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Good memory is a necessary attribute brilliant students need. Students have to learn as well as memorize things to reproduce things in their own words during exams. It should be noted that by memorizing, I never mean cramming…students should always avoid cramming because it puts an end to creativity. You should understand and learn in a way you can use that knowledge yourself. But still a part of study needs to be memorized. A science student has to understand scientific processes in their science text books or notebook as well as make sketches of steps involved. Such learning requires good memory.

READ ALSO:Students’ Guide for Examinations Success’ Common Terms to Note

Steps on How To Improve Your Memory Before Taking any Examination

Steps On How To Improve Your Memory

  • Associate information with another: When you study, try to pick new information, associate it with another which you have already learned. Making such relation between same information will help you remember things easily.
  • Make image of data in your mind: Try to make a sketch of information in your mind. When you read something, think for a while, draw its picture in your mind. In this way, you transform data into memorable images.
  • Make short formulae or short sentences for complex data: It is a nice tactic if you have to memorize complex data or many steps involved in a process in its sequence. In this way, you have to make a short word or sentence with first letters of such idea.

Example One

If you’re studying Trigonometry, there are complex formulae which can confuse you in exam if you don’t memorize them. See the formulae given below:

 Sin = Perpendicular/Hypotenuse,

 Cos = Base/Hypotenuse,

 Tan = Perpendicular/Base.

Make a sentence for it to memorize it easily; we make a sentence ‘some people have curly black hair through proper brushing’. The first three words in this sentence are for first formulae, next three words in the sentence are for second formulae and last three words in the sentence are for last formulae.

Example Two

In Biology, you have to memorize the same in four phases: MITOSIS (Cell division process) in its right sequence which is 1-Prophase, 2-Metaphase, 3-Anaphase, and 4-Telophase. Make a word or two like ‘PMA Test’ (A letter ‘P’ stands for Prophase, M=Metaphase, A = Anaphase, and T = Telophase).

  • Reviewing: If you study a topic after some days, don’t worry, it is common. You should review your study material again and again to remember it for a long time. If you study in the morning, it is good for you to review it at night. You should, at least review the topic after every week.
  • Reading aloud and writing out points: Some students remember things by reading aloud or writing out some points from the study material while reading. This shows that each student has his/her own manner of studying. Practice the one you are good at; it will definitely help you.
  • Mental Exercise: This involves engaging in brain-teasing exercises, logic and reasoning. It sharpens your mind. It strengthens neural connection in your brain, example doing difficult arithmetic calculations, playing puzzle games, scrabble, fixing and other brain teasing games.
  • Nutrients for Brain: Take nutrients which are rich and good for the brain. Nutrients having antioxidant like vitamin C, and E and better carotene, vitamin B, Omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid etc., are good for brain. Add 3-5 Almonds in one glass milk keep it for 5-6 minutes and drink it daily. It is good for mental health. Apple juice is also good for sharpening brain.
  • Think and accept you can remember: Never say you can’t remember. You can remember only if you say you can remember and accept this mentally. This is called ‘the Power in Thoughts or the Power of Positive Thinking’.
  • Try to get full sleep: Take at least six hours’ night rest for refreshment and relaxation of your mind so that your mind can work more effectively in the morning of the examination.
  • Take regular exercise: The brain takes its nutrients from blood for proper functionality. Physical exercise speeds up blood flowing to the brain and the brain gets well-nourished as well and gets rid of waste products through sweats. It is good for enhancing memory power.

According to information published at http://leaderinlearning.wordpress.com, five reasons have been identified as factors why students fail their exams, which are as follows:

First, Not Having Enough Time for Revision: Revision does not mean reading. Revising is an active process; students really don’t understand what they are reading. They should know what every word means, be able to analyze every diagram, bulleted point, graph and data. Mind maps, highlighting key points and notes, summaries on cards, papers or jotters are all useful ways of doing active revision.

Second, Starting Revision Too Late: The path to success lies in good planning. Start revision early, little and often is better than a mad panic at the end. Revision should start so that there is enough time to understand, learn, memorize and to practice past papers. Students should create a revision timetable and stick to it. This will ensure that all the topics are covered and not just the ones the students like.

Third, Stressing the Brain too much: Pressure during exam period is rather unfortunate. Parents can relieve the burden by making sure that their children eat regularly and enough sleep. Tiredness makes revision ineffective and affects performance in exams. Revise for maximum 30 minutes’ intervals and then have a 5-minute break. The exam should be treated as a normal school or college day, other than that they are doing an exam. Following your normal routine will help you relax.

Fourth, tackle simple questions first: This suggest that you should answer all the easy questions first and then go back to the ones you have missed out or that seems to be difficult at first approach. Spend more time on high-mark questions and also answer questions you are asked to attempt as compulsory questions.

Finally, Malapropism, also called a malaprop or Dogberryism: This is one of the lessons students need to learn because they misinterpret the questions at hand. When a student does not understand what is required from the examiner, and will not answer the question accordingly. Students should get hold of a slash of past question papers and make sure they also have the answers to check their understanding then familiarize themselves with examination questions and the language used; and always ask themselves: what do they want us or me to write. They will be less likely to misunderstand if they have come across similar questions before being confronted with an examination paper. Here, a little explanation can be given for malapropism.

Malapropism is an important area a student in an examination hall should properly lookout for. One of the questions in Biology was posed by a lecturer as follows:

Consummation of honey by humans has rules and regulations, as enumerated in Food and Nutrition for man, discuss.

You must wonder what on earth the word means.

Consummation has no functions whatsoever in the question. It has found its way in there because the lecturer has mistaken it for the more appropriate word, consumption, or it may have been a typographical error.

Perhaps, consummation and consumption sounds alike. Also, the lecturer could simply have indulged in bombast. It is meaningful if only we say consumption of honey….

When you consume something, you eat or drink it. And when you consider that consummation can also mean ‘the action of making a marriage or relationship complete by having sexual intercourse (OALD, 6th Ed., 2006). You will appreciate truly how bizarre the use of the word is in the question, not to mention giving accurate answer to it.

Many students fall victim of misinterpreting words in a question paper as they rush to give wrong answers. If you pay attention to key words in a sentence or questions posed by a teacher, instead of rushing to provide wrong answers, you can win more or bonus marks to yourself; while others attain failure due to malapropism.

In such instance, one may also have a question like:

There shouldn’t be shortage of enemies to find and fix in the run-down to the 2019 elections. Run-down is a malapropism of the word run-up. It has simply distorted the intended meaning. Since the author is describing the building-up to the elections. As a noun, run-down refers to a summary or reduction in productivity or activity. So, run-up meaning the final period of time before an important event (Cambridge Advanced Learners’ Dictionary), is the appropriate word.

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