Generally, IAS aspirants find it difficult to remember all the topics they learn. This blog post is written exclusively for them. Stop struggling to memorize the facts and figures. Here are some tips and tricks for you.
Why do you think it seems impossible to remember the things you studied a week ago? How to cover such a huge syllabus? At the same time, how to keep all the knowledge safe in the brain? Plenty of learning resources!
You might have come across a good number of study techniques. Some of them include frequent revisions, better understanding, etc. Of course, you would have experienced a positive impact after implementing them. But they are not a 100% solution.
UPSC is known for asking difficult questions. Students often find it confusing to answer them. In this way, they want to filter the candidates out.
For example, look at this question. Choose the wildlife sanctuaries from the below list that are located in Madhya Pradesh. Reading with multiple revisions cannot help you answer such a question.
However, there is still a better idea than this! Grab some memory techniques. Practice them while preparing for the civil services exam.
Memory Technique 1: Prepare Mind Maps
Mind Map is a wonderful concept for memorizing the facts and figures. It transforms the boring information into well-organized diagrams.
Such diagrams comprehend in the same way as your brain expects the things to happen. It has become the natural way of remembering the stuff.
Learn how to build the hierarchical structure of mind map. In the end, the bits and piece of information should reflect the whole concept.
Try to implement this technique whenever you are making notes. Students refer to the newspaper, standard UPSC books, etc while making notes. Am I right?
Stop writing the bullet points for now. Instead of writing paragraphs, use mind mapping structure. It helps you to recall all the related things at a faster rate.
Process Of Drawing A Mind Map
As a first step, write the main topic in the page center. Continue writing the sub-topics around the main topic. Interconnect them as and when needed.
Write down the important points under each sub-topic. If you feel like connecting different points, then do it with a mention. Sub-topics can be in the form of basic questions.
Convert the questions forms like How, Why, Who, What, When, Where into sub-topics. It provides the perfect idea for each topic. If needed, you can split the sub-topics into further branches. Jot down the related points respectively.
Do not start writing stories in your mind mapping diagram. Only important points are appreciated. The purpose of the mind map is just to trigger your memory while revising.
Ensure that one node will not have more than 3 points. Keep in mind! There is no use of copy-pasting all the information in your mind map. The analysis just doesn’t work out that way.
Add some images if you have time. Emojis or simple figures are sufficient. Students do this to make the process of revision more interesting.
Keep in mind to add limited branches for a particular main topic. Do not cross the limits. You can either use the papers to create a mind map. However, there are also many softwares in the market.
You can directly copy and paste the images from Google. It helps the candidates to develop mind maps at a much faster rate. Above all, it saves a lot of time and energy.
Memory Technique 2: Build Memory Palace
This one is the most unique and important memory technique. If you follow this method, it is likely to surprise you. In fact, it changes the way you have been reading since childhood.
It is the process of memory enhancement. It uses the concept of visualization linked with spatial memory. So, you can recall the information quickly and easily.
Did you know? Memory palace was used by the previous Greek and Roman during the delivery of the public speech. Nowadays, even the champions use it in the memory contest.
Let’s assume you have to remember the list of country names. There are 10 unique names. Firstly, look at the list carefully. Try to build a story and link them up in line.
When you narrate the story for yourself, the list of names should automatically get recalled. Of course, it takes time to build such a memory palace. Once done, you feel absolutely amazing!
The best way to do is to assign person names or thing name to each of the country (Based on example). The story is completely your wish. You are not telling it to anyone. It is just for you to recall the information.
Rules To Keep In Mind
Follow this set of rules while building a memory palace. It will help you move ahead in the right track.
Just try to be unique. There are no limits for your imagination. Create a story instead of just putting the information in the palace. Think out of the box and make the memory palace be impressive.
Forget about the logic. It is okay to be stupid here. In fact, weirdness is appreciated. The tendency to remember such stories is more than normal ones.
The single topic should have a single memory palace. Please do not overcrowd it with too much information. You might end up in confusion.
High priority to understanding. Do not blindly create a memory palace without properly understanding the concept. It is a three-step process. Understand, convert into the story, and then place it in the memory palace.
How much time does it consume to create one memory palace? Is it a daunting process? Let me be frank. Yes! Creating a memory palace takes time. However, it seems to be like a fun task.
Only the first time seems to be lengthy. Later, the revision becomes quicker. Suppose you used to do 5 revision per month for one topic. With the use of memory palace, you can replace it with just one revision.
You will be able to deliver the answers more effectively during the exam. I would suggest you create a mind map in the first place. Later, convert it into a memory palace.
Memory Technique 3: Repetition At Regular Intervals
This is an easy memory technique loved by many IAS candidates. It is nothing but the repeated reading of the same topics. In fact, you are supposed to increase the number of revisions.
Let’s assume that you have read one topic today. You can set up the revision intervals based on memory power. Take it as 1, 7, 30, 90, 360. Keep this series in mind.
1 refers to revise after one day. 7 refers to revise after one week. 30 refers to revise after one month. 90 refers to revise after 3 months. 360 refers to revise after one year.
You can manipulate the revision time intervals as per your choice and requirement. It totally depends on the memory level. I would suggest you make use of flashcards for doing repeated revision.
If you use flashcards for revision, please maintain a box to store them. Otherwise, they get misplaced and you will end up in big trouble.
Categorize the box in terms of memory intervals you have already chosen. Once you finish the topic today, write the name of the topic on it. Put the related flashcard in each category.
Remember, each compartment represents a different memory interval. In case, you feel any particular flashcard as easy, promote it to the next compartment. So that you will be revising it at a longer interval.
The cycle repeats for every new topic. You can also take care of the software if needed.
In the end, you have learned about important memory techniques. Follow them and improve your ability to recall the information quickly. In addition, you must develop the attitude of a teacher.
Study the concepts as if you are going to teach someone. With this mentality, you will attain perfection for sure. It helps you to study the new concept well. Also, motivates you to revise old concepts.
Without self-motivation, nothing is possible. All you need is consistency and patience. Trust me! Teaching is an excellent way to recall things.
Moreover, you will learn to question yourself and be prepared in a comprehensive manner. Gain the ability to represent the answer in the simplest manner. Otherwise, it will not be easy to understand.
In this way, combine your attitude with memory techniques to witness the successful results.
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