I found this excellent lecture while looking for ways to improve my memory. This speech is geared toward helping college students learn, remember and study class and book material, but it is also very useful for studying things on your own.

It is about one-hour long, divided into four parts. I’ve listed the 24 points in a bulleted list, underlining and emboldening the most important steps that can quickly and with little effort improve your recall results. I highly recommend these videos.

  1. Pay attention. a) Don’t listen to music with words, b) Don’t be around people talking, even if they are speaking a foreign language, c) Don’t have the TV on.
  2. Encode information in more than one way.
  3. Use visual imagery.
  4. Take your time. Don’t cram; try to study two hours every day in the same place. Study in a quiet place.
  5. Get adequate sleep.
  6. Review before sleeping. Reviewing your notes and other materials 5 to 10 minutes before you sleep.
  7. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Do a deep-level or elaborative rehearsal.
  8. Use expanding rehearsal. Study the same material with longer intervals between sessions, such as 2 hours after the first session, then again in 4 or 6 hours, then again the next day.
  9. Over learn the material.
  10. Monitor yourself.
  11. Distribute practice rather than massing it.
  12. Be active while reading. Don’t use highlighters.
  13. Take notes in your own words. Don’t write them down verbatim from a book or a lecture.
  14. Make associations with the new material and things you already know.
  15. Be motivated and hungry for knowledge. Be a sponge for new information.
  16. Take control of your memory.
  17. Look at your class notes the same day you take them.
  18. Attend every class.
  19. Avoid alcohol or any drug that makes you sleepy (e.g. Benadryl). They can have a negative impact on the formation of new memories.
  20. Eat right. 1) avoid high-glycemic foods (high-sugar and simple carbohydrates), 2) eat Omega-3 fatty acids, 3) eat foods high in antioxidants.
  21. Exercise and watch your weight.
  22. Stay organized with your notes, to-do list, flashcards, slides.
  23. Manage your stress levels.
  24. Manage your moods. Watch out for depression.

In this award winning lecture, Dr. Rob Winningham, Professor and Chair of Psychology at Western Oregon University describes 24 ways students can improve their memory and academic performance. Techniques such as improving attention, spaced rehearsal, distributed practice, use of flashcards, and optimal note taking strategies are discussed. If the suggestions are properly used a C-student can become an A-student.