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Reading And Remembering
How Can I Remember What I Read?
Suppose you meet 12 new people at a friend's party.   

Do you remember all their names the next day?     Yes     No

What makes you remember the ones you can recall?
See if the same thing isn't true about your reading.  I remember better when I:
Remembering text is much like remembering other information.

You must:

1.  Locate the important information.
     How do I know I've found the key ideas?

  • The main ideas and details you marked will answer the question you made from the heading or subheading.

2.  Understand the ideas you've found.
     How can be sure I understand the info I've marked?

  • Restate the information in your own words
  • If you can say it in your own words, you understand it.
  • If you don't understand it, you probably won't remember it.

3.  Repeat/rehearse the ideas to put them into your memory.
     How do the ideas get into my memory?

  • Say them out loud in your own words to hear them.
  • Write them in brief marginal notes. Use "muscle" memory.
  • Relate them to each other and to things you already know.

4.  Review
     What can help me recall what I learn?

  • Do a quick review of what you've read/learned when you finish reading.
  • Get a big picture to see how ideas fit together.
  • Later you can review again.

So, to increase your ability to remember what you read:

  • Set a reasonable amount of time for the reading.
  • Look over the title, headings/subheadings/summary to get a little background.
  • Turn each heading/subheading into a study question. Read to find the answer.
  • Stop frequently to tell yourself what you've found out.
  • Use your own words. Talk out loud or write brief notes.
  • Look back at what you've read before you close the book.

Sure this takes time, but you probably have more time now than the night before exams.

Reading is step one of studying. To study/learn/remember:


Lecture Notes>>


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Last edited on Barnett
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