18 Most Effective Ways to improve Retention Memory

We’ve scoured our brains, research papers and the internet for the best study hacks to help your brain remember information quicker, longer and easier.


1. Speak Out Loud Instead of Simply Reading

Although this may make you look a little crazy, give it a go! You will be surprised how much more you can remember when you’ve said it out loud. Warning: Don’t try this in a crowded library!


2. Teach What You Have Learned

The best way to test if you really understand something is to try to teach it to someone else. If you can’t get anyone to listen to you explain the Pythagorean Theorem, why not teach a class of stuffed animals!



3. Create Mental Associations

The ability to make connections is not only an easier way to remember information, but it’s the fuel of creativity and intelligence. Steve Jobs famously said “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something”.



Mind Maps are an easy way to connect ideas by creating a visual overview of different connections.


4. Draw Diagrams

Drawing diagrams will help you to visualise information which would be hard to describe. This creates a visual memory in your mind which can be recalled in an exam. You may even be asked to draw or label diagrams such as the human heart in your exam so get practicing!


5. Watch a Documentary on the Topic

Documentaries are an entertaining way of compacting an entire story into a short timeframe. This will help you remember key details from a story plus you may even get extra credit for mentioning that you took the initiative and watched a film about the topic!


6. Create Flashcards for Quick Memory Buzz

Quickly test your knowledge of key concepts, definitions, quotes and formulas with flashcards.



7. Take Regular Study Breaks

When your brain is working, you need to take regular study breaks to help your brain absorb more information but also to keep you motivated and focused when you are working. Take a short break after 45-50 minutes study as your focus and concentration will become impaired after this period, anything new after 1 hour 30 minutes does not get assimilated.



Study breaks while studying


8. Listen to the Correct Type of Music

The correct types of music can lead to more productive studying by elevating your mood. Have you made your playlist yet?


9. Practice, Practice, Practice…

Practicing sample answers to past exam questions can help train your brain to retrieve information. Create realistic, exam-like condition and test your understanding.




10. Don’t Stay Up All Night Before an Exam

Make sure to get adequate rest the nights leading up to your exams. When you sleep, your brain assimilates the information you have learned when studying so getting a good night’s sleep will help you remember those pesky maths formulas you need for your exam!



11. Discover News Ways to Learn

Trying new methods of studying can help you find what really works for you. Use technology to your advantage by watching educational TED Talks or downloading useful dictionary apps for example.


12. Study in a Group

Studying in a group can help you collect new insights to enhance your learning experience. It helps you share resources, discuss ideas and interact with members of your team or group project.


13. Meditate

Studies say that meditation can help students stay focused when studying. Not only will meditation help you concentrate when studying but it will help reduce pre-exam stress as it improves both mental and physical health.

Why does meditation benefit memory? It’s somewhat counterintuitive. During meditation, our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would.

14. Eat berries for better long-term memory

An important diet-related effect on memory is the mounting research that eating berries can help to stave off memory decline.
A international research study found that supplementing a normal diet with blueberries for twelve weeks improved performance on spatial working memory tasks. The effects started just three weeks in and continued for the length of the study.

15. Exercise to improve your memory recall

In particular, studies shown that regular exercise can improve spatial memory, so it’s not necessarily a way to improve all kinds of memory recall.

Of course, the benefits of exercise are numerous, but for the brain in particular, regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive abilities beyond memory. So if you’re looking for a way to stay sharp mentally, taking a walk could be the answer.


16. Write the main points while you learn

Whenever you read a book to learn it, try to have a pen and paper with you to write down its important points at the same time. It really helps in retaining these points in your mind.

17. Associating an idea with other idea to retain it in mind for a long time

According to the psychological theories, we learn and remember things by associating them with other relevant things. You may find it a bit difficult in the start but you will get used to it with the passage of time and it will help you a lot.

18. Devise short abbreviations (or short sentence) for retaining long complicated ideas in mind

Got any other study hacks? Let us know if any other study hacks have worked for you in the comments section below.

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