This article is about some of the things you can do to improve your memory when studying for an exam. There are a large number of Accelerated Learning books that will flesh out the bones of the processes that we will discuss here, but in brief here are some pointers to how to get the best from your study time using NLP Techniques and Accelerated Learning Tools.
Using Accelerated Learning and NLP to Remember to Remember
Memory is state dependent. When you are in a bad mood it is easier to remember all the other times you were in a bad mood. When you are in a good mood it is easier to remember the other times you have been in a good mood. So the easiest way to utilise your memory is to be in a certain state when you put the memory in and learn to access that state when you need to remember it. NLP State management tools will give you mastery over this approach.
NLP Belief Change and State Management, the Master Keys to Effective Learning
In simple terms whatever you believe about your memory is what you will create for yourself. If you believe you have a poor memory then you will turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy. NLP Training will give you many different belief change techniques but for brevity I am just going to a simple concept here and wrap it up into a study process you can use.
Like memories beliefs are state dependent. Consider for a moment how differently you view the world when you are unhappy and when you are full of joy. Are you already realising that your beliefs about yourself and the world around you change depending on your emotions? As part of our study process we will use NLP Anchors to manage our state and keep hold of empowering beliefs.
Visual Learning vs. Whole Brain Learning vs. Using Your Preferred System
Many NLP Practitioners make the mistake of thinking of themselves as visual, auditory or kinaesthetic (feelings / emotion based). This leads them to study from that preferred system i.e. visual learners should learn visually, auditory learners learn better with tapes, kinesthetic learners learn through movement and doing. The truth is more complex and potentially mind-expanding. It is something we explore in detail on the Advanced Persuasion Patterns Course but for the moment a simple explanation would be that your memory and learning works best when using as many of your rep systems as possible. Therefore if you want to remember something picture it as vivid image …create pictures in your head, add colours, sounds, movement and emotions…link it to things you already know and how you will apply it. If you can make the image funny, bizarre or stand out in any way then so much the better.
As a standard process for ingraining new knowledge and / or skills, take the information, spend time understanding how it applies to you and then apply / use it.
As a general rule, visual information is the fastest and most comprehensive processing system that you have in your head. Imagine a rose in your head, how many words would you have to use to describe the detail of the picture you have? If you could only use your emotions to describe the picture how long would it take for someone else to work out you were thinking of a rose let alone get the detail of the picture you have?
Another general rule is that kinesthetic learning whilst much slower is likely to stay with you for longer. It is true to say that if you use something soon after the learning you are much more likely to remember. You also remember things more readily when there is a high emotional content to them.
Learning to mind map and building some emotional content into the maps you create is something that is worth placing in your study system.
Memory and Remembering to Remember
There are some standard aids to memory that are worth thinking about. Tony Buzan has a great book about Using your Memory that has a huge array of tools, tips and techniques that are easy to implement. Here are a few things you might want to consider:
Memory is state dependent, so you remember good time when you are in a good mood. On a good NLP Training you will learn to build an ideal learning state and then anchor it. You might have several different learning states because learning another language might not be the same state as learning to drive. If you are studying for exams then being able to fire off the same anchor in the exam will give you better access to all the things you have learnt.
You learn more when in a fun, relaxed and safe environment. Building these things into your learning state and study programme will stand you in good stead.
Memory improves with repetition, connection and application. The study system you will learn on a good NLP Training would include building study a study system that includes outcomes that have meaning and relevance, review processes that include repetition to bolster your memory and visualising your mastery of knowledge and skills for applications.
You remember things that stand out. This might include the first and last of things, unusual, funny or sexual things, things that are more colourful, loud or visceral. You also remember things that connect with you on a personal level whether emotionally, intellectually or just connects to what you already know. Building all of this into your personal study system will also increase the speed and quality of your retention.
You also remember better if you are refreshed, focused and alert. This generally means you are better studying in short concentrated bursts that are a little shorter than your attention span with quick breaks in between.
Learning is easiest going from known to unknown and from general to detail. Any good NLP Study System then will work from an overview and move down into detail. It will also work from what you already know and connect it to things you don’t.
Very briefly here is a typical NLP approach to a study system. Whilst they are not strictly NLP Books there are lots of Accelerated Learning books that can flesh out this system for you.
- Get yourself into a good learning state
- Work out your overall study goals including motivation, markers for success and visualising the future
- Mindmap your current knowledge of the subject and key questions you want to have answered, this might include looking at past papers if studying for exams
- Then start drilling down into detail always mind mapping and searching for connections between things.
Paul Scheele’s PhotoReading book is a great system for taking all the information out of a book and sticking it in your head very quickly. You really want to go on an NLP Modelling Course to develop these ideas to the full, but just using the process Paul has written up in his book will give you a flying start to how to study from books efficiently.
Study in small chunks that are smaller than your attention span with five-minute breaks in between. Start each chunk with a review of where you are and what the session outcomes are, end each chunk with a review of what you have covered and if you have met the session goals. Do all this in a good learning state and enjoy doing it.
There is a whole lot more that can be said about accelerated learning. We have not covered modelling or deep trance identifying. I can’t easily write down how to build and anchor an ideal learning state. For these sorts of things, you might want to check out the Modelling Learning to Learn course that will give you not only these skills but also the ability to apply them to any type of situation.