Ever Felt That Skull Melting Stress When Preparing For An Exam?
If so, this may be the most important information you ever hear and read. Download the episode and keep reading this post all the way to the end so that you never struggle with passing an exam again.
And if your schools days are over and you’re the parent of a student, be their hero and pass this information onto them.
These techniques work for everything you need to learn, even difficult topics like memorizing human anatomy.
How The Regeneration Of Your Cells Can Set The Stage For Making Your Memory Razor Sharp
Wanna know why you forget so much of the information you read?
It’s because we miss so much detail when we only listen or read a book once.
Not only that, but you’re a different person the second time around.
I learned this from my Uncle Walter. Unfortunately, he died in a train wreck, but he told me something I’ve never forgotten:
Read the most important books you’ve encountered at least once every seven years.
Every cell in your body will have been replaced, and you’ll be coming to it as a completely new human being.
Of course, if you’re re-reading memory improvement books, be careful. Even the best memory improvement books are sometimes wrong. No amount of rereading will fix that.
In any case, I’ve taken Walter’s advice to heart, but when it comes to podcasts and audiobooks and learning how to enhance memory, it’s possible to revisit them much sooner.
And I love using Audiobook Builder by Splasm in conjunction with my iPhone so that I can get in all that info super-fast without affecting the sound quality.
Schoolwork Can Be A Ball
When memorizing textbooks, is there a good general guideline as to what key points to place in memory palaces? Only focusing on the most relevant information is a great way to save time when studying, and I am curious if you have a strategy as to what information is placed in a memory palace using your index card method. Are these key ideas derived from what is taught in lectures, or are they based on what is most interesting to you?
I have downloaded your video course Memory Secrets of an A+ student as well as read many books on memory, and your methods make learning and memorizing more fun and effective. I discovered that schoolwork can be a ball no matter what the subject is, all thanks to me stumbling upon you website.
This question is great.
And there are a lot of ways to answer it. For example, How To Memorize A Textbook remains the most popular episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast.
But for now, the first thing I would say is that …
A Good Lecturer Will Make It Clear To You What Key Ideas Are Coming
For example, I used to write down all the “keywords” on the side of the chalkboard in a column. Students could literally “read” what I was saying and match them against the keywords. It seemed really effective because when the final quiz arrived, hardly anyone had trouble getting 98% or higher.
Not all lecturers do things like this, or even present structured talks. Sometimes I don’t follow a plan myself because I like to use tangents and ask questions in the middle of a lecture. In cases like these, it’s a matter of listening for what jumps out at you.
I also recommend some people take few notes and recording the lecture instead so they can pay attention to the speaker. Some professors will even allow you to place your recording device on the podium.
If not, you can still get a decent recording if you sit in the first row.
And what are you going to do instead of taking notes?
Harness The Secret Power Of Doodling
Your mind will “scan” what’s being heard, and when something strikes you as a key point, write down one or two words in the middle of your doodle.
You can mindmap too if you want, but I like doodling.
I find that I can listen more intently when doing this, especially since my learning goals are very clear to me.
In fact, I’d hazard a guess that I’m paying far more attention than anyone else in the room precisely because I’ve got more than one representation center of my brain operating.
At least, that’s my speculation. And that speculation is a key part of learning how to enhance memory in many respects.
However, please note that a recent research study found that doodling does not help many students. Doodling has helped me and I believe it’s worth experimenting with if traditional note taking doesn’t work for you. This is especially important because the connection between stress and memory is real.
In fact, reducing stress is why I needed to stop traditional note taking and explore using recordings to review later. I found that doings so removed my worry about losing the important details.
Here’s What To Do Next
Go home and listen to the lecture again with a Memory Palace prepared, and a stack of index cards as described in the How to Memorize a Textbook episode of the podcast.
If you’ve been given additional reading as part of the lecture, you might want to do that reading first before returning to the lecture.
Again, the most important information is going to be the stuff that leaps out at you as the most interesting first.
Because you’re more likely to remember this information without the assistance of mnemonics and Memory Palaces. You won’t have to go to the Method of Loci for this stuff – though later you can if you want. And it’s just good practice to do so.
But the point is that you go to your Memory Palaces primed with interest.
That will make your memory Magnetic.
And that way, the not so interesting stuff will stick with greater ease because you’ll be using the power of familiar locations and well-constructed Memory Palace principles.
And you’ll be connecting it to what interests you. But of course …
A Lot Depends On What The Instructor Is Looking For
So if you want to be a cutting edge student, here’s what you’ve got to do:
Go to the instructor.
Make an appointment if you have to.
Then ask the instructor to make the evaluation criteria clear to you. He or she may have a specific rubric.
And if you can – record this talk!
Because when you hand in your work or answer questions on an exam that don’t give you the results you were expecting, you have a record of this conversation.
Of course, you don’t want your teachers to feel like they’re under observation in a totalitarian state, but the fact of the matter is that you (or your parents) are paying their wages.
You deserve to have the requirements made available to you in crisp, clear and sparkling detail.
And That’s How You Know What To Focus On In Your Studies
It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
1) Pay attention to the things that jump out at you. If you’re interested in these details, they’ll be much more Magnetic. You’ll be memorizing them more for detail and ordered recall than anything else. They’ll also be a great “connecting” device for incorporating the information that you don’t find so interesting.
2) Know what the instructor wants and make sure you’ve memorized that information. When learning how to enhance memory for your studies, it only makes sense to focus on the information they want you to know. The rest is icing on the cake.
3) Come prepared with a well-formed Memory Palace. If you don’t know how, scroll up to the top of the page and register for my free Memory Palace Mastery course.
4) Perform proper Recall Rehearsal
5) Listen to this podcast with Scott Gosnell. He talks about a very special way to build a Memory Palace for prepping for exams.
I hope this guidance helps you out. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Note: The program mentioned at the end of this presentation is no longer available. A modified version of Memory Secrets of an A+ Student (now called The Masterplan) can be found in the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass. If you’re interested in taking that memory training, here’s where to go next: