Effortless Information Recall

Today’s tip will help students to effortlessly recall information they may need during an exam. It goes without saying that in order for these techniques to work you must have attended lessons and actually studied the material throughout the year.

Everything you have ever seen, heard or learned is stored in what I call our “unconscious mind” or memory bank. It’s like a vast filing system or computer hard drive in the brain. We can’t consciously remember every single fact that we’ve ever learnt all at the same time, our minds can’t cope with it.

When we sit an exam and come across a question that we don’t instantly know the answer to we can often stop our “unconscious mind” effortlessly finding the answer for us by trying too hard to consciously find the answer or talking in our head too much that all our attention is taken up.

It’s like when someone asks us the name of an actor that appeared in a certain film, the answer is on the tip of our tongue but for the life of us we can’t quite remember. We consciously think harder and harder and then admit defeat when we can’t think of the answer, only for it to pop into our head sometime later when we are thinking of something completely unrelated. That’s because our “unconscious mind” keeps searching while our “conscious mind” moves onto something else.

Our mind likes to answer the last question we ask it too; we need to be very aware of this when trying to remember information. If we get stuck on a question and tell ourselves off in our minds saying “Why didn’t I revise more? Why can’t I remember this answer?” Our mind will endeavour to answer it and its attention will be taken away from searching our memory banks for the answer.

Instead ask yourself “If I did know the answer, what would it be?” Now, this may seem a strange question at first but one of two things will happen. An answer may pop into your head instantly, as if from nowhere – use it! If no answer comes within 3 seconds move on to the next question. Your unconscious mind will continue to search for the answer. Later in the exam an answer to that question will pop into your head, go back and use that one.

Enjoy experimenting and good luck in your exams!

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