It is not what you read, but how you read. There are two types of readers. One is passive and the other is active. If you are a passive reader, here are tips on how to remember what you have read.

The biggest thing I can say is do NOT solely focus on how long you study for. There’s a reason ‘work smart not hard’ is a cliche. If you make your studying more efficient you can get more done in less time.

Studying. TV suggests this free audio book which helps you improve your speed reading and memory. You can listen to it while you sleep and it has thousands of great reviews behind it: [Memory Hack] Twice the Results in Half the Time

That alone should be a game changer for most peoples studying.

Take notes on the page.

‘Never read without a pencil. Underline sentences you find confusing, interesting, or important. Draw lines along the side of important paragraphs. Draw diagrams to see the structure of key ideas.’

Skim the text first.

The idea here isn’t to skip the whole reading process. Instead, you’ll want to skim the text for important topics and keywords beforehand so you know what to expect when you actually dig into the material.

Impress, associate, repeat.

Stack Exchange user TRd. H says that memory is a three-pronged process.

The first part is impression. You can increase the strength of the impression the text makes on you by picturing the situation in your mind or envisioning yourself participating in the events described.

The second part is association, or linking the material to something you already know. For example, maybe one of the character’s names sounds like your friend’s name.

The third part is repetition. The more you read the material, the stronger your memory will be. If you don’t want to reread a whole book, try highlighting some parts of the text that you can go back to.

Introduce the information to others.

Experts say that, if you want to remember what you experience, it’s important to do something with that information.

Plus, if you find that you can’t explain it, you might want to go back and reread.

Read out loud.

Writing in Psychology Today, psychologist Art Markman, Ph. D., says this strategy might work best when there are a few key items you need to remember. That’s because the sentences you speak (or even whisper) out loud take on a distinctiveness. You remember producing and hearing the items and so your memory for them is different from the memory of the words you read silently.

Read on paper.

E-readers are convenient tools for when you want to bring a ton of books on vacation and for downloading stories in an instant.

Become familiar with the topic first.

Blogger Ryan Battles recommends gaining some background knowledge before you dive into a particular text.

‘The more you understand about a particular subject,’ he writes, ‘the more ‘hooks’ keep the facts in there.’ Presumably, that’s because you’re able to make more associations between the new information and what you already know.

Source: 8 tricks for remembering everything you read

The biggest thing I can say is do NOT solely focus on how long you study for. There’s a reason ‘work smart not hard’ is a cliche. If you make your studying more efficient you can get more done in less time.

Studying. TV suggests this free audio book which helps you improve your speed reading and memory. You can listen to it while you sleep and it has thousands of great reviews behind it: [Memory Hack] Twice the Results in Half the Time

That alone should be a game changer for most peoples studying.

This answer originally appeared on this Quora question on Studying.

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