Handwritten matter gives a better output - GulfToday

Handwritten matter gives a better output

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.


Image used for illustrative purpose only.

You can have total recall. Well not quite but if you’re about to take exams or need to learn something for work, rest assured that there are effective ways of recalling information better than parrot fashion learning.

Unlike twenty odd years ago, nowadays most pupils and students have some kind of electronic device on which they take notes and prepare papers. They have their laptops, phones and tablets that some take into class with them. But, whilst your electronic devices are great for socialising, researching and reading, did you know that it kills your ability to recall information?

Japanese researchers have found that, when trying to recall information, that recollection process is easier when that original information was handwritten on a piece of paper by the one trying to recall it. They found that a certain memory centre in the brain is enhanced at the time the information is being written. This does not happen when the information is being typed in using a tablet, phone, laptop or computer. From personal experience of having taken many exams, the results of this research make total sense.

So here are some of the methods I’ve used to memorise information, none of which involves an electronic device.

When taking notes anywhere, do so with a pen and paper and try to make sure that they are neat, tidy and well structured. And this is where your pseudo-photographic memory might come into play. When I was at university I discovered an unusual note taking method. I would divide my page in half, and this is where you might think it gets weird and wasteful, and only write my notes on the left hand side of the page leaving the right side completely blank. Not only that, I did another weird thing. Rather than keeping my notes in my normal handwritten size, I purposely wrote them much, much smaller. Now I don’t know why but this page structure and the much smaller size of the letters seemed to help me imprint and recall the contents and where they were on the page better than when I had written them all the way across the page. All I had to do was to close my eyes and picture the page and I was able to recall the subject matter.

Now In those days I wasn’t into painting and drawing. However, some years later when I was into it I found that if I drew a picture to depict a point, or a set of points, I was able to recall it better. All I had to do was to close my eyes and in my head look at the page with all the drawings and remember what that drawing represented. It was sort of a game of association. Almost anything can be depicted pictorially. It worked very well when I took my Lead Auditor and my Nebosh exams. I still remember what the handshake meant! Mutually beneficial supplier relations!

If you recall, exams are not usually all multiple choice based. Many require you to write compositions using full grammatically correct sentences with paragraphs to explain your answer, from memory. So if you look through model answers to typically asked questions, and if you’re certain that a particular question will reappear in the next exam, I would suggest rewriting the model answer, verbatim and using a pen and paper. Do it once and I guarantee you will remember at least a quarter of it, maybe even more; and the more you rewrite that answer, the more of it you will remember. Try it next time. It works.

If you or your child is about to take an exam, you obviously need to revise and make your own notes during the process. But here’s the takeaway. When you do make your own notes you should always hand write them onto a notepad because that helps embed the information into your brain far better than typing it into an electronic device.

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