Reading And Remembering
How Can I Remember What I Read?

Suppose you meet 12 new people at a friend's party.

Do you remember all their names the next day?YesNo

What makes you remember the ones you can recall?

See if the same thing isn't true about your reading. I remember better when I:

Remembering text is much like remembering other information.
You must:

  1. Locate the important information.
    How do I know I've found the key ideas?

    • The main ideas and details you marked will answer the question you made from the heading or subheading.
  2. Understand the ideas you've found.
    How can be sure I understand the info I've marked?

    • Restate the information in your own words

      • If you can say it in your own words, you understand it.
      • If you don't understand it, you probably won't remember it.
  3. Repeat/rehearse the ideas to put them into your memory.
    How do the ideas get into my memory?

    • Say them out loud in your own words to hear them.
    • Write them in brief marginal notes. Use "muscle" memory.
    • Relate them to each other and to things you already know.
  4. Review
    What can help me recall what I learn?

    • Do a quick review of what you've read/learned when you finish reading.
    • Get a big picture to see how ideas fit together.
    • Later you can review again.

So, to increase your ability to remember what you read:

Sure this takes time, but you probably have more time now than the night before exams.

Reading is step one of studying. To study/learn/remember:


Lecture Notes>>