In this article we are going to talk about the Why do I forget what I study? The external factors that could disturbs one’s concentration in the 1880s is far less than it is now, we can only imagine the retaining capacity of human brain at present. Surveys and studies have also shown a sad reality that the millennials are more forgetful than the seniors.
Why do I forget what I study?
It is only human to forget the information you have learned over time. But it becomes a real problem when it happens a little too often. There can be many reasons why you could be having a brain fog. Check out below what you might be doing wrong with your study technique to make measures not to forget.
1. Are you mugging up?
Our education system requires us to pass a set of exams but rarely actually test the knowledge we have acquired from the same. this prompts the students all over the world to adopt the “mugging up “technique to learn. From learning nursery rhymes by heart to the highly technical science we try to mug up. This process helps us pass the exam, but right after exam we forget everything we learned. To remember what we have studies we need conceptual clarity. Only by comprehending the subject matter can you remember the topics forever.
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2. Information Overload
This is something many of us do the night before the exam. We cram a lot of new theories, principles and concepts int our brain in less than 24 hours and expect our brain to reproduce the same on the day of exam. Many studies have repeatedly proven that our brain tricks us into thinking that what we see or have “familiarized” while studying the night before is actually being learned by us. In fact, this is why we often get the feeling that we have seen these concepts before, you can even remember which side of the book the problem is but not able to recollect what was in it. our brain has a limit to the amount of information it can grasp per unit of time.
Cramming may help in some cases for exams coming in under 24 hours, but there is no guarantee that you will recall everything. This is why even by going through every study material a crammer can only get the average score.
3. Lack of Focus
The Cerebral cortex is responsible for the memory and the concentration that is essential for studying. Some times the brain becomes a bit inefficient to process a given signal or in our case, what we learn due to many overlapping signals or information from the environment. These disturbances can be any audible high-volume sound, the smell of delicious pasta being made, the neighbor’s dog that simply does not stop barking etcetera. our concentrations turn to these factors and we forget about studying. The topics you have been learning in this state cannot be recollected later. Students should pick a study location with minimum external disturbing factors.
You can also change the timing to early morning or late at night to avoid people a large sound. Make sure that you don’t glance through phone in between or right before studying. It is very easy to get distracted when using a phone. If it is unavoidable to turn off phone, at least make sure that you have cut off your internet. With will power and training it is easy to build concentration.
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4. Processing information need time
To not forget a concept one thing, you can do is to space out the study time intervals. Study for maybe 45 minutes or 1 hour. After this period take a break for 10 minutes but not more than that. This gives your brain a period to lay out and process all the new information that was learnt just now. This won’t clutter the details and information that you have studied up to that point. But you must take note to not go beyond 10 minutes of break time. It is also best to use this period on something productive that scrolling through your social medias.
5. You don’t love the subject
This is the major reason why we are not able to recollect what we’ve spend hours learning. If you don’t have the interest to study then automatically your brain which perceives the information will reduce the alertness it was showing before. The way to go in such situations is to make the learning process more memorable and interesting. This can be achieved by having study sessions with a friend who has great interest and understanding on the topic. Using of flash cards makes the learning process more fun. You can also try out mnemonics in your study technique. Mnemonics is a study tool where you give an interesting twist to the complex theories you have to learn. There are many popular mnemonics which we have grown up using from our childhood without knowing what it actually was.
A common example is “My very educated mother just served us nine potatoes.” This was used by many schools all over the world to teach kids the planets. The starting letter of each word indicates a planet: M for Mercury, V for Venus, E for Earth and so on. you can develop your own mnemonics for the difficult concepts and formulas. However, this is just one mnemonic technique, you can use visually attractive writing to make your notes simpler and pleasing creating an interest.
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6. Lack of Revision
To reinforce what we have learned it is important to revise regularly. Even if you don’t have a thorough read each time, it is vital to at least go through them few times. This will help to imprint them into our memory. We will rarely forget then. To further reinforce the learning, you have to take tests in between the study sessions. This will help you to identify your weak areas and you could focus more time on them.
7. Anxiety and stress
Studying works best and efficiently when done in a state of calmness. It can be quite difficult or the date of exam is right around the corner. But the anxiety will not accelerate the process. Your brain and mind will be very busy and in a bottle neck with useless thoughts and worries. The best way to tackle this is by listening to soothing music before studies. You can practice meditation and yoga to clear the mind.
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8. You never make notes
Notes help you to identify the important portions as you learn. Writing makes the process of studying more thorough and therefore you wont easily forget. Notes are also great for quick revisions right before exams. When you are manually writing down notes, your brain will have to expend more energy on the subject matter. This will help in understanding the same better and the knowledge acquired this way can be recollected at a later stage more easily. Notes preparation will help you remember and recollect as you write your exams.
9. Negative mindset- visualizing you will forget before studying
If what you are thinking about the most is failure, your results will be along those lines too. Never underestimate yourself. Picture yourself writing the exams well and clear. Don’t tell yourself that you are bad at recollection. Instead focus on positive self-affirmations. Convince your brain that you have the best memory in the whole world. Say it aloud to friends and family. Slowly you will notice your memory capacity improving. Visualize that you are the winner and the world will change its order to make it come true.
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10. Healthy food and good rest
Food is the fuel for your brain. As we are all aware, the nerve endings connect each part of our body to the brain. The stomach which digests what we eat, is of course connected by the mesh of nerves too. Hence the quality of the things we eat will reflect on the efficacy with which our organ work. Students must consume food high in anti-oxidants multi vitamins, protein etcetera for optimum functionality of their body. Food also keeps your energy up and helps you to study longer. It is also best to avoid drinks high in sugar content, food with high trans-fat, processed food, alcohol etcetera. make sure to give yourself at least 8 hours of sleep. Many studies have shown that sleeping helps in producing the brain tissues also known as grey matter. Grey matter is responsible in controlling many functions of our body including memory.