When you’re working in education, boosting the positive attributes of your students is one of the most important things you can do.

Teaching course content is a good start, but improving students’ soft skills means that they make the most of your teaching wherever possible. These skills include problem-solving, communication, and memory. Learn more about improving memory in your free time and when working with a class of students.

Education resources


Why improve memory?

Improving memory helps improve the way that students perform. This means not only students learning new concepts quickly and committing them to their short-term memory but using concepts learned long ago in written assessments such as exams or essays. The American Psychological Association notes that learning and memory are very closely related concepts, and by improving how you remember the content of courses, you increase your chances of succeeding throughout your academic life and life in general.

How to improve memory?

There are a few ways that you can try to improve your memory. The brain works as a muscle like any other does, so working for an extended period to improve your memory means that you build positive habits and keep your mind in the right condition. Some of the ways to improve your memory include:

Use a mind palace

One of the techniques that a lot of people use when improving their memory is a “mind palace”. This strategy had existed since at least 55 BC when Cicero discussed the “method of loci” in his De Oratore. A mind palace is a strategy people use to improve their memories of specific subjects, creating the layout of physical space in their mind and filling it with memories or prompts that directly relate to useful concepts for the student. This concept is especially useful for examinations and timed essays in an assessed context. A mind palace provides a psychological space that the student can visit and create a complete understanding of the subject as they work.

Take mental snapshots

When you’re looking to memorize simple pieces of information, such as where you leave your keys at the end of the day, whether you remembered to lock your door, or even if you remembered to pick up someone’s present while shopping, use mental snapshots, a mental snapshot refers to when you look at an item and make a mental note to remember that it is there, keeping an image of the event in your mind. These don’t have to be visual either, as you can try to remember the cold keys in your hand when locking the door or the sound that your keys make when they go in their place.

Use “vanishing cues”

“Vanishing cues” is a technique people use when writing names or remembering key facts. Everyone has moments where they forget someone’s name, or in a history exam, they may forget the specific dates of an event but know some of the smaller aspects of it. Take the starting year of World War One, for example. If students can only remember that the year includes _9_4, they can note this down and reason through the rest of the date. The war was relatively recent compared to history, making it the last millennium (19_4). Furthermore, the war occurred before World War Two in the 1930s and wouldn’t be concurrent with the roaring twenties. This leaves 1914. You can rationally work out the rest by adding the information you can remember.

Work with technology

There are plenty of technological options that you can use to improve your memory. People use devices and technology more and more in their daily lives, so implementing it in your psychological development is an obvious next step forward. Some of the options that you can use when improving your memory include the following:

Flashcard apps

A flashcard app is the first tool you can use when implementing tech into your memory development. These apps allow you to make digital flashcards to flip over to hide the information. Using flashcards is ideal in a few situations, including when you are learning how to spell things. They also work effectively when preparing for speeches and other major events since you can read them between rehearsals and modify how you do your talk. The added benefit of digital flashcards is that you can adjust them over time without wasting paper, helping both the environment and the development of your memory.

Digital assistants

Daily, remembering important information such as appointments, turning the heating on at the right times, and keeping track of daily tasks such as taking medication is challenging. People increasingly use digital assistants for this purpose. Digital assistants are pieces of technology, typically integrated into devices, that remind users when necessary and track habits. Interacting with these digital assistants is a simple process, most using voice activation. Adapting is quick and easy, immediately changing how you complete standard tasks.

Keep trying

If you are struggling with developing your memory, keep trying. Memory is a soft skill, in the same way, that problem-solving, organization, and communication are, in that it takes an extended development period to improve the quality of this skill. This means investing a lot of attention and time into creating a more effective set of memory techniques. If you keep struggling while persisting with your existing methods, try talking to the people around you. People use plenty of techniques to improve their memory, and discussing people’s successful techniques with them is a great way of adapting your development.