Now that February has set in, examinations of all kinds starting from the Board to university to the professional are just beginning to knock on the doors of the examinees across the country regardless of class and category. And coming as they do with all their might and significance, they seem to hold the candidates in a tight grip of fear psychosis with demands of varying degrees. In the process, examinations tend to take a heavy toll on the tender minds of the candidates with their imposing list of priorities.
And the greatest casualty, in most cases, is the candidate’s memory burdened by the onslaught of curricular particulars. Unable to bear the load of wide-ranging issues pertaining to the course, often the memory of a candidate appears to play truant assailing him with a sense of loss and insecurity. A situation arises when the candidate begins to feel as though his memory is getting weaker and that he cannot remember anything. Understanding this fact, the article seeks to advance a few expert-recommended tips for candidates to boost their memory to split and allay all fears of having too of memory.
1. Choosing your own time of study
It is true that when it comes to the question of preparing for exams, a candidate is expected to study for long hours regardless of the time of the day – morning, afternoon, evening, or late night. But what most candidates do not seem to take cognizance of is the fact that not all hours of the day are suitable for all incumbents. The best time for concentration may differ from candidate to candidate. While for some the early morning hours may be the best time for concentration and memorizing, others might find the silence of the night to be best suitable for their purpose sans any external force to bother them. What, however, is important is to feel fresh and receptive so that the mind is at its best to retain whatever has been garnered.
Dr Gayatree Goswamee, Former HOD of Education at Gauhati University, said “Although common consent has it that the early dawn is the time most suitable for concentration, there is perhaps no universal principle to corroborate such conviction. There are instances of early risers yawning, catnapping, and wool-gathering most of the time at the study table wasting both their precious time and sleep. The idea is to make the study effective rather than a futile pursuit of unending duration.”
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2. Avoiding several topics at a time
It is often seen that candidates in their sick hurry to complete their course before their exams try to deal with several topics, that make them feel famished, fatigued, and nervous without retaining anything of substance from anywhere and blaming it on their poor memory. But hardly do they realize that it is not their memory to blame. The memory is in its place. Aroopa Patgiri, former of a government school in Guwahati observed, “What has gone wrong is the approach towards their study. While at your study it is always wise to read one thing at a time, comprehend it, and remember it in a way that it never ditches you.”
“It is also necessary to connect the new reading with what has already been read earlier on the topic to replenish the old with new information in a way that your memory is comfortably engaged. But under no circumstances should the new information be allowed to impair or interfere with the one already stocked,” she adds.
3. Writing for retaining
It was not for nothing that Sir Francis Bacon, the famous English essayist, said, ‘Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.’ In other words, the power of writing is immense as it not only helps to understand and organize things systematically but also sharpens our memory by releasing it from the shackles of confusion. It is important, therefore, that examinees always follow up their reading with writing.
Reading alone is not sufficient for the mind to retain the information gathered. “Writing not only reasserts the concepts behind the reading that is already done but by way of a repetitive exercise, augments the retentive capacity of the mind convincingly. Notes and jottings should go hand-in-hand with the business of reading per se to eventually kindle the memory to its effective best,” adds Prof Gayatree Goswamee.
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4.Sharing knowledge with peers
There is a misconception among examinees that sharing their knowledge with their peer groups might lead to individual loss as others in the fray are likely to benefit from the information shared. Nothing can be more distant from the truth as far from losing their share of knowledge, individual aspirants with a common pursuit stand to benefit significantly through mutual discussion and sharing. It is even better for candidates to engage in role-playing. For instance, if candidates indulge in a kind of teacher-student game in turns, not only will they enjoy the fun but will succeed in getting many of their doubts and confusions clarified. In fact, recent research advocates gamification as one of the most effective strategies for empowering memory.
5. Keeping the mind relaxed through good sleep
No matter how much candidates may be under pressure to complete the course, one thing they cannot afford to ignore is good sleep. Very often, candidates in their resolve to fare well in the exams are seen to burn the midnight oil bidding adieu to their much-needed sleep. “Many candidates are inclined to believe that sleeping well before their exams could be a sheer waste of time. On the contrary, it is during the time of examination that sleep is most necessary for candidates if they mean to do well. Otherwise, a sleep-deprived mind is unlikely to perform the way it is desired,” points out Debajit Paul, a Guwahati-based mathematics teacher.
“It is also a good idea to take breaks in between your sessions of learning in addition to good sleep,” he adds.