I have so much to remember for my study. How can I improve my recall?

Hi :)

I'm 45 years old and just started studying naturopathy. I downloaded'Learn Fast' and'Remember What You Read' aboutfour months agowith amazing success. :D I aced my first round of exams!

But I'm now needing to remember a lot of botanical names and their constituents and uses; there is SO much to remember and SO many hard names to relate toeach herb. I have just downloaded the 'Brain Power Series' for the 'Super Memory and Recall', hoping that will help; it talked about making associations with what you want to remember, which is what I try to do, but because of the sheer volume of what I have to learn, I don't know if this is the most effective way. Or is it the only way...?

Can you please advise me. I love your products, they are amazing!

Kindest regards,


This question was submitted by 'Jo'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Jo,

Firstly, it's great to hear you had such success with 'Learn Fast' and 'Remember What You Read'.

We do learn through association and learning that way can be a way of 'fixing' the learning content in the mind until the association is no longer needed. So, I might try to fix in my mind that gare is the French for 'railway station' by imagining a giant orange Garfield cat sitting in a station. That gives me a way in to lay down the memory of gare (pronounced the same way as in 'Garfield') and the more I invest my crazy imagination, the more likely I am to lay down that memory and recall it until I can dispense altogether with our helpful Garfield the cat. But, of course, this can be time-consuming and is just one way to learn (albeit a tried and tested one).

I suggest you learn in small chunks, then practice teaching. Learning by teaching can be so effective. So, describe out loud what you've just learned as if you are teaching it to someone else. If you have use of a flip chart, blackboard, or even just a pad and pen, make believe there is someone actually learning from you and discuss the names of the herbs, what they do, and write them down 'for the other person' (this is just playacting; your sanity will remain intact : ) ). Emphasize how the words are spelt or pronounced if that's relevant to your learning.

Repeat the lesson a couple of times over the course of a week, then move on. Then revisit your 'lesson notes' as well as your learning notes. If you can find people willing to actually attend your 'lessons', all the better. There seems to be something about teaching to learn that enables us to learn. Play around with the new words in your mind and out loud and even visualize yourself recalling and using them in test conditions (if that's appropriate with your course).

There is also some evidence that learning soon before sleeping can aid memory and recall. It seems that during REM sleep (REM seems to serve multiple functions), learning can be more easily formed into memory.

I also want to add that it's important to look after yourself, manage any stress well, and enjoy your life and your course so that you have the spare capacity to study well. You can do it.

I hope this helps, Jo, and good luck with the course!


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - July 28th, 2015 in

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