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Causes and Tips to Overcome Poor Retention of Learning

Learning affects all aspects of our existence, every day. The process of learning new things or refreshing existing knowledge keeps our minds up to date and also improves the quality of our life. So, it is very important to retain what we have learned as it helps us to be effective in yielding desired outcomes. Generally, most of us have the tendency to forget most of the things.

Here are a few causes of poor retention:


  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of desire to learn
  • Inability to comprehend content
  • Too much of mental tension

To avoid the above causes of poor retention, as a learner, one has to plan his method of internalizing learning in such a way that he can retain information for a longer period of time.

There are many ways by which one can easily retain knowledge. Let us see some tips to retain everything we learn.


  • Understand the purpose your learning
  • Focus only on the content that matches your purpose
  • Have a strong desire and interest to learn
  • Make an in-depth analysis and get a clear understanding of the information you learn
  • Shape yourself with a well-rounded procedure by actively participating – by involving, memorizing, imagining, observing, investigating, etc.
  • Keep writing about what you learn
  • Have the “background” knowledge of what you are learning
  • Evade cognitive overload of the irrelevant / unnecessary things
  • Take frequent breaks during your study sessions
  • Try to break the information into small manageable chunks by tricking yourself using memory aids, mnemonics, rhymes, acronyms, etc.,
  • Try to connect the information you learn with real life examples
  • Communicate your thoughts and ideas of what you have learned to someone else
  • Try to implement what you have learnt
  • Bookmark all important information for your reference
  • Use 3 R’s i.e., read, relate, and review to retain everything what you have learnt.
  • Spend most of your time on active reading
  • Do not under estimate your ability and be positive about yourself
  • Plan for regular study sessions and keep reviewing the information constantly
  • Do not waste too much of time reading the familiar concepts. Rather, spend time reading unacquainted and indistinct concepts.
  • Visual and auditory learners are recommended to take clear notes in their own words of whatever they learn, as they concentrate more on visual and auditory things.
  • If possible, try to read just before sleeping, as it is proved that new concepts can be easily recalled after sleeping.

These are some of the tips that will surely help you in retaining knowledge, with positive outcomes. Please do share your thoughts and opinions on the same.

The State of Learning: 2023 and Beyond