Sooner or later, every student experiences moments of forgetfulness. You might discover that a crucial math formula has vanished from your memory during an algebra test, or the pressure of a class spelling bee could make you forget how to spell “vegetable.” These experiences can be embarrassing and stressful, but occasional memory lapses are a normal part of being human. However, you can improve your ability to retain information by using the best memorization techniques for students.
Memorization strategies help you study for tests more efficiently and improve academic performance. They also make it easier to remember other types of information, like emergency phone numbers and your grandma’s birthday.
We’ve compiled a list of the best memorization techniques for studying to help you ace your next exam.
What Is a Memorization Technique?
A memorization technique is a tool that allows you to imprint information in your mind so you can retrieve it in the future.
The human brain creates two types of memory: short-term and long-term. Short-term memories screen information and store it in the mind for a few seconds. By contrast, long-term memories archive information for extended periods.
The average person can store approximately 1 million gigabytes of memory in their brain. Memorization strategies enhance learning by allowing you to transfer information from short-term to long-term memory intentionally.
8 Best Memorization Techniques
If you need to know how to memorize something fast, these memory tricks will help you retain and recall information. Everyone learns differently, so it’s a good idea to experiment with memorization methods until you find the most effective strategies for you.
1. Memory Palace Technique
The memory palace technique is also known as the method of loci. This strategy uses the power of spatial memory and visualization to help you recall information, so it’s often helpful for visual learners. Memory champions cite this method as one of the best study techniques for memorization.
Creating your mind palace requires a few steps. Start by picturing a familiar location with several rooms, such as your house or school. Next, associate every idea you want to recall with a specific item and mentally place each item in a different room. Imagine walking through the rooms in a particular order and gazing at each item.
For example, if you’re trying to remember items on a grocery list, you might associate milk with a cow statue and apples with a tree painting. When you’re ready to recall the information, you’ll mentally retrace your path through the mind palace and imagine looking at each item to jog your memory.
2. Spaced Repetition
Spaced repetition is a memorization method that involves studying and reviewing information in multiple sessions over an extended period. Start each session by revisiting the previous content to refresh your memory.
This technique gives your mind plenty of time to process information and practice recalling material. As a result, spaced repetition is more effective than trying to memorize a lot of information during a marathon cramming session.
3. Mind Maps and Other Visual Memorization Techniques
Visual memorization methods use vivid imagery to help you recall information. For instance, you can create a mind map by drawing a diagram that links related concepts, topics, and words. This map could include different colors, symbols, and numbers to distinguish between ideas. Later, you can jog your memory during an exam by picturing the diagram.
4. Mnemonic Devices
Mnemonic devices use various memory techniques to help the brain form new neural connections and enhance memory. Common mnemonic devices include:
- Associating new ideas with previous knowledge
- Creating a rhyme or song
- Developing an acronym related to the information you need to learn
5. Chunk Information into Smaller Pieces
In the 19th century, the German scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered that his memory degraded over time when he tried to absorb large amounts of information simultaneously. He described this phenomenon as the “forgetting curve.”
You can reduce the forgetting curve by chunking, or microlearning. This memory technique involves dividing content into smaller pieces and studying one portion at a time. For instance, if you want to learn a new language, you could devote a few minutes a day to learning new vocabulary from different categories and watching videos in the language. Each short study session reinforces your memory and helps you retain information over the long term.
6. Verbal Memorization Techniques
Verbal memorization methods use speech to encode information in your memory. For example, you can create a story about the material you’re studying and tell it to a friend or family member. You may also think of a silly rhyme or song and practice reciting it out loud.
This technique strengthens your memory even if you don’t have an audience, so don’t be afraid to talk to yourself.
7. Multisensory Learning
Multisensory learning engages two or more senses to help students memorize knowledge. For instance, you could pair each written concept you need to learn with a specific sound or picture. Later, you can draw on multiple senses to remember information.
8. Mental Images for Visual Learners
Visual learners often create vivid mental pictures to memorize information. As you study a concept, spend a few minutes imagining a relevant scenario. For instance, if you’re learning about gravity, you might envision a water balloon falling from a building and landing on your best friend. More creative and humorous mental images are typically easier to recall later.
How To Choose the Right Memorization Method as a Student
Incorporating improving memory techniques into your study routine will help you learn more efficiently and quickly. These methods also make studying more engaging and fun.
In addition, you can sharpen your memorization skills by getting enough sleep and taking frequent breaks throughout your study sessions. Simple exercises like practicing mindfulness and playing puzzles also boost short- and long-term memory.
Online tutoring is one of the best ways to discover new tips for memorization and learn to master content faster. Alexander Math and Physics Tutoring’s convenient virtual tutoring sessions will help you conquer homework and tests and learn lifelong study skills. Contact us today to schedule your first session.