Mastering and memorising essays is a part of being in high school. But with so many essays to draft, write and memorise, it can feel like an impossible task. You might even be wondering how you can pull it off.
There’s no disputing that memorising multiple essays is not an easy task. However, like everything else, you can use a few tips that will make the process easier and make it more productive. Here are five such tips to get you started.
Break it down
Essays can be anywhere between 800 and 1,200 words long. Trying to memorise the whole essay is an uphill task that requires a lot of time. Even with all the time in the world, you might still not be able to memorise the whole of it. But, by breaking it down, you can make it easier. Typically, every essay will have an introduction, several themes with related texts and a conclusion.
Start by memorising the paragraphs while paying attention to the structure. Having a killer structure makes it a lot easier to remember the overall bones of the essay. You can further break it down to each topic sentence, an example of that topic sentence, an explanation, and its connection to the thesis.
Read before you sleep
Sometimes, memorising an essay isn’t complicated. You just need to leverage the biological nature of your brain. This tip is great when you have left the essay for the last minute. You can avoid wasting time memorising it word for word. Instead, read it over a few times, pick up on the key ideas in each paragraph then go to sleep.
Studies have shown that the brain reviews and relearns the information you just studied while you sleep. Also, when you sleep, the brain has a better retention rate. However, you have to ensure the study session right before you sleep is focused and you’re not dosing off.
Read, cover, write and check
This is another strategy that students employ when they leave mastering the essay for the last minute. It is more like rote learning, which doesn’t work in the long run, but it can work if you have a small window. It will help you remember the essay short term, which you want at this point.
Start by reading a part of the essay once. Cover it, take a piece of paper and write it or say it aloud. Open the essay and check to see if you were right. Take another part of the essay and do the same. Keep repeating until you can regurgitate the entire essay in order.
This is another good tip for cramming a lot of work in a small amount of time. Number each paragraph and count how many sentences each paragraph contains. Take a closer look at each sentence and in each of them, pick a few trigger words that will help you remember the sentence. Now work on memorising just the trigger words. You can memorise up to 20 words per paragraph rather than 200.
It saves you time and ensures you master more information in a short span of time. The catch with this tip is in choosing the right trigger words that you will not forget easily.
This is the most obvious, the safest and the surest tip. It’s also the most overlooked. Most students wait until the last minute and start rushing, trying to memorise everything in one night. Starting early is your safest bet. Memorising takes a bit of time, and starting early ensures you give the essay enough time to linger around in your mind multiple times. By the time you get to the exam, you can recall the entire essay without spending hours trying to force yourself to pick it up.
Just to be sure, try pumping out the essay a few weeks before the exam date to see how much of it you can remember. Give yourself as much time as possible going over it.
There’s also a catch with this tip. You don’t want to start super early. You will get bored and dump it. By the time you get to the exam, you will have forgotten everything. Timing is critical. You want to start early enough so that you are in high gear with just about a week to the exam by the time the exam is approaching.
With memorising an essay, it’s highly recommended to take as much time as possible to work on the essay. Although several tips help you memorise on short notice, short term memory tends to be fickle, especially in the face of anxiety and stress. You might get to the exam and realise you’ve forgotten everything.