Two Laws To Apply When Reading.
1. Law of Relaxation.
The opposite of relaxation is stress. When you are not relaxed you are under stress or tension. Any form of stress impacts the memory surface. Release of excess cortisol which is a stress hormone shuts down memory. Reading while in a stressed state is a direct violation of the law of relaxation.
Students reading for the sake of passing exams are culprits. They have piles of and loads of work to do in a very short time. This sends a negative signal to the brain thereby boiling the emotional juice necessary to lubricate the interacting neurons. It means that if you must obey this law, you must take it easy; you just have to. The direct consequence of the violation of this law is forgetfulness. All those that read to pass examination are empty. Why? Ask the so called A student to sit back for the same exam after six months only and see what the result will look like. If this is the case, what do you think will happen after one year? This is a food for thought. I want to repeat in order to obey the law to relaxation; you have to take it easy. Not taking it easy leads to memory shut down. Experience is the best teacher. Have you ever remembered something before the exam or quiz but couldn’t during the exam only to remember it after you must have submitted your papers. It can happen to anyone just as one boy remarked, “Before the exam only God and I know the answer, but during the exam, only God knows it. Researchers on test anxiety have suggested how anxiety interferes with recall.
In order to overcome stress you should do the following:
Forget everything about exam. While reading, read to acquire knowledge knowing that you aren’t reading for the sake of exam, but for problem solving
Don’t read with the consciousness that you are competing with anybody or your colleagues. Remember you are competing With Ignorance only.
If you don’t do any or all of these two things you will suffer from
Worry: This is the cognitive concern about your personal performance when compared to others. This results from asking yourself such question as, What loss will I suffer if I failed this exam? When compared with my colleagues how will I be rated? Inferior, or superior?
Emotional interference: self perceived arousal of negative feelings.
Task interference: Inability to leave unsolved problems. Inability to be present, preferring to dwell in the past glory past errors, future hope and future anticipated evil.
2. Law of Organization/Chunking
The reason you can go to the library or dictionary and find what you are looking for easily is because the books in the library and the words of interest in the dictionary are organized. Take a minute to recall the 36 states of Nigeria. Recall is easier if you organized it alphabetically. Grouping a material into similar categories is another way of organizing the material, most especially if you are equally told the category into which the term could be organized or told to pay attention to the category. People who are instructed just to organize a material they read remembered it well like those who were instructed to learn it.
Information in the memory is organized.
The use of what I call PuMaVA helps you arrange any material you are reading. Everything you read can be organized into one of these four areas of categorization.
Pu Ma VA is an acronym for categorization and organization of any information you read:
Pu Stands for purpose
Ma for Main point
V for validation or proof of point
A for Application of point
This is a very important tool for organizing all information you read or learn.
Ask yourself from time to time this simple question. What category can I place this important information? Is it the purpose of the read material, or the main point, or is it a proof of point or is it the application of point?