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5 techniques to improve memory for exams

Dr Samir Parikh suggests exercises to activate your memory during the examination

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Multitasking saves time but reduces the efficiency and gives us less opportunity to rehearse the information. (Thinkstock photo)

A good memory always helps students or those going for the entrance examination. But memorising does not mean cramming or mugging up the answers.

It is important to remember that such skills are not simply to be acquired during the time of exams, but are habits that should be inculcated and practiced throughout the year, in order to help sharpen your cognitive skills.

Read10 tips and tricks to prepare for entrance exams

The following tips could be kept in mind

Using mnemonics. Specific techniques that can significantly aid your memory include relying on mnemonics like acronyms (using the first letters of the words or ideas to make a new word), rhymes (using a similar sounding word to remember facts and figures), acrostics (making up a sentence or phrase using the first letter of each word), visual images (associating an image in your mind to help you remember something), method of loci (imagine whatever you want to learn as a part of a spatial route, with each item at specific locations), et al.

Ensure you get adequate sleep In addition to the specific techniques used to improve memory, it is important to ensure that you get adequate hours of sleep. A minimum of 8 to 10 hours of continuous sleep during the night is essential to maintain the capacity of your memory.

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Regular physical exercise It can go a long way in ensuring both your physical as well as mental health, while at the same time stimulating the nerve cells in the brain, to ensure adequate cognitive stimulation.

Avoid multitasking Multitasking save time and energy but makes it more difficult to retain the information, as the human ability to process information simultaneously reduces the efficiency, while at the same time gives us less opportunity to rehearse the information.

Coping with stress Finally, high levels of stress and anxiety could lead to significant interference in our abilities to memorise information. Therefore, it is helpful to adopt healthy coping mechanisms and use stress busters effectively.

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