Effective Memorization Techniques
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EFFECTIVE MEMORIZATION TECHNIQUES
Why is this Important?
Memory is like a muscle - the more it is used, the better it gets!
Learning effective memorizing strategies can help improve your efficiency with a variety of tasks, including:
Studying for a Test Memorizing Lines Memorizing a Speech Remembering names, phone numbers, passwords, zip codes, recipes, complicated procedures, etc. …The possibilities are endless!
Using Your Whole Mind to Remember
Mnemonics are methods for remembering information that is otherwise difficult to recall.
Effective memorization begins with using as many of the best functions of the human brain as possible to code information. This includes:
Images, color, structure, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, spatial awareness, emotion, and language. Additionally, symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.
Memory is a network of neurons. The brain learns by associating new information with existing information. It adds new networks to existing networks of neurons.
What does this mean?
Linking the information to familiar ideas, personal experiences, or physical senses is the most powerful means of memorization.
A similarly beneficial technique is linking together the information you wish to memorize.
For Example: If you are trying to remember items on a grocery list, such as corn, bananas, potatoes, and milk, associate the items together in a visualization.
Use your imagination! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones.
Example: “Cornanasilk” = Corn, Bananas, Milk
Use Repetition…Use Repetition
Repetition is one of the most basic learning techniques. Infants use it to learn to speak. Athletes use it to perfect athletic skills.
Repetition helps the brain to form a stronger connection related to that piece of information.
People can only hold an average of 5-9 pieces of information in their short term memory at a time, therefore concentrating on only a few pieces of data at a time is important.
Re-read material out loud
Break data into clusters
Write lecture summaries
Create an Acronym or Acrostic
Use each first letter from a group of words to form a new word.
Each of the letters in the word is meant to trigger your memory to help you remember an item.
This is particularly useful when remembering words in a specified order.
Remember the acrostic for the order of operations in math? “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” tells students that the proper order for performing math functions is: Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition and Subtraction.
ROY G. BIV tells us the order of the colors of the rainbow.
Other examples include: NBA (National Basketball Associations), SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), BTUs (British Thermal Units)
Acronym and Acrostic Cont.
Steps to creating useful acronyms and acrostics:
Decide what portions of the content need to be memorized and if there are logical groupings for this content. Create a sentence/word that has a rhythm and that makes sense. Use a word or symbol that is relevant to the overall subject matter.
Make a Rhyme or a Song
Rhythm, melody, and rhyme can all aid memory
Many ancient Greek stories were told by storytellers who would rely solely on their memories. The use of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition helped the storytellers remember them.
You can use the same techniques to better remember information from courses. For example, even the simple addition of familiar rhythm and melody can help. Do you remember learning the alphabet? Many children learn the letters of the alphabet to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.“
Using these techniques can be fun, particularly for people who like to create. Rhymes and songs draw on your auditory memory and may be particularly useful for those who can learn tunes, songs, or poems easily.
Use Your Study Time Wisely
Develop and plan for blocks of study time in a typical week
Dedicate a space for study
Decide when you are most productive. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Determine a place free from distraction (people, noise, your cell phone, etc.) where you can maximize your concentration. Have a back-up space that you can escape to.
Some difficult materials may require more frequent breaks.
Take time to relax or otherwise refresh or re-energize yourself.
Have a snack.
Study Skills Cont.
Prioritize your assignments
Each week, dedicate a day and time to review. Don’t procrastinate! Learning information takes time, so plan ahead.
When studying, get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task. You’ll be fresh, and have more energy to take them on when you are at your best.
Rest is one of the most important factors that impacts the way the brain works and the quality of how it works. The body needs 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Power naps are effective in refreshing the mind.
Have a Positive Mental Attitude
Set yourself up to be successful.
If you can see progress in your learning, you are more likely to stick with it.
Do your studying when you are at your mental best.
Have confidence in yourself; know that you can accomplish the goals you set.
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