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Scientists have studied human behavior and the mind for centuries, and we now know more than ever about how it is we come to learn new things.

Truly remembering new information requires effort. There is no easy solution that means you can stare into space and know the things you need to know. Learning requires focus. But there are strategies that can make that focus much more effective. If you’ve ever though you just can’t learn new things, you haven’t tried enough tactics to find the right way.

1. Associate New Information With Old

Putting new information into the context of things you already know will help them seamlessly blend into your memory. Try telling yourself the new information like it’s a story, and put it into context by saying things like “and this is just like how” and make the association.

2. Write Things Down Repeatedly

This may sound like an old-fashioned strategy for remembering everything you learn, but it goes deeper than writing a fact repeatedly. Write the fact down, but as you write it, actively think about the fact as you write it. Work on associating it with things you already know, picture the facts in a scenario, really look at the words and consider your wording. Be engaged with the writing as you do it.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting adequate sleep helps your brain keep new memories. It’s an essential part of a healthy brain ready to learn. Don’t just sleep the night before a test, sleep throughout the time you’re studying, too.

4.Work on Recall

This is a good example of why flashcards are such an excellent tool. Having a question asked and then having to supply the answer tests your recall. The act of retrieving the memory strengthens that connection in your mind.

5. End Of Every Study Session With a Review

If you study for one hour, save the last fifteen minutes for a review session. Repeating what you’ve learned that day will help strengthen it in your mind. You can do this by writing it down or by using flashcards for recall to use two strategies at once.