Memorising and being able to recall information generally plays a much smaller part in successful study at university than many students think. University learning is more about understanding and applying ideas. Building up a good understanding of a topic will lead naturally to remembering more about it, and it is much more interesting than rote learning. 

Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources. 


We remember things that are meaningful to us, or are associated with something we know already. This is why humans tend to recall stories more easily than isolated items on a list. Have a look at these other strategies for improving your memory:

Use it or lose it

Just reading or highlighting a text is a passive activity that you can do without really thinking about it. Doing something with the information, like making a mindmap or summarising it into a short paragraph, is an active process and means you’re more likely to remember it.


Concerns about memory are often associated with exams as many exams do require you to remember key pieces of information. Have a look at our page on revising for useful revision strategies:


If we are tired, stressed, or depressed we are less likely to be able to remember even straightforward information. If you think your memory is being affected by your health or life outside your studies, do talk to someone and contact the support services at Brookes: