This post is all about my game-changing tips on how to master memorization effectively and quickly retain lots of information at once.
Memorization can be a tough one. It’s not easy to hack it in time for your exam, especially when there are pages and pages of information to remember.
Yeah, that’s not fun.
The fun part to note-taking is writing all the notes out from the textbook, and making them pretty and aesthetic.
The not-so-fun part is transferring the information from the paper to your brain.
However, memorization is a skill we all need to use if we want to achieve a good grade in our exams.
I used to suck at memorization. Honestly, information used to leave my brain as soon as I read it from the paper.
However, I found a few of these amazing hacks that I’m going to share with you today. Let me tell you, they are real game-changers. It almost feels like cheating!
These are the tips you need to boost the grades you receive and memorize chunks of information like a memorization pro.
Keep reading the post!
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1. Memorize in chunks
My first tip is to memorize the information in small chunks. If you have a whole topic chapter to revise before your exam, it can often seem super overwhelming, and you won’t know where to start.
However, if you turn that one, big chunk into smaller chunks of information, it makes memorization seem a bit more manageable.
If you try stuffing all the information into your head at once, you’re going to find it hard to remember it all. It’s best to focus on small sections, one section at a time. That way the memorization process becomes much easier.
Think of yourself as a young child, learning how to read. Reading was once an unnatural, and quite difficult, skill to us.
However, to learn how to read, you start by distinguishing each letter, then each syllable, then each word, and then you can form sentences and phrases.
This complex skill has been split up into controllable chunks, and now you’re able to naturally and effortlessly read large passages of text, like this blog post.
Chunking is super important when it comes to memorization. Once you have those small pieces of information covered, your brain can then make connections and form larger blocks of information, thus helping you memorize.
Another tip is to take regular breaks in between these chunks, so that you can give yourself enough time to process what you’ve just memorized and fully understand the content.
2. Read aloud
Do you ever find yourself accidently skipping over words when reading silently? Yeah? Because I do, all the time.
You can’t really control it, but skipping over words isn’t necessarily helpful when it comes to memorization, especially if there’s lots of important information.
If you read the material in your head, you’re more likely to skim over some words and miss out certain phrases. Subconsciously of course, but again, this isn’t really what you want.
A good solution to this is read to yourself out loud. It’s been proven that reading aloud will help you remember the content much better than reading silently.
This is because you’re making a conscious effort to hit every word and make sense of the material.
Therefore, next time you’re reading from your notes, add some volume.
Better yet, try this memorization strategy:
- Read from your notes in your head.
- Close your eyes and recite what you just read in your head.
- Read from your notes out loud.
- Close your eyes and recite what you just read out loud.
I can tell you for free, as someone who used to absolutely sucks at memorization, that this strategy works.
This way, you can practise both recognising and understanding the content, and recalling it from memory, which is super effective.
3. Relate the information to something else
If something just isn’t sticking in your brain (so relatable), then you can try relating the information to something else.
If your brain makes connections with the information and something else more memorable, you’re more likely to remember it.
For example, I used to be terrible at recalling the flame tests for metal ions. One of the metals that I had to learn was copper: copper rhymes with grasshopper and grasshoppers are green insects that hop in green grass. The theme is green, you get the point. Therefore, copper produces a green flame.
You could relate the information to something that rhymes, like what I did, or you could connect the information to something personal. If you relate the content to yourself, you’re probably going to retain it better because it’s connected to something you know well.
You see? Connected the most forgettable parts of the information to something more vivid and relatable makes the memorization process 10x easier!
4. Use a rhyming mnemonic device
Isn’t it funny how we can recite hundreds of lyrics to our favourite songs, but we struggle to remember the order of elements in the periodic table?
The answer is simple – rhyme! When things have a melody and a few rhyming words, we remember it without even trying.
Memorization can be super hard sometimes, especially when there’s a lot to remember. Therefore, using memorization devices, such as rhyming mnemonics, is a great way to make information stick.
A mnemonic is a memory device that helps information retention by using rhymes, songs, word patterns or acronyms. They are particularly useful for memorizing huge chunks of uninteresting information, and turning it into something more exciting.
Plus, mnemonics add a fun element to memorizing your notes. Here’s an example:
Divorced, Beheaded, Died. Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.
This is a rhyming mnemonic that helps you remember the ill fates of Henry VII’s many wives. Adding a rhyme makes things A TON easier to remember!
However, mnemonics don’t always have to rhyme. Here’s another example:
My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos
(Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune)
This mnemonic is for remembering the order of planets in our solar system.
Mnemonics don’t always have to rhyme for them to be effective. They can literally be anything random, like above, as long as it has a catchy ring to it, and it’s associated with something you’re more likely to remember.
So, if you need to remember key terms, dates or names, mnemonics are there to make them easily memorable.
For more examples of rhyming mnemonic devices, click here.
5. Use acronyms
Similarly to mnemonics, acronyms can be used to help you memorize a chunk of information.
Acronyms are abbreviations formed from the initial letters of words, and together, they’re pronounced as one word.
This is super effective for remembering a lot of information at once, and then combining them all together into one simple word.
One of my favourite acronyms, that has been super useful, is SOHCAHTOA. This is an acronym in maths that helps you remember the sine, cosine and tangent angles of a triangle.
Acronyms have a nice ring to them too, so they’re really memorable and make memorization so much easier.Acronym: Alphabetically Coded Reminder Of Names You Misremember Click To Tweet
6. Teach it to someone
Teaching someone what you’ve memorized is a super effective way to test your knowledge and reinforce what you’re knowledge.
As people ask questions, you can then apply your knowledge to answer those questions and explain it to them.
Once you can explain your notes simply, and in a way that other people can comprehend, this shows that you’re able to recall that information effectively AND you understand the content well.
If there’s any part of the information that you struggle to explain, read over your notes and try to memorize it again. Once you’ve read it, explain it once more. Keep doing this until you can fully explain that part.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
This step will make sure you’ve retained all the information to a level where you understand it fully and you can use it.
7. Test yourself
Another way to test you can effectively recall the information is testing yourself on what you’ve memorized.
Practising your recollection of information now strengthens your recollection of that same information in the future, so self-testing is a super effective strategy to lock in what you’ve memorized.
Every time you can successfully recall the information you’ve just learnt, you’re more likely going to remember it in the exam.
You can test yourself in various different ways. Here are a few ways I like to test myself:
- Practice questions from the textbook
- Practice tests
- Past papers
- Quizzing yourself with flashcards
- Review quizzes online
Self-testing methods are super effective because your brain is making the conscious effort to retrieve the information and apply it to the questions.
Once you’ve tested yourself, go over the parts you got wrong and focus on those areas. Make improvements in another coloured pen, and read your textbook chapter on the sections you got wrong only.
Then go through the above steps to memorize the information, and then practise applying what you’ve retained again and again until you’ve got it right. After doing this, you’ll have memorized the information so well, it will literally be imprinted in your brain.
This step is probably the most important one, because it checks you’ve really memorized the content, and you can apply it practically.
8. Review your notes regularly
Reviewing your notes regularly is an effective form of revision that will ensure that you’ve memorized all of your notes over a long period of time.
Now that you’ve successfully memorized all of that information, it would be a shame to forget it again after a week. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, it’s super important you review your notes frequently.
If you review your notes regularly, every day if possible, you’ll continuously be reminding yourself of the content and cement your memory of it. This way, it would be near-impossible to forget anything!
However, if you don’t review your notes habitually, you’re probably going to quickly forget all the content you just learnt, which is not ideal.
This review session can literally be anything from 10 to 45 minutes – it doesn’t have to be anything intense to keep the information fresh in your mind.
Turn reviewing your notes into one of your study habits, and memorization becomes A TON easier.
Conclusion on 8 Memorization Hacks
Don’t these hacks make memorization look super easy? It honestly feels like cheating!
Try to practise all the tips with each other, instead of just one alone, to get the best results. There’s no right way to master memorization, so by trying out a few together, you’re more likely to find the hacks that work best for you.
An important thing to remember is that above all, memorization is not the end result for that test or that exam. Learning and understanding the content is. You’ve got to understand the content well, before any of these hacks become effective.
If you study to remember, you’ll forget. If you study to understand, you’ll remember.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy some of these posts too!:
- “Study Smarter, Not Harder”: 13 Tips On How To Study Effectively
- The Ultimate Guide To Taking Notes From A Textbook THE RIGHT WAY
- 5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Study Habits
What do you think about these memorization hacks? Have you tried any out, and if so, do they work for you? Let me know in the comments below!