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Why Am I Hopeless At Remembering?

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#1 -tiger_lily-

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 10:06 AM

Hello all!

Maybe this sounds like a really stupid question, I don't know, but I have been studying history since the beginning of this year and am finding it really difficult! I spend ages reading and re-reading all my notes and when it come to the exam I remember nothing! and I end up failing each time! Even in class I feel lost when others seem to be graspin it, I feel like I spend enough time revising, but why do I not remember anything?? In fact it is like this for me in all my subjects, even though I consider myself to be a dedicated student. What can I do? I am really worried about my exams later in the year. I am currently in sixth form and studying The Weimar republic and Nazi Germany. ANY help or advice would be sooooooo gratefully recieved, I'm desperate to be like all the other people in my classes :blush: My dad thinks that straight up, i have ineffective ways of studying, but I really don't know, HELP! :)

Many Thanks

#2 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 11:54 AM

....... I spend ages reading and re-reading all my notes and when it come to the exam I remember nothing! and I end up failing each time! .........

My dad thinks that straight up, i have ineffective ways of studying, but I really don't know, HELP! :) 

Hello Tiger Lily. Welcome to the Forum.

It sounds to me as if your Dad is right and that your study methods are indeed ineffective - and also that your confidence in your abiity to "be like all the other students" has been badly shaken. Yet you are clearly quite an able girl; you must be if you have got this far in the education system.

I suspect that your study methods are completely wrong for your own preferred Learning Style (more on that in a moment) and in any case if what you really do is just read and re-read through your notes then they are certainly very passive. ie You are not doing anything active with the information to make it 'stick.'

You may also being taught in a way which is not at all sympathetic to your preferred learning style

Learning Styles

Briefly - people have different ways of learning.

Some absorb and remember info well by listening to it. They are aural learners. For them reading their notes out loud and recording them on an audio cassette or one of those little dictaphone machines can work well. You can then play the tape over and over again when every you like - just like you might with your favourite music. If, say, you find dates/main events difficult to learn you can record a list of these leaving a gap on the tape after each date/event allowing you the time to mutter the answer under your breath.

Other people are good visual learners. They learn well by converting information into 'picture' form. For them Mind Maps or spider diagrams work well because they can see the connection between things more clearly. Colour coding your notes works well too eg if you make a Mind Map of the factors explaining Hitler's Rise to Power not only can you draw little pictures alongside the brief notes on your diagram (eg a little graph for the impact of rising unemployment) and group all the 'economic factors' together, you can also colour all the economic factors (say) green. You can also colour code written notes in a similar sort of way.

Other people are kinesthetic learners. They learn best when they can associate information with a particular place and when their learning involves physical movement. So ... a simple example of this is to put cards with summaries of information that you are trying to learn stuck (with Blutac!) in different parts of a room. One on the door, one on a wall, one on the TV etc. You then actually move round the room and read the info. out loud/test your self. Later when you recall the info. you associate it with where you were in the room.

If you find it hard to remember basic info like names and dates. Get a stack of Index cards and write one date on one side of the card and the event on the other, or the person's name on one side and the key facts about them on the other. You can carry these round with you and go through a few at any time (eg on the school bus?) and even use them to play simple testing 'games' with your friends. You can stick a few (not too many) at a time on the back of your bedroom door and play a game with yourself: "I can't leave the room til I can remember these"

Do you see how everything Ihave said above actually involves you doing something active with the information? What ever sort of learner you are you need to do something with what you are trying to learn. Even making note-form summaries of each main topic wil help because things always 'stick' better when your brain, your hand and your eyes are all involved at once. The method you said you used is totally passive and that is almost certainly why you are not studying effectively.

How do you know what sort of Learner you are?

A very simple 'test':
Are you a musician? Can you pick up and 'hold' a tune very quickly? If so you are likely to be an aural learner.
Do you love colour, shapes and patterns? Are you an artist/artistic? if so you are likely to be a visual learner.
Do you love sport and physical activity? Are you bored by sitting still for very long? If so you are likely to be a kinesthetic learner.

Many people are a combination of these learning types (I know I am) so you may ffind that a combination of different study methods will work best for you.

I hope that has helped?

You could also read the following previous messages on the Forum here:

and follow up the links given by Mr Clare in his message in that thread.

Do post again if you have further questions as I am sure that others reading this thread will be facing similar problems.

#3 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 06:55 PM

To find out, more accurately, what type of learner you are you could try this online Questionnaire:
How do I learn best?

The Help Sheets on the same site are useful too for help with Study Skills that suit your own Learning Style.

#4 -tiger_lily-

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 09:58 AM

:) hello again!

Many thanks for your help! :D I did the questionnaire on one of the links you posted and my score was:
Visual: 4
Aural: 4
Read/Write: 7
Kinesthetic: 1

As you said it must be a matter of actually doing something more active whilst studying, so I'm going to try a few different methods and see if that helps!

Thanks again!

#5 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 11:18 AM

Pleased to help. I do hope you find a combination of methods which helps you to study and learn more effectively.

If you haven't already looked at the relevant 'Help' sheets on the site where you did the Questionnaire, then I suggest you do.

It would be great to hear how you get on.

Good Luck!

#6 lex

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 03:02 PM

My results were:

Visual: 2
Aural: 10
Read/Write: 8
Kinesthetic: 11

The conclusion was Multimodal learner. So, I'm confused.

#7 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 03:12 PM

The conclusion was Multimodal learner. So, I'm confused.

No need to be confused. It just means that you do not have any one clear preference so the methods suggested in that site's Help Sheets for your 3 higher scoring results will all help you to learn effectively. It'll be a matter of experimenting to see what works best for you.

The low score for Visual (2) suggests that Mind Mapping and other such methods will not work so well for you.

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