Students, adult learners and employees all have the need to learn how to memorize something at one time or another. Students may need to memorize math facts, poetry, or text for information heavy tests. Adult learners and employees often have the need to memorize facts for meetings or to give presentations. And each of these different memorizations can be done using different techniques. The trick is to figure out which technique or strategy works best for you or for your specific requirements.
Memorization isn’t nearly as difficult as you might otherwise anticipate. The issue is that most people only try to memorize by reading the same text over and over again. And although memorization by repeating works, there are a few additional techniques that can help improve the speed and the level of memorization.
The brain works to retain memory through the use of neurochemicals, transmitters and synapses. These chemicals produce pathways in the brain. The more the pathway is used the stronger the signal in the brain. Consider your phone number. Because it is 7 numbers you use on a consistent basis they very easily come to mind when you want to recall them.
Other numbers may not be memorized quite so easily – such as your drivers license. This is a number you may write down infrequently so the chemical pathway is much weaker. The crucial point here is that the more you use the information the more firmly it is ingrained in your memory.
Here are 6 techniques that will help you determine the method that works best for you:
1. Learn How To Memorize Through The 4 Step Process
For a lot of information try this 4 step process:
a. Using your computer type in any fact that may appear on the test or you may need for the presentation.
b. Take your notes to a quiet room and read the first sentence aloud. Now repeat it without reading it.
c. Repeat this with the second sentence; add on a new sentence until you have memorized every sentence in your notes.
d. Now take a nap – new memory is fragile and research shows that sleep will help the information to be retained.
2. Learn How To Memorize Through Patterns
A different twist on this is to first organize the notes into sections that make sense, have patterns, are familiar or other ways that will break the information into patterns. Then follow the steps listed in number 1.
3. Learn How To Memorize Through Note Cards
Some information is better memorized in and out of order and for those facts you might try note cards.
a. The index cards should be thicker so you can’t read through them.
b. On one side in black ink write the word in all caps. On the opposite side write the concept/definition/idea in lower case letters in another color pen.
c. Mix up the note cards. Find a quiet place to rehearse.
d. Spend time testing yourself using the cards. If you answer the questions correctly then put them in one pile, and another if you answered incorrectly and yet a third if the answer wasn’t quite right.
e. Now pick up the cards that you didn’t get right and go through them until you have them right. Repeat with the third stack of cards.
f. Now mix the cards up and repeat the testing from the beginning making the same three piles as you answer the questions.
g. Rinse and repeat until you get them all correct.
Using note cards allows you to test yourself throughout the day, when you may have a spare minute.
4. Learn How To Memorize Through Mnemonic’s
A mnemonic device is another tool that students and teachers have been using to memorizing information for decades. This is a method of enhancing memory and can be alliterative or have a rhyming nature to help improve the ease. The most popular are alliteration, acronym, rhymes, groups, numbers, pictures and poems.
You might make up your own mnemonic device or use a common one. For instance, when young school children remember the colors of the rainbow in order they learn the name: Roy G. Biv
Another common one are the names of the planets in order:
[Used before Pluto’s planet status was taken away!]
You can use this tool to help remember your surroundings, peoples names, information for school or business, traveling in a foreign country or trying to learn another language.
5. Learn How To Memorize By Learning and Committing Poetry to Memory
Learning and committing poetry to memory is another type of information that you may want to retain and retrieve. Retrieving this type of information requires understanding and incorporating the information rather than pure memorization. By incorporating the techniques of reading over the content and attempting to both understand the information and the way in which it is structured will help the memorization process.
6. Learn How To Memorize By Making Up Stories In Your Mind
To best explain the last one, we have posted this YouTube video The Fastest Way To Memorize.
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