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Medical Students’ Tips for Improving Memory

Medical specialists no more have to laboriously memorize everything; they have electronic devices to do that, but it’s not the same thing for students. Memorization is a daily task that some students fear.

Memorization will always be a huge part of academics, given its plenty of benefits to students. One of them is ultimately improving the brain’s neurological flexibility, which is called neural plasticity. The best that students can do is not just get by it but also strive to sharpen their memorization skills.

One way to do this is to use memory tricks, which work for college students and those in short-term training, such as classes that offer EMT certifications. It can be frustrating to have so many classes and exams to prepare for, but fortunately, memorization skills can be developed.

Here are some techniques you can use to remember better when studying:

Pull through the basic—understand it first

You can always memorize better when you understand and organize the information first. Make sure that you read the information and understand it thoroughly before you spend the time memorizing it.

As much as possible, write it down

Of course, you wouldn’t remember everything you read, so write anything that stands out as soon as you encounter them. Then, you can organize the information and start using memorization techniques.

Aside from organizing what you understand after reading, the very act of writing the information down can greatly help you remember. Your hand and brain directly connect, so make sure you bring notes for every lecture.

Connect with things you can strongly remember

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Separated information can be very difficult to remember, but it makes more sense when you associate it with other things you already know. For example, with deoxygenated blood, you can connect it with blue or blue water; for oxygenated blood, you may associate it with catsup or red wine.

However, if you can’t connect concepts, you can always make some crazy connections, like your personal life. Say, you should memorize the boiling point of water, which is 212 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 100 °C). 212 may be your friend’s last three digits of mobile number. You may link the two by visualizing the phone being thrown into boiling water.

Use mnemonics of acronyms, words, phrases, and even sentences

This is why almost everyone knows the color of the rainbow—because of the acronym ROY G BIV. Use the same technique in studying your textbooks. For example, in memorizing the five stages of grief of Kubler-Ross, you have DABDA, which stands for denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Aside from acronyms, word, phrase, or sentence mnemonics also work best.

Use visual and spatial strategies

When you’re trying to remember something, come up with a visual image to represent it. For instance, you’re memorizing groups of things, such as four plants, including garlic, rose, hawthorn, and mustard. All these make GRHM, which you can then connect to GRAHAM crackers.

But take note you don’t have to use images; visualize something through your other senses—hear, feel, smell it. Using your five senses can help you retain the information better. For example, if you’re studying for an anatomy exam, feel each part and state their names aloud.

Another way to visualize information is to use the memory palace or memory mansion technique. What you do is draw a building, either your home, apartment, or school. Sketch outlines of the objects and doors within every room. The idea is to assign information to that building’s objects or structure parts.

Every time you enter the place, you will remember the specific information you have designated into a specific room and its objects.

Visual analogies or metaphors can also help the information stick to your mind, even after many years. The trick is to notice similarities in different concepts.

Talk to yourself loudly and self-test

Rather than just rereading or highlighting the information, try talking to yourself loudly about it. It can be an effective memory tool. Then, you can test yourself about the material afterward.

Cultivate Memorization Every Day

The good news is that you don’t have to be a genius to memorize a lot. Your brain can be trained. Practice memorization every day using these techniques, and you’ll be surprised by how much you improve.

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