Good and Bad Memory in Academic Study

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I. Abstract

Improving memory has always been a critical issue of most concern for every person in general, particularly for students in academic learning. Accordingly, our research aims to examine some possible explanations for both students’ good and bad memory in academic study. Another approach of this study is to look for the solutions to students’ poor memory performance. To collect the data, a questionnaire was developed and delivered to 60 English students in the context of Hanoi University.The findings suggest that although most of students have general knowedge about memory skills, not many of them efficiently employ what they have absorded. In conjunction with ineffective study methods, laziness, low concentration and overlearning are the main factors lowering students’ memory. Consequently, a good memory skill is not enough, more important than that is the practice of training the brain every day to reach the best of memory ability.

II. Introduction
Apparently, people are now overwhelmingly bombarded by a huge amount of information which changes and multiplies every day. Hence, it is of great necessity for each individual to have a good memory so as to perceive and deal with such large knowledge. However, it is a fact that many people, including students have trouble memorizing. According to Tony (2008), as much as 95 percent of people suffer from major problems related to memory. He claims the reason explained for this is that people have little access to methods or skills to “best utilize their inherent capacities” (p. 22). In our research, we mainly focus on a group of freshmen and sophomores of Hanoi University to find out why students sometimes feel helpless with their memory and in what ways they can boost their retentive memory in academic study.

III. Materials and methods

For the data collection purpose, a questionnaire serves as the most practical and effective tool due to its convenience and speediness, especially when the survey conducted involves people on a large scale. Our questionnaire consists of two parts, namely reasons and solutions, representing five questions on the whole. Specifically, the first part is to identify the number of English students of Hanoi University (English Hanuers) having access to memory skills at school as well as how they evaluate their memory ability. The reasons constituting to participants’ poor memory are in particular examined. The second part is designed in attempt to specify memory’s kind most students possess. Besides, some memory skills are suggested to see the most applicable in academic study.

Prior to the real delivery, we had a trial version conducted in our class. The result shows that some informants were confused about the question order. Accordingly, an alternative was developed as respond to subjects’ problems.

60 questionnaires were randomly administered to 60 students on a voluntary basis in April, 2012. Both English freshmen and sophomores participated in the survey, among whom, female numbers as the major ones. It took us one week to implement the survey and one more day to sort out appropriate sheets. Of 60 questionnaires delivered, 8 were invalid as not being completed, therefore; 52 left met standards for final tabulation.

Data analysis was undertaken as the next step. In the first part, the respondents’ answer is divided into two groups, depending on their option in the 2nd question. If students label themselves as owning a good memory, they will proceed to answer question on reasons and factors involved. In contrast, those who believe to possess a poor memory will be asked to respond to a list of possible causes.

The second part contains two smaller sections. The first section is composed of four questions including twelve options, which could be divided into three groups. Described in each group are some basis symptoms, in consequence featuring visual...
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