Study and Memory Techniques

Study and Memory Techniques


Top Tips for Studying

  • Try time lines, cycle/flow charts, or grids to organise information.

  • Use mind maps/spider diagrams to link ideas and information (see below).

  • Read your notes aloud. You could even play the role of a teacher trying to explain the subject to the class.

  • Have a variety of coloured pens, and highlighters to make your notes memorable.

  • Talk to friends, share ideas, and work things out together.

  • Use post-its: to record important information; either to distinguish it on the page or to stick in locations in your room/home.

  • Take a photo (on your phone) of an important diagram/quotation so that you can look at it when away from your desk.

  • Record yourself (on your phone) explaining key terms, definitions, the explanation for a difficult topic etc. and play them back to yourself.

  • Use ‘dead’ time, like car and bus journeys, by listening to pre-recordings or reading notes.









Mind Maps       

Mind maps are useful to organise your notes in a visual way, and make connections between   important topics and ideas. They are great for both studying and for planning your essays.                                                                                    

Start by placing your main topic in the centre of the page. Main ideas that relate to your main topic are branched from this, and any supporting ideas are linked directly to theses, and so on.           

Free online mind map tool: Mind Mup


Improve Your Memory
  • Nonsense words/acronyms, like ROYGBIV (colours of rainbow).
  • Rhymes/songs.
  • Journey pegs. This is where you give objects on a familiar journey certain significances to help memorise the important points of a topic and to master a specific order.
  • Numbered lists.
  • Summarise notes, and then distil them down further into bullet points for easy recall. Transfer these bullet points to index cards.
  • Split your page in two so that on the left hand side you can write key summary points/ helpful diagrams, alongside your full notes on the right hand side. Practise looking at the key word, thinking around the point, and then check to see if you have covered the information required.
  • The ‘look and cover’ technique: read or try to learn something, cover the page and write down what you remember. Check what you got right and then try again.
  • The ‘practise and review’ technique: read the notes, write out the key points, and rewrite it. Do something else for 10 minutes or so, rewrite it again. Return to it after an hour, and then after 24 hours and rewrite it each time. If you struggle to remember the topic or leave out points at each stage then repeat from the start. This is especially useful when you need to learn critical information.
  • At the end of a revision session, review key points to help reinforce them.