In Part One of Improve Your Memory; Improve Your Exam Results we discussed the first three of seven specific strategies reported by the Telegraph that can help to improve your memory: the method of Loci, repeated testing and elaborative processing. Today we will discuss the remaining four methods: acronyms, rhymes, music and common sense:
Back in the day we all learnt a number of acronyms at school. Do you remember ‘SMART’? Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely – the letters we used to remember goal setting. And why do we use acronyms to remember information? Most simply, it’s a method that works. TTFN, RSVP, ETA, FYI, BRB, OMG… we could keep going. A study of students revealed that those who used acronyms to learn did “significantly better” than those who chose to recall information during exams, the Telegraph reported. Maybe it’s time to create some acronyms from your own accounting revision notes.
Many of us were introduced to rhymes from an early age. The likes of ‘Humpty Dumpty’ and ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ are even considered part of British culture by the British Council. We were also taught specific rhymes at school to aid our learning (not out of choice we may add). How does our brain allow us to remember the words I hear you ask? It stores them through a process called ‘acoustic encoding’ or ‘remembering via hearing’ in simplistic terms. Think about it logically, if you are trying to make two words rhyme, your brain will automatically eliminate all the words that don’t; this allows you to concentrate solely on the ones that do. Words that rhyme are easier to remember because they are easier for our brains to encode.
Isn’t it impressive how you can remember all the words to Eminem’s new rap but haven’t the foggiest where you left your bank card? According to the Telegraph, studies have shown that singing words can help you remember a language more effectively than just saying them aloud. Cue all those songs you’ve unnecessarily learnt the lyrics to. If you do decide to belt out a new tune, just make sure you’re alone if your singing’s bad enough to upset the neighbour’s moggy.
7) Common Sense
This last method of improving your memory may seem like a silly one, but you’ll be surprised how effective it is. That bank card we were referring to earlier – if you regularly find it in the fridge or in your best friend’s car, think of a way in which you’ll stop misplacing it. Put it back in your wallet or purse as soon as you’ve finished using it. If your keys keep growing legs and running off, choose to put them in the same place the very minute you arrive home or put them in one of those (rather ugly) homemade dishes on the mantelpiece.
Test yourself: Here’s your second chance. Can you name the final four techniques we’ve just mentioned to help improve your memory? No cheating!
Looking to study an accounting qualification like AAT, but fear the exams that come hand in hand? Try giving one of these few memory-enhancing methods a go. You could end up being someone who looks forward to exams in the future!
For more information on the right accounting course and provider for you, contact Aspiring Accountants today.