Want to know how to remember what you read better? Then think about what you believe is the best way to do so.
Now before you continue, why did you make the choice you made? What was your reasoning for it?
A 2011 study ((Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping, Science. 2011 Feb 11;331(6018):772-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1199327. Epub 2011 Jan 20.)) published in Science wanted to not just guess the correct answer to this question, but they wanted to scientifically verify which was correct.
And like any good scientist knows, the best way to find out is to conduct an experiment.
So they gave students some passages of text which contained information they should learn. And then they separated them into four different groups and instructed them to learn in different ways.
- Group 1 would just read the passage once.
- Group 2 would read it repeatedly.
- Group 3 would draw concept maps.
- Group 4 would do a retrieval practice test (writing out what they just read in essay form from memory).
Then a while later the researchers tested the students – and found out that Group 4 performed the best.
So the correct answer to the question you answered above was: Testing yourself on the material you just read.
Now it’s not yet clear which kind of testing or retrieval practice works best.
There are still several variables:
- For example, after you read an article, you can do a retrieval test by writing in your own words what you just read from memory (without looking at the text).
- Or you could verbally repeat in your own words what you just read from memory (without looking at the text).
- Or you could do a multiple choice quiz where you simply have to pick the correct answer.
While I’m not aware of any research which has determined which of these would yield the best results given the same amount of time, the good news is that three of these options are very effective to help you to remember what you read better.
So if you have a study partner, you could let your study partner ask you questions about the materials you’ve just learned – this is an old, but still highly effective method.
It’s funny that, when you’re a student today, they still won’t teach you hot to remember what you read better. But that would really be very valuable information.
And make regular breaks. Our bodies and brains have natural cycles of attentiveness and relaxation. It’s best to make a break before you overload your brain. Just taking a 2-5 minute time out will already recharge your mental batteries enough to keep being focused and mentally alert. It’s best to do some kind of physical activity at least once every hour – just to get your heart pumping more vigorously and supply your brain with more oxygen.
The use of hypnosis to remember read materials can even further increase your memory powers.
And this is specially true if you’re the kind of person who sometimes read something, and then you simply don’t recall it – like a blank slate.
Because if your brain isn’t in the right state to remember something when you’re reading it, taking it in, then all the recall practice in the world won’t do you any good.
Utilize the power of subconscious configuration to increase your powers of concentration and memory recall, so when you read the knowledge sticks in your mind.