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Five ways to improve your memory for exams

Exams can sometimes result in information overload as we cram a semester’s worth of academic theory into our brains.

To make sure you’re not feeling overwhelmed, we’ve pulled together five helpful tips to improve your memory so your recall is top notch on exam day!

Run, walk or skip your way to better recall

A recent study found that regular exercise increases the size of the brain area associated with memory. It has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, which can go hand in hand with exams.

So how much should you exercise? According to the Harvard study engaging in regular physical activity is the best way to improve your memory and all you need is 120 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, which is around 20 minutes of brisk walking per day.

Design an environment for study success

Your environment is crucial to your study success! Your bed is for sleeping, your dining table is for eating and the couch is for relaxing. Create a study space and keep it tidy and conducive to your study.

If you really want to focus, try putting your phone in another room away from your study space. Having this approach to your study area will keep you calm and focused – key factors to improving your concentration and memory.

Be the teacher

One of the best ways to improve your memory is to teach others. This will reinforce the information you are studying in your mind, making it much easier to remember in those stressful exams.

Try teaching a parent, friend, child or your partner about things you are studying online – they’ll most likely ask questions forcing you to elaborate and test your own understanding of how much you know.

This will also help you recognise areas you need to learn more about, and also how much you have already learnt!

Get creative and draw

A great way to remember study points is to write them down, this can also be through drawing out maps or tables, graphs and charts as a creative way to help you remember important points.

When you draw and write out what you’re studying, the information is organised to help you memorise clusters of material.  

Pack in the zzzz’s

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults should have about eight hours of sleep each night because having a good night’s sleep can encourage ‘physical restoration’ and ‘helps us organise things in our brain’.

If you’re one to do an all-night study session before an exam, think again. Sleep is essential to our overall wellbeing and allows your brain to consolidate what you have learnt throughout the day.

Want more tips? Check out our most shared study tips.