Memorization is a skill. The more you practice and use it, the better it gets over time. If you don’t actively utilize it, your brain will find it difficult to pick up new skills or study. And when you’re faced with a mountain-load of information, it can be challenging to understand and retain what’s important. So, if you’re struggling to remember your lessons, here are five memorization techniques to help improve studying.
5 Memorization Techniques for Improving Your Studying
1. The Memory Palace
This technique, also called Method of Loci, is useful for memorizing long lists of numbers or words. The trick is to visualize a familiar place and associate objects with it.
For example, if you’re memorizing a list of medical symptoms, you can use the rooms in your house to categorize the terms. By creating meaningful imagery, you train your brain to easily remember the “interesting” and “relevant” details.
The human brain likes patterns and repeating elements. To remember facts or large amounts of information, or to organize new details, mnemonics like acronyms, music, phrases, and rhymes can be used.
The classic “Thirty days has September, April, June, and November” to remember months or “My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets” to memorize planets are great examples of mnemonics. You can design your own mnemonics depending on your lessons and what is effective for you.
Chunking is about grouping information together to create smaller chunks, making them easier to recall. This is commonly used to memorize numbers or items in a category. To make this work, group together information based on its context, meaning, or pattern.
For example, if you have to memorize key ideas for 15 chapters of reading material, break it down into key concepts per chapter. Then, cluster together the key ideas for each concept around a common category or heading.
4. Bring Things to Life
Human brains love stories. That’s why it helps to treat your study materials as stories with engaging plotlines and vivid characters.
Create different images of the items you need to memorize. Put them together in a sequence of narratives, so your brain can follow the story. You can narrate or act out the story, depending on what works for you. Again, it is more important to have story elements that interest you, than to have a well-crafted story.
Also, consider reciting the lessons out loud in your own words until you no longer need your notes. You can even teach someone or discuss with a friend to better retain and preserve the information in your brain.
5. Other Memory Devices
Writing notes by hand, instead of using a laptop, helps you filter out the essential details. Instead of just listening, your brain is actively absorbing the information coming in, making you better memorize your lessons.
Mind mapping, where you break down and connect a central idea to sub-topics, helps you better understand new data, or organize information in a coherent way.
Studying a substantial amount of information can be challenging, even more so if you need to memorize a lot of it. With these five memorization techniques, you’re well on your way to improving your study skills.
However, keep in mind that these will only work if you also actively listen and pay attention while in class. Also, you need to eliminate or at least minimize distractions during your study sessions, especially if it’s happening remotely.
If you need guidance with your medical journey, C.H.H.A is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.Back to All Articles