Whatever I study I forget

I am studying in Std XII. My problem is that I forget what I study very fast. I am totally blank when I appear for my exams and end up copying, which I hate. I study a lot, but whatever I study, I forget. I want to secure a good percentage in my exams.
Akshay (16)

Dear Akshay,

You have shown courage by owning up that you resort to copying in your exams… it is heartening to see that you want to take steps to learn better and get out of it, as well as to secure a good percentage.

Rather than studying a lot (quantity), study effectively using a mix of study techniques (quality). Here’s how you can do so:

Engage with information that you read or hear (with your senses):

  • Focus to understand it clearly.
  • Make it meaningful — relate it to your daily life using examples; associate it with something familiar.

Process and store the information:

  • Find patterns, such as similarities or differences.
  • Group or chunk similar items together.
  • Transfer information from one form to another, e.g., written to visual such as diagrams, tables, flash cards, and so on; or audio to written such as taking notes in bullet points and diagrams.
  • Use funny methods such as mnemonics or your favourite movie character as a part of your study.
  • Write — it helps to fix information in your mind.

Recall the information by solving lots of papers so that you know exactly what you don’t know well.

Practise or revise at regular intervals — not just once.

In addition, socialize, exercise, eat healthy, sleep enough and take micro breaks and naps (5 to 15 min) to boost memory… and you’re good to go!

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.