It is widely believed that a good memory is a useful tool, but many people take it for granted. It’s only when people can’t remember a test response or remember where they stuck their pencil that they are reminded of how frustrating it is to forget something. Whether it’s remembering a license plate, phone number, or study material for tests and quizzes, memorization – both short and long term – can prove to be be an extremely important life skill. After all, by giving us the ability to reference past events, memory helps us influence our actions and behaviors in the present.
There are several benefits to improving your memorization skills. Memorization is closely linked to measurement intelligence – because what is intelligence if not your ability to process, recover and apply information? Not having to constantly search for information can increase your productivity, and being able to recall study grades during a test can improve your grade. Here are some memorization techniques you can use to improve your recall.
Gather is a popular memorization technique that involves grouping items together to make them easier to remember. Grouping items together by category or by similar characteristics such as color or size can turn seemingly irrelevant pieces of information into meaningful sets, making them more memorable; phone numbers, for example, are often memorized that way. Grouping grocery lists by category, like dairy, fruit, or pantry items, can help you more easily remember what you need and even save you time in the store because you don’t have to jump from aisle to aisle when thinking about items.
Whether it’s vocabulary terms or things on your to-do list, try to find associations between the items in the sets you need to memorize. Can you group something in the same category? Are the elements linked to each other in a practical way? Organizing information effectively into meaningful chunks can take some time, but with practice it can become effortless.
You’ve probably heard of using acronyms as a memorization tool at some point in your schooling. Acronyms use the first letter of each memorized word or phrase, then group them together to create another word. Acronyms are similar to splitting in that they require you to compile information together. Remember the acronym you learned for Order of Operations? Even if you don’t take algebra now, you probably still remember what PEMDAS means.
Acronyms are great because you will only have to remember one word that will help you retrieve an entire list. However, it is essential to take the time to remember what each letter symbolizes. Otherwise, you will have memorized an absurd word without any of the important information it represents. While trying to find an acronym that makes sense can be tricky, it’s worth the effort, as it retrieves information much faster than trying to recall an entire list.
Tell stories or bond
A little difficult but effective way to memorize long lists of items is to turn them into a story by linking them together. It is much easier to memorize a story – especially interesting or exaggerated – than memorizing a list of seemingly unrelated things. As long as you remember the first item, you should be able to remember all the others as you go through the story. A technique similar to this which also uses binding and association to store information is called the place method.
The way to use the loci method is to think of a familiar place, such as your living room or bedroom, and visualize objects or locations in space, and then associate each item to remember with it. Whenever you need this information, you can just mentally “go” into space and retrieve it. Some people even use their whole house to store information. This can be useful if you’re trying to retrieve information without notes or even trying to recall homework without pulling out your planner. It can be difficult to implement, but once you get the hang of it it actually becomes pretty hard to forget.
To repeat something over and over is not necessarily effective, corn spaced repetition is a powerful tool for encoding and storing information, even if it takes time. When we space out our study sessions, it allows new neural connections to solidify during off-peak hours. Studying, pausing to do other things, and then returning to the original task gives the brain time to store information between sessions more successfully than if it were crammed into a single session.
When lessons are revisited at increasing intervals, information is more likely to be embedded in long-term memory; this memorization practice can be adjusted by dedicating easier information at wider intervals and more difficult material at shorter intervals. This method takes time, but with a little intention to space out the lessons, information can be effectively cemented in the long run.
It’s no secret that Technology greatly affected our ability to memorize effectively. Relying on our phones and the internet throughout the day, then suddenly being immersed in a “phone-less” classroom testing environment can seem intimidating in today’s world. But our ability to memorize is not immutable. Anyone can improve their memorization skills with practice and time.
There is no shame in using to-do lists, agendas, notes, and voice memos to unload your brain and create space for you to complete relevant tasks in the present, but memorization tips, such as those above, can help you memorize information more easily. and faster without any source other than your brain. With practice, memorization can become second nature – don’t forget to use thethese techniques.