Last reply 11 months ago
Study tips/ideas

Hey, I am struggling to think of ways to take in information I have to remember. Do you have any ideas for me that can help me achieve the best results I can get? By the way I have tried repeatedly writing out text and it has not worked.

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11 months ago

Hi @abbeytagg14 😊 do you have a device or the facility on your phone to record? Try reading out loud the information you’re trying to remember & recording it, that way you can listen to it play back to you while you’re doing other things. This means that your brain is processing the same information in multiple different ways & apparently therefore you’re more likely to retain it. Worth a try 😉 good luck & let us know how you’re getting on 🙂

11 months ago

@abbeytagg14 , I am so sorry that you are having to deal with these kind of problems at such a young age.

Cognitive problems are a major symptom of MS. There’s some details here :-

I should imagine that this is a major problem with your school work. Are your teachers aware of your diagnosis and are they able to take this into consideration in your quest for qualifications?

11 months ago

Hi @abbeytagg14 ! As a fellow student, although quite a lot older than you and at a different level of study, I would first of all like to sympathise with you and tell you I understand how horrible it is to be subjected to already stressful exams when your brain doesn’t function how you want it to.

Everyone suffers slightly differently from MS, and so my brain fog and cognitive farting is most likely very different to yours. Unfortunately I cannot retain information for an extended period of time, and so I require frequent “topping up” of information. What I do for this is to create a set of notes that create, in your own unique way, a map of how your brain thinks and are easy to look at and almost instantly refresh your memory in any given subject area. While this may sound strange, it has a lot to do with how our brain associates certain objects, or shall we say “ideas”, with other ideas. A video that helps to shows this is a TED talk from a “Mathemagician” who uses amazing, but not entirely uncommon, techniques to store obscenely large amounts of data in his head. I would recommend searching for this video and watching it, not necessarily to learn anything but to watch a phenomenal “mathemagic” show.

I also subscribe to someone called Thomas Frank on YouTube who has some really effective study tips and, while they are catered to someone who isn’t going to open a chocolate bar and put the chocolate in the bin and (almost) eat the wrapper (yes I did this), they can be adapted very nicely to suit your needs. A great technique I like to use is the “Pomodoro” technique which is essentially working completely distraction free for 25 mins with a 5 minute break after. I tweak this to have about a 10 minute break after, but this is ideal for me as I can’t write for too long and my concentration is heavily impacted. Another good technique is that of “Active Learning” where you actually stimulate your brain to take in information in an active fashion rather than a passive one – he has a great video explaining it (my explanation sucks, but it is a useful technique!). Finally, he also has a note taking video that touches upon the mind map thing I mentioned above, and it is definitely worth a watch!

Being a student with MS is tough, that much is plain, but it is all about adapting and overcoming. Yes, it sounds very cliche and yes, I cringed slightly writing that out but it is has some truth. Our brains don’t work like normal, why should our study methods (or, indeed, other methods) be normal too?

If ever you need someone to talk to about studies, or if you just want to complain about how the numbering system for GCSEs doesn’t make any sense, please feel free to shoot me a message.

All the best, and good luck!

11 months ago

@abbeytagg14 , some interesting suggestions from @eigenhater.

Here’ s link to the TED talk video mentioned :-

And a link to the YouTube channel mentioned :-

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