Making Knowledge Stick

It’s thought that the average person retains about 10% of the information that they read. Of course, this can vary massively. Some of us have got much better memories than others. You remember more if you are alert when you read it than you would if you were tired, your memory is better when you are feeling happy and well-rested, and other conditions can affect how much information you retain.

In general life, this 10% might serve you well. But, sometimes, we need to remember more. Before a test or exam, we need to remember far more than 10% of the information that we have learned. If you’ve learned something new in the workplace, or a process has changed, you certainly need to remember more than 10% to be able to do your job well. In some cases, being unable to retain information might put you, or others in danger. So, when you need to, what can you do to make that knowledge stick?

Write it Down

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When you learn something new, perhaps from a book or lecture, getting it back out of your head, instead of just leaving it to sit there, can help to cement it in your mind. Write down what you’ve learned in your own words, and you’ll back up your understanding. You’ll also have notes to come back to if ever you need them.

Another option is speaking about what you have learned. Try to teach someone else, or ask your teacher questions.

Make a Song

Have you ever noticed that you retain song lyrics and tunes much more easily than you do things that you’ve read, or even spoken word? We can often remember all of the lyrics from our favorite songs from years ago, even if we haven’t heard them for a long time. If you are struggling to remember something, creating a simple song, or rhyme can be helpful. This can be an excellent revision tactic if you’ve got exams coming up.

Get Creative

Puzzles, games, pictures and other things can help you to retain information. Create a word puzzle with WordMint when there is something that you need to remember, and come back to it, later on, to test yourself, or refresh your memory. Try different techniques to find those that work for you.

Keep it Short

Often, one of the reasons that we forget what we have learned is that we have tried to learn too much. You can overwhelm your mind with new information, so that it can’t process everything efficiently, and you have difficulty retaining the new knowledge.

Try to keep new information to manageable chunks. Give yourself time to digest new information, and check your understanding, before you learn something new.

Try Different Learning Techniques

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We remember 10% of what we read, but it’s thought that we remember 20% of what we hear and 30% of what we see. So, stop just reading. Find someone that knows more about the topic and ask them to explain it to you, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and find as many ways as you can to explore the information that you need.

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