Do you ever forget where you left your keys? How about where you parked your car? You probably answered yes to at least one of these questions. When you consider the sheer amount of details that we need to remember each day, it’s is understandable that we can’t recollect all of them.
The same idea applies when it comes to studying and learning something new. We are exposed to an extensive amount of information, so remembering all of it can be extremely challenging.
Research from the University of Waterloo shows that when nothing is done with the new information, most people will forget half of what they learned. In 24 hours, the percentage will increase to 70 percent. After a week, they will forget up to 90 percent of that information. The purpose of his guide is to show you practical techniques to retain more from what you learn!
We retain a small fraction of what we read, hence learning by reading is a poor study strategy on its own. It is not enough to simply read textbooks or listen to instructors lecture. To remember more of what you study, actually look into real-world applications and apply theoretical concepts yourself. For this reason, CFI courses are focused on the real world applications of Financial Modeling and Business Valuation Methods and use hands-on exercises, quizzes and assessments to help you assimilate and practice what you learn!
These 5 strategies will help improve your memory and be more effective in your studies:
Enhance your learning by using visuals. When you engage more senses while learning, you’ll be able to remember more of what you learn. Visuals are known to transmit messages faster, improving comprehension and recall. You can use different visual learning materials including infographics, photos, charts, and videos.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not an expert on the topic – explaining what you learn to someone else helps you retain information. According to a 2014 study in Memory & Cognition, when students thought that they would be required to teach the material to someone else, they learned and organized important information better and retained it for a longer period of time. You can offer your help to fellow students when it comes to their exercises or be a tutor, so you will remember most of what you’ve learned.
When you link the information to your own feelings or memories, you’ll have an easier way of recalling the information. In a 2011 review by the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists showed photographs and a few simple squares to participants. In general, people were better at recalling the details found in the photos compared to remembering details about the squares. Scientists think that the result is related to how people link things in the photographs with their own memories and emotions.
For instance, people use “ROY G. BIV” to remember the colors of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) or RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat sports injuries. For English spelling, the mnemonic I before E, except after C is useful if you’re unsure whether a word is spelled with an ie or ei. “ROY G. BIV”, “I before E, except after C”, “RICE” – these are all common examples of mnemonics, a technique that helps in remembering something. If you’re trying to recall words in a particular order, you can make a word out of the first letter of each item. In Finance we use the abbreviations “PEST” or “SWOT” to remind us of analysis methodologies.
Making mistakes while learning can help boost your memory, so don’t assume you need to get things right from the start! According to a 2014 study by the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, individuals who made mistakes while finding the right answer were able to remember the correct information later on. Committing mistakes can be embarrassing, but you can consider it a vital part of the learning process. The businessmen below certainly learned from their mistakes.
Hopefully, now that you know about these techniques, you can incorporate them into your studies when working towards your FMVA Designation: