested Guest Expert on Memory, two time Guinness World Record Holder for Greatest Memory, an outspoken literacy and education spokesperson and busy speaker and trainer. Because Dave has ADHD and dyslexia he studied memory techniques and developed powerful techniques of his own out of necessity. He used those techniques to become a successful student, businessman and speaker. He's been recognized for his memory programs, speed reading programs, programs for children with learning disabilities, memory competitions and more. Dave is available to speak and deliver ADVANCED MEMORY TRAINING and STUDY SKILLS on college campuses worldwide.

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