Critical readers or active readers remember anything for a long time.
A critical reader understands the purpose of reading the content and they know how to extract meaningful information out of it, and remember for a long time. Anybody can become a good reader by identifying the purpose of reading, relating the content idea with their past experiences or in general the background knowledge of the topic, creating a mental picture of the main concepts and ideas, asking questions with self and a group of people, rewording or rewriting the concepts in your own words and Finally saving the information in long term memory banks.
Often, people ask:
How can I improve my memory of studying?
How can you memorize things quickly?
Is it normal to not remember what you read?
What is the best way to memorize or remember what I study or read?
How to remember everything you read the first time?
Why can't we remember everything we read?
I will give the answers to all the questions here. We only remember something in two cases:
I can remember dates like birthdays, or anniversaries. I can remember faces even if I saw them 1 year back. It's hard for me to remember the route to someone's home. If you ask me about the route from railways station to my hometown (Nainital, Uttarakhand) even though we travel in that route frequently and its the only route), I would have surely no answer. I am bad at remembering usernames and passwords, and debit card pins.
My husband remembers the routes, and he rarely feels a need to use Google Maps. He remembers the debit card pins, user name passwords.
I can remember the important event dates? - Interest and Need
Why I don't remember the route from railways station to my hometown? - No need and not interested
Why can't I remember ATM card pins? - No need not interested, he tells me before going to the bank or ATM
Why does my husband remember the routes? - Interest in driving and need
Why does my husband remember the card pins and username password of accounts? - Need and also interested
The same thing happens when you study. There are a few subjects which make you interested and some are boring, but you have to study them because you have an examination of the subject and you have to pass it.
Let me help you more to better understand, assume you study in 12th standards, and you have 3 subjects: Physical Science, Life Science and Earth Science. You created a table of having three columns for subjects. Add all the topics that don't make you feel interested in the above table in respective subject's column. So, for the subjects in which you are interested: Don’t try to mug up. Try to analyze, apply them to everyday life. The problem is half resolved when you note it down and start correlating it with the real world. The visuals help you analyze the problem and gain interest in the subject. For the subjects in which you are not interested but need to study: Try to add them topic wise in the above persona table. Try to analyze, and apply them to everyday life
There are proofs that if you give yourself a purpose for doing something your brain will take it into consideration more than if you think that something is useless for you.
What are the steps of the reading process?
1: Identify the purpose of reading: ask yourself the below two questions
Why am I reading this?
What am I suppose to learn from this?
2: Gather some background knowledge about the topic.
3: Create a mental picture and
4: Rewrite the content. Writing something out is equivalent to reading it 7 times.
5: Make a KWL table (that is Part 2 of How to remember everything you read the first time series).
This is Part-1 of "Why can't we remember everything we read". Part-2 is about "Setting Yourself Up to Read and Remember". I really hope that this was helpful to you. Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.