The task of understanding and memorising important facts and information for exams can be daunting at times. Every mark counts and you definitely want to answer all the questions and get the highest score you can get! 💯
Before beginning to memorise, you should always understand the content first – then memorise. When we teach our students to code, we ensure that they understand the codes and can apply them regardless of the situation, instead of simply memorising and following. Memorising is the key that will help you to do your questions quickly and to lock in your marks, and we find that it works best for facts and formulae.
The Coding Lab team is here to lend a helping hand for you to strengthen your memory and ace your exams with flying colours. Check out the tips that we’ve specially curated below!
1. Test yourself!
When you learn and memorise something new, it is important to test yourself. By doing so, you are asking yourself questions about the material. As a result of that, you have to recall the content that you have memorised to the best of your ability.
This particular method works because recalling the material makes the memories stronger and easier to retrieve for later . By consolidating and reinforcing your knowledge, you will have a better grasp of how much and how accurate your memory work is.
You can test yourself by using paper and pen to write out the formulae, voice record yourself reciting the content, or even collaborate with your friends with free online tools like Quizlet. It is a free tool that allows you to create digital flashcards and quizzes to test yourself and share questions with others. This way, you can see how much you’ve remembered and what else you have to work on remembering better!
2. Use mnemonics
A mnemonic is a tool that helps us retain information by translating it into a form that is simpler or easier to remember . They can come in the form of a song, rhyme, acronym, image, phrase, or sentence . The use of mnemonics can help you remember material swiftly and are particularly useful when the order of things are important.
An example of an easy mnemonic is for compass directions – North, East, South, West. You can use the following expression Naughty Elephants Spray Water to recall the different directions.
In fact, mnemonic codes are widely used in computer programming and communications system operations so as to enable its user to recall specific instructions effortlessly ! How cool is that?
Here is an example of a mnemonic in Math – the BODMAS:
3. Sleep well
Did you know that not sleeping or getting enough sleep could lower your learning abilities by as much as 40%? Getting too much sleep on the other hand could also affect memory and other cognitive processes !
Sleep helps to consolidate the information that you have learned into memories that are stored in the brain. With the right number of hours of sleep, the brain has sufficient time to create new pathways for the information learnt. Hence, being sleep deprived could make it more difficult for you to remember things and even impact your focus, reduce decision-making skills. You may also have poor emotional and behavioural control.
We all know that an average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep, but what about children and teenagers? Take a look at the list below to find out how many hours of sleep you or your child needs!
4. Use chunking
Chunking is the process of taking individual pieces of information and grouping them into larger and more meaningful units . Grouping single elements into larger blocks can improve your working memory immensely as information becomes easier to retain and recall.
A simple example of how you can use chunking would be when you remember phone numbers. A phone number sequence of 6-9-7-7-9-6-4-1 would be chunked into 6977 9641.
As for remembering items from a list – for example, a shopping list – you can break them down into smaller groups and categorise them based on whether they are dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, or more.
“Chunking is the ability of the brain to learn from the data you take in, without having to go back and access or think about all that data every time … it makes our brains more efficient. The more you can chunk something, the faster and easier you can process it.”Kevin Maney, best-selling author of The Two-Second Advantage
Check out Food For Thought: Best brain food for programmers for more food tips to get that brainpower to code!
5. Have a healthy diet
As the saying goes: “You are what you eat.” In order to achieve good memory, it is important to watch what you consume.
Your overall diet has a significant impact on your brain health. Inflammatory diet patterns that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats and processed foods could bring negative effects like impaired learning and an increased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s .
In fact, research has shown that this way of eating does not only affect our body, but also parts of our brain responsible for memory – mainly the hippocampus. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge discovered that obese people were 15-20% worse at a memory test than participants who were of a healthy weight .
It is never too late to change your diet – adopt a diet rich in brain-healthy foods like fish, fruits and vegetables to ensure your brain sustains its optimal functioning.
We hope these five tips will help you in strengthening your brain memory 🧠💪 and do share this article with your friends and family so they can benefit too!
Wondering about how you can score in your specialised computing examinations? We’ve also curated 3 Tips to Take On Your O Level Computing Examinations just for you!
(Additional writing by Lakshmi and Nicole)
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