How to improve memory and retention of students?

By Madhurie Singh, April 15, 2019

Parents and teachers are always searching for solutions that will help their children and students improve their memory power. This article is for all those parents and teachers. If you are not aware of the Learning curve or rather the forgetting curve, you should quickly read about it here. Then continue reading this article.


So as the forgetting curve depicts that in general we start forgetting things 80 to 90 percent of the rest within 24 hours. If revised within 24 hours we retain the content for one more week. If we revise after one week, we retain for around 90 days. And finally if we revise after 90 days, the content is stored permanently.


Taking this as the basis parents and teachers including tuition teachers must start the following steps.


  1. Ask the students to read and come to the class. Assign 10 Marks to this effort so that it becomes a habit. Less marks will not motivate them to pre read. Reading will basically familiarize the student with terms and a gist of the topic. Let them mug up words with meanings that are new or difficult. Ask them to read the questions before reading the chapter.
  2. The first step will be reinforced by the teacher or parent taking the chapter next day. They should start by ensuring that the students have read the chapter. Ask words and their meanings.
  3. Start with asking questions pertaining to the topic and their real life usage. Explain the concept. Finish by again a short quiz on concept learned. It can be part of the classwork the same day.
  4. Now starts the forgetting curve. To prevent forgetting all that was learnt in the class, a short home work asking the definitions and gist of the concept must be given. Not more than 5 questions or one page homework. A quick reading is must for the student to complete the homework. Revision within 24 hours done.
  5. The next revision has to be within the next seven days. Giving a project or a class test on the same topic next week will take care of the same.
  6. Now you are left with the third revision after or within 90 days. The quarterly tests or revisions will ensure that final step of the memory and forgetting curve is also handled by you.

May be the idea behind the homework, unit tests, quarterly tests was to ensure that follow the memory and forgetting curve. Time to allow schools to conduct these for the good retention and recall that your child deserves.

The only trick is to follow it diligently by planning the entire curriculum and time table a year in advance.

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