Imagine that you are studying for the Fundamental Engineering Exam. While studying the thermodynamics portion of the exam, you realize that you are having the hardest time memorizing the steps necessary to complete a certain problem. You become frustrated with your progress, get flustered, and even resort to the point of self diagnosing yourself with a memory problem.
You’re not alone.
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There are thousands of individuals preparing right now to take the Fundamental Engineering Exam that are experiencing the same frustrations, wondering how they can make improvements on their memory retention.
It seems that everywhere you look, there are tips, games, and memory training techniques outlined to improve memory, but where do you start? There are many routes you can take when it comes to improving your memory, both long and short, but you can start out NOW by making some simple changes, and learning a few simple techniques.
One of the most vivid memories I have from College is pulling epic all-nighters, studying for tests, writing papers, or just hanging with buddies. As much as it is a standard of College life, continually participating in these late hour activities actually hurts your ability to effectively study and use your long-term memory to its utmost potential. So with that, one of the first, and maybe most important, memory improvement tip I can recommend while studying for the FE Exam, is to make sure you are getting your shut ey, eight-hours of quality, restful sleep every night. I know this sounds boring, and heck, can even be a tall order for some of us, but the mind needs that time to rejuvenate itself, create new neural pathways, and repair cells. If it is difficult for you you to get to bed early, and you are a caffeine junkie (as I), try limiting your coffee, energy drinks, or soda intake to mornings and afternoons only. Do not take in any of these after 4 in the afternoon! Establishing this habit will allow your body and mind to get in to a natural rhythm together, where eventual both will wind down at night and you will be able to get a good night’s sleep.
I Don’t drink coffee, and I sleep like a Champion
Maybe you have a fresh mind, maybe you don’t drink too much coffee, and get a great night of sleep every night. However, you continue to find yourself having unsuccessful bouts trying to memorize the formulas or complex terminology in some of the engineering subjects that we encounter. Many students experience the same frustration in this challenging facet of learning. Most people will sit down with resources to study, and methodically go through them, over and over again, attempting to commit them to memory. Although this technique is adequate, there is a better way of accomplishing this goal. While studying in this fashion, the data is only entering the brain via one pathway, visually through the eyes. The key is to create additional pathways to the brain, such as olfactory or auditory. If completed this way, the memory will become permanent much faster and your retention will be much more apparent.
There are a few ways that this can be done. You can do this by either studying out loud alone while memorizing, or even better, try studying with a classmate or another peer also studying for the Fundamental Engineering Exam. Test each other repeatedly on the material you are studying, run through the problems together, and you will be surprised at how much quicker you will have ingrained the information in to your memory banks.
What Else in preparing for the Fundamental Engineering Exam?
One last thing, and something I have stressed before, consider implementing a study schedule for the week. The mind has a much easier time digesting new information when broken up into smaller pieces. I always recommend shorter, more frequent study sessions as opposed to marathon periods of hitting the books on the same subject matter. Five, 1-hour sessions practicing thermo is much more efficient for retention than spending four or five hours of straight studying on one particular day.
So take action NOW, give a couple of these techniques a try today, and you’ll probably find that your study time will become far more efficient, and thereby more beneficial to you and your progress in your studies. Not only are these some great study habits and techniques, but they are also effective in increasing your overall memory retention. Tips, tricks, and techniques to improve your preparation for the FE Exam and memory are all great in theory, but at the end of the day, you have to be proactive in putting them into practice. So take action now, and prepare to dominate the upcoming Fundamental Engineering Exam!
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