Improve Your Memory
Improve Your Memory -ch 1
If it weren’t for the fact that reading is the absolute underpinning of every other study skill, I could make a pretty strong case that spending time improving your memory would deliver the most “study bang” for the buck. It doesn’t matter how rapidly you whiz through your textbooks if you can’t even remember the subject you just studied five minutes later. Getting organized is essential, but not too effective if you always forget to carry your calendar and regularly turn in homework assignments late. And, of course, spending hours searching high and low for keys, glasses, and other essentials isn’t exactly the most efficient way to start your study day.As important as they are, basic memory techniques are the study ingredients least likely to be taught in schools, even in a study skills course. So while the better schools and teachers might help you with reading, writing, organizing, and test strategies, far too many of them will “forget” to help you with your memory…or to find your glasses, keys, etc.
I am proud that I have been helping students of all ages improve their study skills ever since the day I walked into a bookstore and realized there was no single book then available that simply taught someone how to study! This year marks another major milestone in the more than 20-year-long evolution of my How to Study Program—the re issuance of new editions of all the volumes in the series: How to Study, Improve Your Memory, Improve Your Reading, Improve Your Writing, Ace Any Test, and Get Organized.
My readers are far more varied than I ever expected. A number of you are students, not just the high school students I always thought were my readers, but also college students, who are making up for study skills you missed in high school, and junior high school students, who are trying to master these study skills early in your school career to maximize your opportunities for success.
Some readers are adults returning to school who have figured out that if you can learn now what your teachers never taught you the first time around, you will do better in your careers. Wouldn’t it be great to recall without notes the key points you want to make in your presentation, or remember the names of all the potential new clients you just met at a cocktail party?
All too many of you are parents with the same lament: “How do I get Jill to do better in school? She can’t remember my birthday, let alone when her next trigonometry test is.”
If you are still in high school, you will have no problem with the language and format of this book—its relatively short sentences and paragraphs, humorous (hopefully) headings and subhead-ings, and reasonable but certainly not outrageous vocabulary. I wrote it with you in mind!
If you are still in middle school, you are trying to learn how to study at precisely the right time. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grades—before that sometimes-cosmic leap to high school—are without a doubt when all these study skills should be mastered. If you’re serious enough about studying to be reading this book, I doubt you’ll have trouble with the concepts or the language.
A traditional college student (aged 18 to 25 or so) will have trouble making it to graduation without having learned all of the study techniques I cover, especially basic memory tech-niques. If you never found the time to learn them (and even if you know some tips but not every trick and gimmick covered in this book), I guarantee that truly mastering these memory techniques will help you long after you graduate (with As, of course!).
Parents reading this book are probably worried about their kid’s grades, and they do have something to worry about—their child’s school probably spends little, if any, time teaching basic study skills, which means those kids are not learning how to learn. And that means they are not learning how to succeed.
Don’t for a minute underestimate the importance of your commitment to your child’s success: Your involvement in your child’s education is absolutely essential to his or her eventual success.
And you can help tremendously, even if you were not a great student yourself, even if you never learned great study skills. You can learn now with your child—not only will it help him or her in school, it will help you on the job, whatever your field.
The books in the How to Study Program, are meant to address all of these readers and their common problem—learning how to study so they can do better in school, or helping their kids to do so.