You can recall what you read if you decide it matters enough to know and remember. Find the motivation to absorb information and improve retention.
Step 1: Skim info
Skim information slowly at first to remember what you read. Never use this as a primary means of absorbing information, but always as a preparation for gathering key points.
Machines that train the eyes to scan and select meaning and context rather than picking out the smaller letter arrangements help speed reading and deepen concentration.
Step 2: Read word groups
Read word groups rather than single words by developing the habit of snapping the eyes across or down the page.
Step 3: Categorize and associate
Categorize and associate information you read with other knowledge in your life, to establish familiar cues for retrieving facts.
Step 4: Take notes
Take succinct notes on significant facts and information when reading books or studying for exams. Say the words aloud to hear yourself and help commit it to memory. Repeat the process.
Step 5: Study with purpose
Study with purpose and confidence, interacting with the material. Compare and contrast what is being memorized and paraphrase for simplified understanding. Grill yourself with questions to reinforce the lesson.
Avoid lazily highlighting everything. Highlight key passages, words, or phrases.
Step 6: Visualize to recall
Visualize faces with names that have to be remembered. Link important dates in your assignment mentally by picturing significant calendar events, birthdays, or holidays near the newly learned dates.
Step 7: Keep single focus
Concentrate with purpose on one thing at a time -- a paragraph, a sentence, or a word. Disallow any distractions, focusing on the meaning, and test to make sure you have it before moving on.
Step 8: Pick the time of day
Pay attention to the times of day when you're most alert and schedule your study time accordingly. Work in short bursts at first to expand attention and grasp.
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