Many college courses require you to memorize massive amounts of information. . Many students feel that they simply do not have a great memory capacity. Fortunately, though, memorization isn’t just for an elite group of people who were born with the right skills; anyone can train and develop their memorization skills.
Research shows that students who use memory tricks perform better than those who don’t. These techniques can also allow you to remember some concepts for years or even for life. Ultimately, memory tricks like these lead to higher-order thinking and understanding.
Creating rich and trustworthy memories
Research has shown that our memories are activated more strongly by pictures than by words. We are particularly good at recognizing images that we have seen before. Think of how many signs, symbols and logos you can identify in a fraction of a second. You can easily start making up your own images to help you remember. And when you meet someone new, take a few seconds to imagine something, anything, that can give you a visual reminder of their name.
Your brain can combine multiple senses to create strong memories. Some of our most powerful memories are encoded through smells, tastes, and tactile sensations, as well as through images and sounds. Use all the senses you can to learn and remember. Don’t just imagine things to buy at the supermarket: imagine also smelling, touching and tasting them. Imagine that you are learning about a new concept at work. You might think about building a physical model of it.
Even important and serious material can get a humorous twist on your imagination. Make your pictures exciting, weird, and wonderful, and you’ll have a much better chance of remembering them. Your can be playful and mischievous. When you meet someone new, take a moment to think about whether their name seems to “match” their character.
Examples of this are the acronym SMART Goals, which is a mnemonic for goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound; and the phrase Every Good Boy Meerves Football, for remembering the notes in the lines of the treble clef, EGBDF. To remember a phone number for a short time, you can repeat it rhythmically. Or, when you’re taking notes, experiment with different ways to organize and order your words.
Design effective mnemonics
When you start to invent your own mnemonics, keep three more principles in mind: imagination, association, and location.
Imagination: Create images that are vivid, engaging, and rich enough to refresh your memory. You could visualize a real situation to remember and reuse it, or invent one to help you write, say or do something in the future.
Association: That could help you remember all the items you need to pack for a trip, for example. Or two ideas can be paired, so that one thing reminds you of the other. Using that strategy, you could think of your colleague holding a microphone to remind you that her name is Mike.
Location: Since you can easily remember the layout of your home, why not use the rooms to “save” items from the list you are trying to learn?
The main memory techniques
They are memory tools in which ideas are represented by images. Like logos or icons, image clues can make your brain think of complex ideas. Specific systems have been developed to “link” new information in pre-made images.
You can get an extra memory boost by choosing a setting that relates to your theme.
They are tools that take advantage of the fact that stories well told are automatically memorable. Storytelling strategies allow you to link individual image tracks in long chains, to recall lists, processes, and all the points you want to highlight in essays or presentations. You can get an extra memory boost by choosing a setting that relates to your theme.
Use the Loci method for your memory
The Loci method is a memory technique that dates back to ancient Roman times and is just as useful today. With this method, the information is linked to a “journey” through a place you know, such as your home or city. At each stop, you mentally enter a piece of information. To remember that information, simply run your memory journey to retrieve it. For example, if you’re studying biochemistry, you can use the route your drink takes as it is brewed at your favorite coffee shop to memorize the process of mitosis. You could place the prophase where you give your order, the metaphase where the coffee is made, the anaphase where the milk is vaporized, and the telophase where you pick up your cup on the counter. This technique has been used by professional memory experts for centuries and can help you easily remember information for tests.
Say it loud
While most memory techniques for studying are safe to use in the library, this one is not. Instead of reading the material silently, read it out loud, as speaking rather than reading has been shown to create a more distinctive memory. By reading your notes or answering questions in your textbook aloud, you can move information to long-term storage.
Make your own mnemonics
If “my very educated mother just served us nine cakes” sounds, it’s because many teachers use mnemonics to remind students of basics. Inventing your own mnemonics can not only improve the retrieval of accurate information, but it will also help you store that information in your long-term memory.
Tie each subject to a scent
If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you may have noticed that each casino has a different scent. This is because casino operators know that combining a scent with a place or an idea can elicit a powerful emotional response from visitors. By linking an experience to a meaning, you can remember more strongly what happened in that case. If you are willing to try something different, add a few scents to each study session.
Use cedar wood for botany or incense for astronomy, and each time you study, diffuse that specific scent. During the test, he uses that same scent on his clothes to help him remember the information you studied. As you try each of these memory techniques for studying, remember that the first time will not always be a success. It may take a few tries to really get familiar with these new methods. If you want to further improve your study habits, find out what time of day is best for successful study.
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