NURSING SCHOOL SUCCESS:
Don’t Forget! Tips for Retaining Information Beyond the Exam
Date Published: September 24, 2021
Let’s set the scene. You’re prepping for a big nursing school exam and want to put your best foot forward. However, you’re worried about the vast amount of content you will have to remember for this test. Worry no longer! Below are great ways to retain information and ace your upcoming exam.
Engage with the material
Asking yourself questions while reading is a great way to engage with new information. Additionally, write down notes summarizing main points from a chapter or rephrase key information in your own words. These exercises will help you identify the most important aspects of new material.
Explain the material to someone else
Talking about concepts in your own words not only helps you understand them but also helps with long-term retention.
According to the Scientific Reports journal, resting quietly for 10 minutes after learning something new helps retain more information. Rest not only helps our memory, but also results in the retention of more detailed memories.
Hand-write the material
Copying information by hand helps you commit it to memory because you are actively thinking about the words you’re reading. Using pen and paper requires more dexterity than touching a keyboard. The deeper sensory experience of writing information down gives the brain-encoding process a boost, allowing it to process more material that can be stored as long-term information.
Use mnemonic devices
Mnemonic devices associate new information with phrases, terms, or images. This memory technique helps your brain better encode and recall important information.
Study when you’re most focused
Many people can focus better at certain times of a day. Whether you’re an early riser or prefer late-night study sessions, make sure you plan your study time during your most productive hours in a space where you can be focused. Space out your study time into shorter sessions instead of cramming it all into one day, as well.
Information is organized in your memory in related clusters. Taking the time to structure and organize concepts will help your brain remember the key information.
Turn to visual concepts
Study photographs, charts, and other graphics in your textbooks. If you currently don’t have any visuals to study from, try creating your own! Visual stimuli increase human capacity to take in, comprehend, and more efficiently synthesize large amounts of new information.
Sleep is crucial for memory and learning. In fact, research has shown that taking a nap after you learn something new can actually help you learn faster and remember better. According to the National Institutes of Health, getting enough rest helps one process new information once you wake up, and sleeping after learning consolidates information into stored memories.