Five Ways to Get Good Grades and Boost Memory

by Caroline Leaf

Many of you who are parents or students are preparing to start school in the fall. Perhaps you have anxiety about studying and memorizing information. With a million and one different kinds of learning programs out there, and so much conflicting advice when it comes to getting good grades, it can be confusing to try figure out the best way to study. Perhaps you have failed so many times in the past you have given up trying to learn at all. Yet learning is an integral part of life, and something we can all discover how to do well. 

Since the early 1980’s I have studied and researched the mind-brain connection, participating in some of the initial research on the neuroplasticity of the brain. I have presented my learning tools to thousands of students and corporations worldwide, and have seen these techniques transform the lives of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD), autism, the dementias, emotional traumas and mental health issues, while showing students and adults of all ages how to use their mind to develop their brain. 

My passion is to help people see the power of the mind and teach individuals how to learn how to think and learn. No one is beyond help—we can all learn how to learn well!

In fact, there a several simple and quick ways you can enhance the natural ability of your brain to learn right now:

  1. Read out loud. Whether you are editing an essay, or studying for an exam, reading to yourself out loud improves your ability to comprehend and remember information.
  2. Play classical music. Classical music is really great when it comes to studying! It can help you control negative, toxic stress, help you sleep better and help you concentrate on the information you are trying to remember. 
  3. Eat real food. What you eat both directly and indirectly affects your ability to process and remember information. Highly processed and refined food-like products that are high in bad sugars, salt and fats are damaging to the brain, while real, whole, sustainable foods boost cognitive function. For more information on food and the brain see my book Think and Eat Yourself Smart.
  4. Take regular breaks.Taking a short study break every hour or so, and a longer break after several hours of revision, boosts brain function and your ability to process vast amounts of information. 
  5. Exercise. Even though exercise may seem like a waste of time when you have so much work to do and so much information to study, it really isn’t! Exercise is vital to proper brain function. It improves both physical and mental health, boosting the mind’s ability to build new memories and learn well. For more information on exercise and the brain see my blog on exercise and my book 

Remember, the more you practice learning well, the better you will get at getting those good grades! The brain is neuroplastic, which means that it can change. No matter what people have told you in the past, you can learn, and you can get good grades. Your brain is incredibly powerful!

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. NIV Used by permission.

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