7) Operate Within Your Attention Span
Paying attention is central to memorization. Trying to read when you can’t concentrate is wasting time. Since most people have short attention spans, they should not try to read dense material for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time. After such a session, they should take a break and quiz themselves on what they just read.
Ultimately, readers should discipline their attention so they can concentrate for longer periods.
8) Rehearse Soon After Reading Is Finished
At the reading session end, rehearse what you learned right away. Avoid distractions and multi-tasking because they interfere with the consolidation processes that enable longer-term memory. Answer again the questions about content mentioned in the “Rehearse As You Go Along” section.
Think about and rehearse what you read at least twice later that day. Rehearse again at last once for the next 2–3 days.
- Read with a purpose.
- Skim first.
- Get the reading mechanics right.
- Be judicious in highlighting and note taking.
- Think in pictures.
- Rehearse as you go along.
- Stay within your attention span and work to increase that span.
- Rehearse again soon.
Noice, H., and Noice, T. 2000. Two approaches to learning a theatrical script, p. 444–455. In Memory Observed, edited by Ulric Neisser and Ira Hyman, Jr. Worth Publishers, New York, N.Y.
– W. R. (Bill) Klemm, D.V.M., Ph.D. Scientist, professor, author, speaker. As a professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University, Bill has taught about the brain and behavior at all levels, from freshmen, to seniors, to graduate students to post-docs. His recent books include Thank You, Brain, For All You Remember. What You Forgot Was My Fault‚ and Core Ideas in Neuroscience.
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