Does Better Memory=Better Grades?

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  • #26
hypnagogue
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You aren't even aware of the techniques -- how can you be skeptical of them?

I'm skeptical of techniques that use the general strategy of using various kinds of cues to perform a kind of deliberate, online reconstruction of the relevant information. I'm not skeptical that they aid memory of information per se, just that they help learning of material in a deep conceptual sense. I don't think encoding information in such a way that it requires conscious effort to reconstruct it from conceptually unrelated cues like mnemonics, imagery and the like (that's what I mean by "unpacking") is much different from just having it available in a book, insofar as it assists in learning in a substantial way. If there are other memory techniques that don't follow that general profile, then my concerns may not apply.

This isn't about learning -- for the last time, it's not about concepts, or linking things together, or learning anything deeply.

Oh. I thought we were talking about the ways in which memory could help you get better grades. If we are, then learning things on a deep conceptual level is very relevant.

I'd have to go find some actual scientific studies to back up my claim, but in my experience the popular memorization techniques are far, far better than simply quizzing yourself repeatedly.

Better for rote memorization, I don't dispute that. Better for learning things on a deep conceptual level? Perhaps not. The role of memory in academic performance far outpaces mere rote memorization, of course.
 
  • #27
chroot
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Well, I don't think anyone thinks that you can ace a class by just using some memorization techniques. You obviously need actual reasoning abilities and comprehension to pass most classes. There are a few, though, in which a good memory alone will get you scores in the 90's.

I agree that memorizing the periodic table is not immediately any more useful than having a book on your bookshelf. The only advantage is speed. In certain situations, though -- like those where books are not permitted -- it can give a distinct advantage.

- Warren
 
  • #28
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If you're simply trying to memorize a list of cations for chemistry class, or a list of dates for history class, your "technique" isn't useful at all. Talk to people who know history? Good luck.

- Warren
thats exactly why i hate those subjects.
 
  • #29
Yeah I remember Biology and chemistry A' levels and how most of it was simply memory tests Chemistry less so but still, I really did not enjoy them, despite being someone who excelled in those subjects. Just way way to boring. It's a whatever floats your boat deal, I'm sure the degrees require more than just rote memory though otherwise :zzz:

I know what the subject is about Chroot, I just thought I'd change it, I'm sorry for derailing the thread.

Memorization techniques are useful but to be honest not in the long term,as has been mentioned several times you'll need more than just a short term exam fix to do well in any subject, even if it's exams are to a high degree about memorising lists of useless information. I would use memorisation techniques if you feel the need to improve your grades, but don't expect to retain the information in the long term.
 
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  • #30
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If you want to memorize things check out http://www.quizlet.com this website is great. You can make flash cards, play games with the terms, etc check it out it's free! Anyway, people who can memorize things will probably get better grades in general...not just saying memorizing facts, but recalling concepts discussed in lecture, problems you have solved and other things are all part of memory too. A good memory doesn't just mean you can remember a long list of vocab words.

Also check out : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci this is one of the best methods for memorizing things. I've seen videos of people who use this technique to remember the order of every card in a stack of more then one deck of cards which is crazy, not sure how long term this technique is but I don't think you asked about that?
 
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  • #31
physstudent1 has resurrected a bit of a necrothread here but I found it quite interesting to read up on the earlier conversation.

I think that your initial comprehension of something has a large influence on how much rote memorization you end up needing to do. I do well with many different academic topics and with many things in my field, software engineering.

But a couple of times, once when I was in high school and for a little while when I was in college, I worked as a Certified Nurse's Aide and I was absolutely horrible at it. The steps you had to go through for various procedures just didn't make sense to me so I had to try to memorize these long lists of steps. Whereas for many other people everything just sort of made sense and they could practically guess what to do next because they had some inherent understanding I did not.

Similarly, I went to college with a woman who had worked as a Nurse's Aide and is now a paramedic. That sort of work - and paramedics have much more complex and longer protocols and procedures they have to follow - makes perfect sense to her and is relatively easy but doing any sort of academic work required enormous effort on her part and lots of rote memorization.
 
  • #32
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hahah oh wow I did not see the date! which brings me to the question of how I ended up at this topic at all...oh well
 

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