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6 ways to remember and understand information in class

Sometimes it can be difficult to pay attention to everything in your lessons.

You might find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the amount of information you are trying to retain.

To help you hold onto information, here are some practical tips for understanding instructions and remembering what is said:

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1. Make sure you're looking at the person giving the instruction
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This will help you to retain the information, as it’ll be easier to absorb, and you’re more likely to pay closer attention if you look at who is speaking. Really focus on the person speaking, turn towards them and look at their face while they’re talking.

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2. Try to repeat the instruction back to yourself quietly
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By saying the information, you are helping your brain to remember it.

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3. Practice writing down key words or drawing pictures to help you remember what you have to do
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You may like to make use colour, images, bullet points or mindmaps to help your brain retain the information.

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4. Talk to your teacher
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Tell someone if you’re not sure. You won’t be the only one in class finding it hard! You could:

  • Ask the teacher to repeat the instruction. “Could you say it again please?” Sometimes it can be very helpful to hear information more than once. Longer instructions can be confusing, so you can ask your teacher to break instructions down into smaller steps.

 

  • Ask them to explain the words that you don’t know. “Can you tell me what that word means please?”

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5. Try to work out what it is you find difficult
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Is it hard to understand the actual words?

Is there too much information at once? Can you read the writing? Can you hear what is being said?

 

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6. Ask your teacher to write it down for you
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Your teacher can write key words on the board, or there may be pictures in text books or on the wall that will help you to understand. If you are struggling to keep track of the amount of information, it may be helpful to be given a brief copy of what was covered in class to read at your own pace.

Talk to your parent/carer if you are struggling to understand instructions in class.  They can help support you to work with your teachers.

You may want to have a discussion with your teacher, they can offer advice on the best ways to help you. You can also speak to the School Nurse, who might be able to support you in managing any stress about school work.

 

how to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

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