Memory and Success in College

In this chapter of memory, I have learned (with great detail research and reading) a good understanding of memory and the different processes of retaining information. Furthermore, the sections of the chapter also gives an in depth look on encoding information, the process of storage the memories or information, the ability to retrieve memories, and failure of encoding involved in the process to retrieve memories (1).*** Although memory is a good concept of human development and the thinking process, it is highly important to use this understanding of memory to become a successful college student by memorizing any and all academic material.

There are many different ways a student could do to studying and retaining class material. Most strategies will work for all whereas others have found a particular favorite strategy that works best for them. Either way, the strategies all should help improve students in their academic performance. As long-term memory is sorted into different levels of theories, students should be able to organize the material they are learning by creating an outline. With this said, not just an outline that does not serve a purpose and use for jotting notes, but one with headings, keywords, and other details that is relevant to future tests or assignments. Properly creating an outline allows the student to study in an orderly manner (2).*** A student that uses this strategy will be active readers. People who may have the visual learning style may adapt to learning and studying by pictures, maps, diagrams, and printed notes. Also, they will be able to picture acronyms as a mnemonic to help them quickly remember. For example, they may want to remember the acronyms for the color spectrum or Great Lakes. Even creating a mental picture of what you are reading will help you better understand what you are studying. (3).*** Another good strategy that helps is not cramming the night before for a test, but study in advance study sessions alone or by yourself or with friends during a study session. With this in mind, these sessions will allow students to take an hour every other day for any given test and have a 10 minute break during the session. Also, instead of wasting the time, using the time available to create flash cards or take notes s and ask yourself questions as you read the textbook (4).***

To help increase academic performance, a student can recite what they have read or any class notes. This does not just mean going over what was read, but this strategy also includes asking yourself what you have read, closing your textbook in order to recite everything in your own words. Seeing what you read or have learned, being able to explain what you have learn to someone else, hearing yourself reciting, and writing what you read goes along with this strategy. In other words a student can use the reciting method of the SQ3R Reading Method (5).*** Lastly, the strategy of grouping items from a larger group (chunking or grouping) into smaller groups allows a person to remember the list or anything into short-term memory. A good example is a use of numbers, words, or letters. This technique works for those who may have short-term memory. It also works with remembering lists or different concepts under the same category (1).***

Each strategy that is listed in the paragraph above will help a student improve their performance in any college course and it also allows them to help process information through the memory system. A person must encode the information before it is stored into short-term, working term, or long-term memory, and then the information has to be retrieved out of the memory system. To better understand how each listed strategy will help improve a student’s memory process, the strategies must be reviewed in the order of the memory system. First, to improve the effort of encoding information students can form study sessions with either a group or alone. To this end, studying with a group or alone allows information to get into the storage of memory. The students are learning new knowledge to help support what they already know from previous years in school to allow the new information to sink into their mind. They are using their sensory memory to help them learn the material and reading everything they have in order to prepare to memorize it. Students must review information before they can memorize it (6).*** To help improve storage of memory, the next stage of the memory process, the strategies of reciting what you have read either out loud several times, writing it down on paper, or telling someone, chunking the information, and outlining helps students improve the storage memory system. The students that will find grouping information or reciting easier because retain information in the way they learn it. Also, they are having fun as they study to retain the information. By doing these strategies they are less likely to forget what they have learned because it is either stored for a short-term use or for long-term. Most important, they are and will be aware on how they study and memorize information. If the information is not stored in memory, they will have problems of remembering certain material learned in class for a test or pop quiz. If or when this does happen, poor scores will show how much they remembered and how they were able to chunk the information in order to visually map it out or able to recite certain information that may lead up to the elimination of wrong answers in order to find the right answer (7).***

Now that the information has been encoded and stored, in other to recall information from the storage of short-term and long-term memory, visualizing the information retained or learned will help students perform better in classes. This will help because they will recall the items at the beginning of the list and in the middle. Sometimes they will be prompted to retrieve because a certain memory is stored in one of the memory systems. Often they could have remembered or visually prompted to use their working memory in order recall information. From the context retained, they will retrieve the information in the order they have learned it and is able to repeat it to another person or write it on paper. Depending on their mood, they may also forget or increase their ability to recall stored memory (1).***

The ability for a student to use what they remember and their memory system, they will improve in academic studies and be successful students. Memory will be with us throughout life. Different strategies will work for different students in order for them to understand the multiple functions of memory and how it can be useful for them every day. From encoding, storage, and retrieve information, memory will always play a vital role.


  1. King, Laura A. The Science of Psychology.***


  • Hi Kelvin!

    wow, another very interesting post! Just dropping by for the moment, there are so many great points in this informative post of yours. Given the time constraints, I'll be back for a more substantial feedback.