Whether you want to memorize a long list of words for an exam, a text for a play, or something else, there are plenty of ways to make the process easier. Start by preparing strategies to boost your memorization. Then, use effective techniques to remember the items in question. You can also use additional strategies to master the information you are withholding.
Method 1 of 3: Use effective memorization strategies
Step 1. Write a summary of each paragraph
As you read the material you need to remember, write a summary of each paragraph. Use your own turns of phrase to help you retain information better. This will help you get a basic understanding of what you are reading while helping you remember key words and concepts.
For example, after reading a paragraph about how the heart pumps blood, you can explain it to yourself in one or two sentences
Step 2. Divide the information into small groups
It will be difficult to remember long strings of numbers and letters, like ID numbers or phrases in a play. If you need to memorize a lot of things, you should break them up into more manageable chunks to make it easier for you. Here are several ways to do it.
- Use a color code for your notes by subject.
- Memorize three to four words or three to four numbers at a time.
- Focus on key terms in a paragraph or page in a manual.
Step 3. Associate an image with the material to be memorized
Associating a picture with a word or concept is a great way to imprint it in your memory. Try to find an interesting picture and look at it often as you read the takeaway material. This technique can also be useful for remembering the names of people.
- If you have to remember the names of five colleagues you just met, think of an image that you can associate with the names of each of them.
- For example, you can associate Charles with Charlemagne, Michel with Mont Saint-Michel, Marie with Marie Curie, Claude with singer Claude François, etc.
Step 4. Use an acronym for ordered items
An acronym is a type of memorization technique that involves taking the first letter of each word or phrase to compose a word that you can remember. You can create your own acronym to remember a certain sequence or group of words.
- For example, “MY Old Turtles Stepping On A Ninja”. This phrase is often used to remember the order of the planets in the solar system. In the correct order: "MErcure, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune".
- We also use the acronym "Neither eat anything or I burn your fat beard" to remember the order of the colors of electrical resistance (Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Gray, White).
- "Mum Est Left Baby Crying" allows you to remember the order of the first five alkane groups (Methane, Ethane, Propane, Butane, Pentane).
Step 5. Try the rhyme to remember items
Your brain might remember certain facts more easily if you rhyme them. Pick a date, fact, or other important detail that you need to remember. Then choose a word that rhymes and create a short, rhythmic phrase. Here are some popular examples.
- “In sixteen hundred and forty-three, Louis fourteen was made king. "
- “Thirty days count September, April, June and November. "
Step 6. Enter the information several times
Handwriting is a powerful memorization tool and is most effective if you start over several times. Find yourself a pencil and paper and write down by hand the things you want to remember. You can write the text for a play, keyword definitions, or whatever else you need to burn in your memory.
If you wish, you can also record yourself reading the information aloud before listening to yourself several times. This is a good option if you have to spend time in public transport or if you learn best by hearing what you need to remember
Step 7. Speak out loud as you study
Reading the information aloud, explaining it to yourself, or even making comments from time to time will help you remember what you are learning better. Try talking to yourself while you study to help you memorize it.
If you are studying at the library, you should make sure you are in an area where you are allowed to make noise
Step 8. Make your own flashcards and review every day
Flashcards are a classic memorization tool. Write the concept, word, or topic on one side of the card, and write the definition, phrase, or other details you need to memorize on the other side. Make sure all flashcards are facing the same direction and pass them one after the other. Read the concept or word on the front and try to remember the definition or phrase on the back. If you can't, read it a few times to remember. Then go to the next card.
Go through all the cards in the pile in the same way to remember the information written on them
when you study you need to be sure to vary the information you are trying to remember. For example, you could study vocabulary for 20 minutes before moving on to math problems for 20 minutes and ending with reading your textbook. It's an effective strategy for keeping your focus.
Method 2/3: Withhold information for a long time
Step 1. Match the information with something you already understand
Pick a topic that interests you and that you understand well. Then find a way to combine the information you need to memorize with the topic you already understand.
For example, you might relate the material you need to learn for a math exam to the rules of football if you like the sport, or you might find a cooking analogy to remember a concept in chemistry
Step 2. Memorize the information for several days or weeks
The sooner you get started, the better! It takes time and repetition before you can memorize something. Plan to start learning at least a week in advance or even earlier. Take some time every day to work on your material. How much time you need will depend on how much you need to remember.
- For example, if you need to remember 20 new vocabulary words for a test, you only need to study half an hour a day for a week.
- However, if you need to memorize a script for the lead role in a play, you should start working on it three to four weeks in advance and organize yourself to study for at least an hour a day.
Step 3. Get quizzes
The material may look familiar to you as you reread it, and you will tell yourself that you have remembered it. However, this is not a precise method of verifying that you have memorized it correctly. Instead, you should give yourself little quizzes to make sure this is the case. Try to remember the information without looking at your notes. If you can remember them precisely without any help, you have remembered them.
- For example, if you need to be able to explain photosynthesis for a science exam, try doing it without looking at your notes.
- If you must be able to recite a poem by heart, try to do so.
Step 4. Teach others what you have learned
One of the best ways to burn something in your memory is to teach it to others. Once you have studied the material and feel you have understood it, try explaining it to a friend or family member. If you can do it without looking at your notes, you know you've memorized it.
if you enjoy teaching others, you might consider becoming a tutor. It's a great way to help others learn and at the same time solidify the concepts in your mind.
Method 3 of 3: Prepare your brain for memorization
Step 1. Exercise regularly to boost your memory
Try to get half an hour of exercise at least five days a week to keep your mind sharp. You could even try exercising right before studying to stimulate your brain even more.
- It is not necessary to do long sessions to reap the benefits of physical exercise. Even a short walk of fifteen minutes can help you study better.
- 20 minutes of yoga before studying can also help boost your brain function.
Step 2. Drink a cup of green tea before your revisions
Green tea is known to boost cognitive functioning more than any other drink. Brew yourself a cup of caffeine-free green tea and drink it while you study. The caffeine intake of standard green tea could also be beneficial.
You can also drink it hot or cold
Step 3. Create a distraction-free environment for yourself
Avoid doing multiple things at once when trying to withhold information, such as checking your social networking sites or messaging friends. It will interfere with your ability to concentrate on what you have to do. Put your phone aside, turn off the television, and ask people in the house not to disturb you while you study.
If you find it difficult to stay focused, try to set small goals for yourself and reward yourself by taking a little break each time you reach one. For example, you might set a goal to focus on your studies for 25 minutes before rewarding yourself with a five-minute break
find an app to avoid distractions. You can download an app that will reward you for not looking at your social networks or other apps on your phone, such as creating an interesting animation if you wait long enough.
Step 4. Work in the afternoon rather than in the morning or evening
Afternoon is usually the time of day you feel most awake, but it has also been shown to be a great time for memorization exercises. If you're having trouble remembering information on a certain topic, you might try revising again in the afternoon instead of in the morning or evening.
For example, you could study around 2 or 3 p.m
Step 5. Get a good night's sleep before you study
You will be able to remember the material you need to memorize better if you feel well rested. To put the odds in your favor, go to bed early to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.
- Try to go to bed a little earlier than usual, for example around 10 p.m. if you usually go to bed at 10:30 p.m.
- Make your bedroom a place of relaxation that you only use for sleeping. Don't work, eat, or do other activities in your bedroom.