Study Tips : 5 Easy Memory Techniques

It has been said that the core of one’s personality lie in one’s memory. The seat of our experiences is better known by what we recall, and aspects of the future is made clear by what we remember today. On a practical note, we could see that memorization is the foundation of any educational task. Though we could find ways to make lecture notes more interesting, or personalize our education with learning styles, if we can’t have the capacity to memorize content then all will be for nothing. To start your quest for better memory, here are 5 easy memory techniques that you could try out:

Memory Technique #1: Scheduled Memory

Piotr Wozniak, a Polish memory researcher, devised a way for one to retain any kind of information through the use of scheduled learning. Wozniak hypothesized that ‘forgetting information’ follows a pattern – the probability of retaining a particular piece of information becomes less likely through time. He also postulated that we could devise a way to repeat learning the information just before we begin to forget it; at this point, that particular piece of data would be remembered indefinitely. With this, we can remember any kind of information up to any degree.

Try to schedule your studying in such a way that you would study the same material in a couple of days, that is, just before you are forgetting it. Now this takes practice, so it makes sense to try out this memory technique to one subject first. As a worthwhile investment to study, this technique holds promise.

Memory Technique #2: Mnemonics

The use mnemonics – memory learning aids in the form of pictures, songs, or any kind of pattern that would help one remember – is one of the most often-used memory technique today. For example, memorizing the correct spelling of “rhythm” can be accomplished in by remembering the rule “h before y”, or by making an acronym out of it (Red-hot, Yellow Tapping, Two-Headed Monster) and visualizing that image, or by imagining the letter “h” winning a race.

The actual mnemonic depends on the preferences of the person and the nature of the situation; the point of the exercise is for the person to imagine enough references that he could remember the images that lead to the actual piece of information that is to be recalled.

Memory Technique #3: Rote Spiral

Rote memorization has had a bad rap these days – who wants to memorize a whole textbook, word-per-word? But certainly, there are applications to verbatim memorization: memorizing scripts, speeches, and yes, textbooks. There will always be instance wherein you would be required to memorize something ‘as it is’, and one way to do so is to use a rote spiral. A rote spiral is done by first by listing all the sentences that you need one by one, and then going through the material in a particular manner. Read the first sentence on the list, memorize it, and go to the second sentence. Then read the first, and second sentences, memorize both sentences in sequence, then go to the third sequence. Repeat the same procedure for the third sentences, doing the same thing for all the sentences you’ve listed and always repeating the sentences at the start of the list. With this kind of rote memorization, it is certain that you’ll remember any material verbatim.

Memory Technique #4: Loci Method

An ancient memorization technique developed by ancient Greeks and Romans, it’s a method that capitalizes on visualization and imagery to help in remembering content.

First choose a familiar path that you could use for your visualization, let’s say the route you use to go to school. Try to identify the landmarks that you see, and the particular bends and peculiarities of this route. After you’ve finalized all your mental landmarks, you’re now ready to use it for study memory. Imagine starting on this route, and then attaching each piece of content to the landmarks that you’ve appointed. For example, if you’re learning the periodic table, then you could imagine a ‘glass of hyrdogen’ at your doorstep, then a balloon full of helium near your gate, and so on. Again, it’s just using imagery to cement and commit material to memory.

Memory Technique #5: Creative Memory

It’s easy to remember a nursery rhyme, and we won’t forget a how to cook a favorite dish. We learn much of what we practice and we memorize what we tend to think about. This is the practice of creative memory, or the method of creating songs, comics, games, images, or any kind of creative content to help in memorizing something. Although it takes some time to come up with a final creation, it’s not really the product but the process that counts.

When you’re in a slump, try to make up a song or draw a cartoon of the particular material you are studying. If you’re particularly being creative about it, maybe you could construct a diorama, or a lego artwork of what you’re trying to memorize. More than anything else, it’s a fun and interesting way to do homework.

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