(written by Serena, Peer Learning Assistant)
Sometimes, when I am not sleeping, I pretend that I am a scientist and test out personal theories on how to best retain information relayed in lectures and textbooks. The following is a summary of memory strategies that do not work:
5. Coffee. Coffee turned me into a confused Kingston squirrel that could only begin sentences but never finish them.
4. Prayer. Sometimes this works, but it depends on whether you have studied numerous times before the test or not. If you have not, it will not work.
3. Listening to recorded lectures at night while sleeping. It is best to be awake during the lecture so you do not have to record it. However, if your professor has a very soothing voice, you could record lectures and play them whenever you have trouble sleeping. Sometimes, this works.
2. Reverse psychology. I spent one week telling myself not to remember anything the professor said and I didn’t remember a thing the professor said.
1. Diffusion. Not only is it uncomfortable to sleep with a lecture notes under your head, it is also ineffective. The material will not diffuse into your brain but the ink will stain your sheets and prove difficult to remove.
Check out http://www.queensu.ca/learningstrategies/undergrad/memory.html for tips that actually work and sign up for a workshop!