In our information-saturated century, most of us need help with memorizing things efficiently. But it’s hard to remember what we have learned. What can we do? How to remember what you read? The ability to appreciate and organize your study time may help to improve memory skills. Here are some tips.

How to Remember What You Read

1. Practice self-discipline

Self-discipline is absolutely necessary to study effectively. Books, writing materials, and paper should be organized. Try to study in a positive atmosphere, without any distractions, and make sure your room has enough light. Turn off the radio and television.

2. Plan your study time

Some people find it more effective to study every day for several minutes rather than cope with all the materials within one night before the exam. It’s useful to divide your study time and take short breaks.

Instead of studying without interruption for two or three hours, it’s better to divide time into several periods from 25 to 40 minutes each. Research shows that this method increases the effectiveness of memorization.

Decide on how much you are going to study in a specific time period. It helps to focus on reading material.

3. Review the material before reading

Before you start reading a book, devote a few minutes to a prior review. Read the title. Look through the table of contents. Then read the introduction. Perhaps there you will find the author’s purpose for writing and their point of view.

Before you start reading a chapter, take a look at its contents: subheadings, images, graphs, and conclusions. Pay more attention to the initial and final paragraphs.

Glance through the first sentences of each paragraph. They usually contain the main idea. Try to summarize them all. Ask yourself – what did the author want to say? What can you learn from reading this book?

4. Stay focused

Concentration plays an important role. You have to immerse yourself in the study. The point is to spend your study time as effectively as possible. Visualize what you read and try to use sensory perception when it’s possible.

5. Understand what you read

One of the key ways to learn how to remember what you read is to understand the main idea. That’s when you’re ready to memorize it. Taking notes can also accelerate the understanding and memorization of the material. You don’t need to write down complete sentences but just keywords and short phrases to help yourself remember the key ideas.

Understanding the material doesn’t mean that in the future you will certainly remember what you read. In fact, 80% of the information gets forgotten within 24 hours.

It’s a pity, but sometimes it can be recovered by making a brief overview. Using these tips, you can learn to use your study time in the most efficient way and to memorize things you read.

Remember that your brain is capable of more than you use it for. Your ability to memorize information can be developed.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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