Many post-secondary careers will require a test as proof of your certification, such as the Paralegal Licencing Examination which is required to become a paralegal in Canada. Paralegal colleges will prepare you for these tests, but there are always techniques you can practice yourself to improve your performance. This applies for anyone trying to pass a test. For anyone seeking to enhance their memory and keep track of a large amount of facts, so to help those people out here are some tips for improving your memory for a test.
Organize Your Information
Our brain already categorizes information in clusters, so your studying should also be organized and categorized similarly. Often course outlines will have information already categorized. If not, then make folders, use different colours and relate information to different subjects. Mind maps like bubble.us can be found online and are helpful for organizing your trains of thought and categorizing information.
This may sound like an irrelevant tip, but stick with us here. A Harvard study concluded that regular exercise lowers anxiety, maintains blood pressure, improves energy and lifts mood, all which contribute to your brain health. Exercise also releases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which rewires memory circuits so they work better. More exercise means more BDNF production, resulting in better memory!
One of the best ways to retain information is by teaching it to someone else. Even better is to teach this information to somebody younger than you. Explaining your police foundation course to a ten year old will require you to simplify the subject matter and categorize the information, possibly helping you understand the material too. Repetition of the information will also help your memory.
Say you’re in legal assistant training and looking for some extra resources, or alternative learning approaches to change up your study routine. Look to online resources, such as videos or practice tests—sometimes information absorbs better when you receive it from a variety of sources. Also available online are memory-improving games and tests, which you can use to sharpen your mind before a study session and to regularly keep up your good memory.
Memory by Association
Some people find visual associations helpful when trying to remember a key concept or word. With this technique, you find a word that closely resembles the word you are trying to remember, and relate this word to something relevant to you. Now you have a chain of memories which will lead you back to the original word. Some people use rhyming words as an association, or tell a story or a song which relays the concept. This technique isn’t for everyone, and it is quite involving, but if you’re having trouble remembering a certain word this tip really does work!
Remember, as important as studying is for your memory, taking breaks is also important to let the information sink it. Eating right is also crucial; sugars and simple carbohydrates will only spike your blood sugar and deter your focus. Here are some more easy tips which many have found helpful when preparing for a test:
- Draw diagrams
- Get your sleep
- Try changing up your study spot
- Study in a group