Rock Valley College
Rockford, Illinois

Aids to Remembering

No one is blessed with a good memory or cursed with a poor one.

The ability to retain and recall what we have learned is a skill which can be developed and improved. The suggestions given in the selection for developing memory are summarized below. Study them and resolve to apply them on all occasions where remembering is essential.

Tip Why it Works
Plan to remember
One reason we forget is that we never really planned to remember. When there is a matter you wish to commit to memory, resolve to remember it. 
Review To overcome forgetting, you must review the matter, bring it back to the forefront of your mind and refresh your memory. Reviewing is an essential step.
Look for principles
Understanding is a key to retention. When we start out to memorize just facts, we complicate the task. View the matter in its most general aspect.
Memorize last
When you are faced with several learning tasks, schedule memorization work last. This prevents new learning from interfering with your recall ability.
Evaluate Examine and analyze the matter to become familiar with it. View if from several different aspects. Work it over in your mind to become totally involved.
Apply We forget what we don't use. Seek for a way to apply the learning. See how it can become meaningful and personal to you through application and use of it.
Discuss Discussion helps to make matters clean and understandable. The longer we keep a matter at our attention, the more likely we are to remember and recall it later.
Use formulas
When there is no relationship among the items to be remembered, make up a word composed of the first letters as an aid to recall (mnemonic device).