4 Ways to Increase Your Lecture Retention


By: Elisabeth Jackson

With the internet at our disposal, you have access to a plethora of tools and resources to help you succeed in the classroom. As we head into the fall quarter, having a strategy for how you take information from each lecture will not only help your grade, but also help you retain information long after finals are over. Here are 4 solid techniques you can utilize to better your studying:


  1. Capture what you don’t know, then revisit the information frequently

The way we retain information is by repeated exposure. You don’t need to record something that you already understand. Having a focused portion of your notes strictly on portions of the material you don’t know will help you maintain greater focus on memorizing that text.


  1. Inherit a note-taking system

Yes, those Cornell notes you learned back in high school actually were of value. Note taking systems like Cornell, Mind Mapping, and The Sentence Method are structured to help create a structured flow to all the information that will be coming at you throughout the semester.  Creating organized notes will make compartmentalizing the information easier, causing the information to stick to your memory better.


  1. Integrate notes from readings with lecture notes

Organize all your lecture notes with your reading notes into a central location. Whether this is a notebook or an online cloud, having ALL your notes in one location will help you study all the material you have gathered over the course of the semester, as opposed to trying to find pieces of information scattered across separate note sections. If you want to be able to study on the go, I strongly suggest integrating all your notes onto a note-taking portal like EverNote.


  1. Record the lecture

We all learn in different capacities. Having an audio recording and transcript of the professor can help teach the content in a multimodal approach, and enhance the amount of material you retain. Audio transcripts allow you to go back and relisten to key points you may have missed, and help not only jog your memory, but give context to your written notes as well! You can do this either by recording and transcribing the lectures yourself, or, order a transcription through a professional.

Incorporating these techniques will help you retain more information into your brain after a lecture and ace those exams.

Elisabeth Jackson is a freelance content writer with a background in technology and marketing.Before she wrote for a living, she was a post-graduate mentor and advocate for college seniors. You can view more of her writings and work on her website justlizzi.com

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