The Memory Process, in Four Fantastic Nutshells

Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge or information. You also need to retain the information to use it at a future time, and that is where the memory process comes in. One of the best ways to make college-level studying more effective is to understand and apply information about how we as humans learn and store information in our memory. The information below about attention, encoding, and storing information provides the rationale for reading and note-taking strategies; this information also can help you assess if you’re preparing for exams in an effective way.

Your Mindset - Make it a Growth Mindset!

Think about the following situation:

It’s a rainy day. You forgot your jacket at home. You got a flat tire as you were riding your bike to school. You arrived late to class. Your professor glared at you. You spilled coffee on the paper you had to turn in, and you burned your hand in the process. You received your score from the past exam, and you got a C-.

How do you feel and react? What’s going through your head?

Active Learning is Where It's At

Completing assigned readings, attending class (lecture, recitation, lab or seminar), taking notes, and reviewing and practicing with content are the building blocks of learning and studying in the college environment. Professors and instructors assign reading, conduct lectures, and hold class discussions and labs to communicate a large volume of information in a variety of formats.

Information Processing --> Improve Yours

Learn to monitor your own thinking processes. It is not necessary (or even advisable) to do this all the time, but by noticing how it feels to pay attention (try the ideas below!) or what goes on in your head when you think about something, you can proactively avoid distractions, lear your best, and set yourself up for successful study sessions.

Ready? Set? Concentrate!

The effectiveness of your study time is only as good as your ability to focus and concentrate while studying. Choosing a quality study environment, decreasing any internal or external distractions, and limiting your multitasking can help make your study time productive and effective.

Choosing a study environment

The environment you study in can have a big impact on your ability to concentrate.  Choosing a good environment is a proactive step towards monitoring possible distractions. Consider the following factors when evaluating a potential study location:

OSU Registrar's GPA Calculator

Check out this handy tool! Follow the directions to get an idea of what GPA your grades will translate into. But remember: "These calculations should not be considered your official GPA at Oregon State University or any other institution."

Have fun!