Hello Everyone,,,, Just recollect the fact that we have grown up hearing that being forgetful is not a good trait. This firm belief was repeated to us over and over again and as a result it has been embedded in our memory from very early stage of our lives. However, I have rarely come across anyone, who can rattle out things like a parrot, which are either read or learned in the past. This observation indicated to me that only handful of learnings can be permanent but retaining everything forever in the permanent memory is not possible. That migrated me to my next question ??. , if that be the case, then how one can build the long -term memory. Well that was the Curiosity which led me to dive deep into the concept of strengthening the memorising power and how we can make it happen?.

I came across a very interesting article ‘Forgetting curve’. It is essentially is a correlation of decline of memory retention in time. This curve represent as to how information get lost over time when there is no attempts made to retain it. He strengthen the fact that we are going to forget most of what we read in a short span of time unless we make an attempt to revive our readings. The study carried out by a very renowned psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus appeared very much relevant to my personal practices, which I have been doing it for a very long time. In simple words Strength of memory refers to the durability of memory traces in the brain. Stronger the memory you build,longer period of time that a person is able to recall it.

The graphical representation 👆is a simple illustration of the fact to us that when we learn something, the information disappear at an exceptional rate . You lose most of it in the first week of its learning. Now there is no biological fix for this loss of retention and that’s how our brain 🧠 is designed. The only way to make it happen is to train our mind for longer memory retention. Interesting, I have found that there our two most effective method of building your long term memory on your chosen subjects. Those who are in the academic fields like Students doing professional courses, fellow researchers, and research associates who by virtue of their work have to memorise the contents and is expected to retain them for a longer period. First is ‘Space Repetition’ and second is ‘Active Recall for value learning. These are the most effective methods, I have practiced in my life to drive the most benefits from my learning’s and build my long term memory for countering the challenge of forgetting and completing the projects with better efficiency. In my today’s blog that’s what I am going to share with you as to how you can take advantage of these methods in your personal and professional life. Well lets start with ‘Space Repetition’. It’s a technique in which you regularly revisit your earlier read topics/subject and space them in such a manner that as per you hardest topic should get more frequency of repetition overtime compare to the relatively easier topic/ subject. Let’s take an example of a medical student who has to study for his/her Urology paper which has many topics like, Anatomy of Bladder, kidney, Renal Physiology, Prostate and Seminal Vesicle, Prostate Cancer Screening, Diagnosis and Risk factors, Bladder Reconstruction etc. etc. Now out of these randomly chosen topics , there must be few on which you will have a higher grasping rate compare to the other topics. So , what do you do to make sure that you retain all the topic with equal measure in your long term memory..?? .This is where the technique of ‘ Space Repetition’ will come handy . I suggest you to make a “ RETROSPECTIVE CALENDAR /TIME-TABLE”. I want you to grade your first reading of each topics on the scale of 1 to 5 to incorporate the Space Repetition Technique. For e.g if you have grasped most of the aspect of Anatomy of Bladder but not really as much on Bladder reconstruction, then you should mark the first topic as (4/5) & latter as (2/5) on your Retrospective Calendar/ Time-Table. This essentially, means that you have to revisit the second topic first in next 3 to 4 days to come at par with the first topic for its longer retention in the memory. This way you can plan out your Retrospective Calendar 🗓 📅 as per your comfort to strengthen your memory. The key is to plan out your “SPACE REPETITION” in such a manner that you revisit the harder or less understood topics more frequently, compare to a relatively easier topics. But, it does not mean that relatively easier topics does not require revisiting or revision, incidentally it does but with less frequently and can be widely spaced in your retrospective calendar. This way you can mark your RETROSPECTIVE TIME-TABLE on the Calendar 🗓 to build your long term memory on the particular subject. This is a very effective way of learning and retaining anything for a longer duration. Everyone mark things on prospective Calendar, the key to success is marking both ways. Mark on a Prospective Calendar for meaningful planning and absorbing new content or knowledge and Retrospective Calendar for making them permanent in your memory.

The Second Technique is“ACTIVE RECALL TECHNIQUE” for value learning . In my view learning is not about studying or getting knowledge , it’s about retrieving that knowledge whenever needed from your memory. To enhance your success, it’s extremely important to make retrieval practice an integral part of the learning process. In this technique what you have to do is after reading a particular topic, keep aside the study material and instead practice Active Recall of its content from your memory. In active recall , you need to practice recalling the content from your memory to build the immediate and long term memory. Active Recall practice produce more learning than elaborative studying with concepts and trying to embed them into the mind’s memory. You should not just read your test book but also spend time remembering the information you read in textbooks or at your work places. Here is what you can do to make it work : Read a short section , then close your eyes and try to make a quick recall of the content in your mind, and in the end, once you are done with the complete topic keep the book / material aside and try to recall the entire topic on a paper. Thereafter dig back into the content of the topic or textbook and try to find out your own inconsistencies. My favourite way is to remember main words, highlighted portions, key points and I do make matrix of the contents . This methodology is a very handy tool to recall the content. Trust me, this process is fun and faster to give great results. This way, you will be driving on a express highway acquiring super learnings and will build long term memory. In a very short time you will realise that success is within reach. No more stressful days, no fear of examinations, no insecurities at your work place. The road ahead goes upwardly from here onwards.



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  1. ritugiriraj

    Dear Joe
    Nicely Articulated. An effort to educate people to covience them to put in efforts for better learning, for better life. Good Show, Keep it Up.


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