Do you keep forgetting? Here’s why
According to Hermann Ebbingus, a German psychologist, what we already know is what determines how much new information we learn. He developed the ‘Forgetting Curve’ based on this concept to determine the rate at which new information is forgotten. Ebbingus found out that he forgot a large portion of what he learned within 20 minutes. Within an hour, he forgot every nonsense information he learned. After a day he found that his retention did not worsen, but by this time, he had forgotten two-thirds of what he had learned. It seems that any information that remains in memory after a day stays there indefinitely.
The Spacing Effect is another theory Ebbingus came up with. It says that the more we study something, spacing it out over multiple study sessions over a long period of time, the more we find the thing easier to learn.
For instance, having multiple study sessions a week before a presentation or a huge speech is more effective than cramming when the speech is the next day. If you want to retain information for a long time, then the Spacing Effect is your best bet, otherwise, cramming does the trick if you only need the information for short time.
Try the space repetition technique to remembering everything
Do this if you want to memorize something very fast
- Repetition #1 Immediately after you finish learning
- Repetition #2 15-20 minutes after
- Repetition #3 6-8 hours after
- Repetition #4 24 hours after
Do this if want to retain the information you learn for an extended period of time
- Repetition #1 Immediately after learning
- Repetition #2 20-30 minutes after
- Repetition #3 A day after
- Repetition #4 2-3 weeks after
- Repetition #5 2-3 months after
Here are 8 more tips to help you remember everything
- Body language is useful when trying to learn something new. It simplifies remembering by triggering muscle memory.
- It is easier to remember opposites; for instance, remembering the word for the day and for the night together makes it easier to learn a new language.
- To remember words of a foreign language you’re trying to learn much easier, associate them with words you already know.
- “Nail” words should be used; by nailing one thing you learned to another, it is easier to remember something just by remembering the nail.
- To make it easier to recall what you learned from memory, you must understand it first.
- Be aware of the interference theory; switch topics regularly, because when trying to recall something from memory, similar topics get mixed together.
- Be aware of the serial positioning effect, which states that you memorize things better when they are said at the beginning and the end.
- You can remember the most important information by prioritizing what you are trying to learn.