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How To Maximize Your Study Time: Memory And Reading Techniques
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How to Maximize Your Study Time: Memory And Reading Techniques

Ever sit down to read the required text whether it's online or traditional textbooks and find yourself rereading the same paragraph over and over...and over again?!!? I've done this with a sentence alone in the IT textbooks online. Every word is paramount such as: "..ideally you will be running queries against the values in your key columns when joining tables (where does a primary key value equals a foreign key value.)" Doesn't that sound like a question?

The statement is from a document posted by my last instructor for Database Architecture, and with the text in the parentheses causing a wording issue; the proverbial spinning of the wheels takes off in full force! It could be an hour of searching through related text all because of a couple words being arranged in a questionable order. I'm not alone with this common misuse of time and have developed some techniques for using this time to its fullest potential.

Forward Thinking

The truth is many things take place when we are "spinning the wheels" and one of the most damaging is the development of bad habits with memory and reading. While being stuck on a subject; we take in a mass of information in the time it takes pinpointing that "light bulb" fact that puts the study machine back in drive. It also forms a habit of reading a mass of text, taking up time, aggravating the person, and then causing a mental block because negative thoughts get in the way.

So, let's say there's two chapters to read on Wide Area Networking and every sentence has four syllable words. Every college course instructs you to take notes, and brainstorm for effective writing; instead of trying to write a finished product on the first attempt. We have multiple drafts as a result of this, but the key is that it takes extra time. My technique is to use that extra time already required to actively multi-task with three main topics being the "tasks".

Reading Techniques

I have some speed reading techniques that also progress into the memory aspect. The brain sees the whole page, and it's our eyes that do the catching up. We can begin to read whole sentences after whole words, and then whole paragraphs. The use of your finger on the page can train the eye to communicate with the brain moving forward and backwards! Try tracing your finger as the text progresses, and after some time try "seeing" the words as your finger traces back to the left of the page. This is a direct speed reading technique that can be found in other articles and blogs online.

Memory Techniques

Many studies have been done to show the potential of photographic memory and it's been concluded that we all have the capability to improve memory concentration techniques. Our reading technique will determine our memory retention, and I suggest the proper atmosphere to reduce distractions, but also create a memory landmark. If there's light music in the background; when you sit down the next day and hear at least one of the same songs, it will bring back the details of when you heard it last. This can be trained to have your mind "photograph" whole pages of text and improve your memory. Too bad music isn't allowed during tests!!

Effective Writing Techniques

With reading improved and better memory retention; you can begin a more productive writing experience and find that you're writing what you want the first time around with reduced research!

Practicing these three techniques as part of your study session will pay off in reducing the "spinning wheels" syndrome and help with professional development in your job as well! A feeling of accomplishment is on the way as your potential is unlocked and productivity is improved.:)

Street Talk

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