Online Study Techniques 101: How to Enhance your Memory

Posted on May 07 2013

Having a great memory is not only a helpful skill when it comes to remembering phone numbers and names, it can also help you ace your online high school tests. A great memory can help you remember important facts, dates and names in your lessons.

As an online high school student, the challenge is for you not just to simply memorize facts but to use these facts to generate opinions and discuss these with others, as well as to write essays and reports about this. Indeed, enhancing your memory is useful not just in successfully earning your high school diploma online but also in life in general.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your retention of your online high school lessons:

  • Minimize interference. Interference happens when facts you know get jumbled up n your memory so that you are confused and cannot easily retrieve the relevant material you need for a test. The overlapping of facts can be prevented by:
    • Consider the block scheduling method. Block scheduling is a method where fewer subjects are being studied in a day, instead of studying the whole list of subjects throughout the day. For more information on how to create a block schedule, click here. This is believed to prevent interference since you are using longer and separate study sessions for your online high school subjects. Another tip when block scheduling is to avoid studying similar subjects in one study session. So when you are block scheduling, you can try to separate similar subjects so that you study them on separate days. Some similar subjects that may be a challenge would be Math and Physics, Algebra and Financial Math, Biology and Chemistry.
    • Review the material thoroughly. Master the material rather than just know about it. The more you know about the material, the less you have to contend with interference. This reinforces the material in your memory.
    • Add meaning to the material. You can use mnemonics devices to add more meaning to the material. This adds “fun and color” to otherwise dry facts. With more meaning, interference can be minimized. Some mnemonic devices include:
      • Using an acrostic or rhymes. Make an easy-to-remember sentence or rhymes that links with the facts you want to memorize.
      • Use visual imaging. Link images to the facts so that you can access these images and link it to the fact.
      • Look for patterns. This is especially helpful for numbers, where you try to break them down into patterns that are easier to remember.
  • Take care of yourself physically. Get enough sleep and exercise. These all nourish your brain. Sleep helps your brain function at its full capacity. These include your ability to think creatively, think critically or solve problems. Research also indicates that sleep (deep sleep, especially) is essential in strengthening the memory. Meanwhile, exercise not only releases feel-good hormones, it also produces chemicals that fortify the brain and protect its brain cells. Of course, staying healthy by exercising also has the added benefit of minimizing the risk of getting diseases that contribute to memory loss.
  • Nourish your brain with “brain” foods and supplements. There are a number of brain-boosting food you can eat to nourish your brain. This includes omega-3s from cold water fish and nuts. Also, fruits and vegetables protect your brain from free radicals that also damage the brain cells. There are also a number of supplements available that have been shown to boost the memory such as gingko biloba, ginseng, Spanish sage and so on.
  • Use a study technique such as The SQ3R Method. For more details on this, click here.
  • Say it out loud. Reciting the information can help “lock” them into your brain. Read through the outline and try to recite them from memory. Then read through the materials. Try going through the outline and explain each item in it. You can also make use of study aids such as flash cards and review sheets.