How to Improve Memory for UPSC Exam Preparation?

Improving one’s memory is not magic, it’s simple scientific techniques. Memory is subjective and varies from person to person. However, these techniques work for anyone who seriously puts an effort to improve one's memory.

- Use of Mnemonics: This refers to the use of abbreviations, rhyme, or mental image to assist memory. One can also create hypothetical stories. For example, VIBGYOR stands for the colours of the rainbow. This is a very strategic and scientifically proven memory enhancement method.

- Elaborative Learning and Rehearsal: When we are just learning, we read and try to memorise. However, elaborative learning means understanding what you are leaning and then elaborative rehearsal includes making an association between the new information you learned and the old ones which you have already memorised.

- Visual Learning: Make point notes, charts, and tables. It is easier to remember visual stimulus in chart format rather than plain texts. You can watch movies or documentaries on topics in your syllabus. It is much easier to remember audiovisual stimulus and much more interesting too. Regular Revision- For your memory to shine, you need proper polishing through regular revision. Revise what you are studying regularly.

- Take Practice Tests: Self-quizzing can be tricky. You can try taking mock tests weekly, at least once or twice a week to test yourself and your memory. Any lack in memorisation can be filled in if there are small loopholes instead of having to do it at the very end where you realise you have mixed up and forgotten more than you can manage to cover with a one-time revision.

- Engage in Group Studies: Group discussions can help you learn new information and also revise what you have already studied without making it feel like a formal study session. Group studying also is very interesting; for each topic covered, multiple inputs broaden your knowledge spectrum.

- Short Study Sessions: Any human being has a limited attention span. Avoid trying to study for five or six hours at a stretch. After each hour, take a five minutes break where you listen to a song, stretch your legs, walk around or simply close your eyes and meditate.

- Proper Sleep and Eating Habits: The notion that forgetting to sleep or eat is a glorious matter is a wrong and rather an unhealthy stereotype. To have a brilliant memory, you need a healthy brain that can be attained by proper diet and sleep only. Eat at proper times and try to sleep at night after you finish studying, this can work wonders as sleeping makes sure that there is no interference and what you have studied gets processed into your memory shelves properly.