Taking tests is so stressful, and many people have a difficult time getting through them because they are putting so much pressure on themselves to do well. There are many who have memorized all the material and can recite it forward and backwards, but as soon as they enter the testing room everything they learned seems to fly out the window.

Memory training is just as much about learning to distress and be confident as it is about getting information to stick in your head. Stress puts blocks up that make it difficult for information to pass in or out, so the first thing I want you to learn is to calm down and take deep breathes. If you know the material when you go in, and take advantage of the memory training tips I am going to give below, you will sail through the test with flying colors.

Being prepared is the most important thing when getting ready for a test. Remember – NO ONE was able to retain what they learned by cramming the night before. Studying should be ongoing, and in order to remember what you learn you will need to repeat and go over it.

Basic rules for preparing to take any test – no matter whether it’s just a quick quiz or the SAT, are to:

  • Pay attention to the lesson in class
  • Take good notes that you can refer back to
  • Keep your body healthy with the proper nutrition, exercise and sleep
  • Take advantage of any memory tips or aides you can

Here are five additional memory training tips that should help you be totally prepared for any test:

1.      Find common ground. When going through material that is unfamiliar to you, try to find a way this relates to something you already know. By finding common ground between what you are learning and what you already have stored in your memory you will dramatically increase your chances of retaining the new material.

2.      Visualize. Most people are visual learners, which means they learn better by seeing a photo, chart or other graphics to help them understand and retain what they have learned. If you don’t have visual cues to help you, make them yourself. Draw your own charts, write in the margin of your book (if you own the book) or in a notebook. Most students use highlighters in different colors to group related ideas together. Find some way to imprint the image of the material in your mind.

3.      Teach someone else what you are learning. If you are able to teach it, you understand it! There has been research to show that by working with someone else – reading the material out loud or bouncing questions off each other helps to improve memory and solidify the information in your head.

4.      Spend more time on difficult information. When you come across a concept, or something that just seems especially difficult to understand, spend extra time trying to get familiar with it. If you still don’t get it, ask someone who does to explain it to you. After you get it, put it into your own words so you can remember it easier.

5.      Change your study routine. Occasionally change the place you study, or the subject you are studying. When it starts to get monotonous you will start to doze off and lose what you are trying to remember. If you are used to studying in your room, take your work outside and get some fresh air. If you usually study in the evening, take some time in the morning to review. Adding novelty to your routine keeps it fresh and increases the effectiveness.

I know what I am talking about when it comes to studying and memorization. I want to help you to improve your study skills and help you get through your test anxiety through proper memory coaching.  If you would like to learn more about how to improve your memory I would suggest my Memory in a Month CD that is full of hundreds of memory techniques to help you get through any test.

From the Desk of Ron White




About.com – Improving Memory – Top 10 Memory Improvement Tips, By Kendra Cherry: http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/tp/memory_tips.htm