The most daunting aspect of education is memorization. For some people it may come fairly easy. For others it is the bane of existence. However, it doesn’t have to be. While it may always be time consuming and a little frustrating, there are many techniques you can try to make it easier. This week we want to discuss some options that may be helpful to you in your academic trials. Hopefully you find at least one of the suggestions beneficial.
Spaced Out Repetition
Create a schedule for review. The common intervals suggested begin after 10 minutes, then one day, one week, one month, and 6 months if necessary. Conducting regular review from the beginning will make memorization much easier. That being said, this method requires some organization so keep that in mind.
The Mind Palace
There are sites online that can train you in this more effectively if you find it daunting, but when done right it can be extremely beneficial. This method is about associating objects or pictures with certain pieces of information. Often people will choose a place, such as their home or another location that has meaning to them. Should you choose this method, keep in mind that it’s to be used solely for information that needs to be recalled, rather than things that need to be processed. Regular practice 30 minutes daily will produce the best results for this method.
Recite Out Loud in Own Words
Saying things out loud clarifies the information in your mind. By putting it in your own words you are processing it more deeply, causing it to enter your long-term memory more efficiently. It also helps to ensure that you’re understanding what you’re learning, rather than just memorizing words.
This is one of the most commonly suggested methods, but it really does work. Mnemonics can include little rhymes or songs, sentences where each word starts with the same letter as what you’re memorizing, or acronyms. This is most effective when working with lists of information as opposed to concepts.
Create a Story
Our minds are story lovers. If you can, find a way to sequence your information in a way that creates a story. Or, try to create a story with aspects that you can associate with what you’re learning in order to remember it. Not only is this effective, it can also make studying a lot more entertaining. If you can, see if you can get a study group to organize the story together. Just be careful not to get too distracted.
This involves separating the information into groups. Usually you want to try to create groups where the different parts are associated in some way, whether that be color, pattern, or some other commonality. This can be extremely helpful as it makes the information feel smaller and easier to work with.
Another Tip in Comprehension
Another thing that can help when approaching new information is to ask questions. Some people are naturally good questioners, but for some it can be a bit difficult to think something up. When learning, take time to write at least 3 questions about the material. This will improve your comprehension, and help you in the process of memorization, as it can provide an opportunity for review.