Memorization happens when people get ideas or information to stick. This is why creating acronyms is incredibly useful and effective. This happens when people combine the letters of important terms to make a new work, one a person will remember. For example, if someone wanted to remember how to solve a math problem, they might use the word PEMDAS (i.e. each letter stands for a specific piece of the sequence of operations: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction). This helps a person when they approach a specific math problem. Acronyms can be used for everything from math and science to English and history.
The best way to memorize information is to link key concepts to things a person already knows or enjoys. A dancer might link important equations to dance concepts, and a painter might need to draw cartoons to remember each piece of the periodic table. This creates a keen relationship between new ideas and old ones. The more interested a person is in a topic, the more likely he or she is to remember such terms.
Acrostics are another creative way to remember and retain information. This means that the student needs to create a sentence where the first letter of each word links to a concept. Going back to the math example, one could create the following acrostic sentence to remember the order of operations: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Susie (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction).
Retype Your Notes
Retyping notes is another great way to refresh one's memory regarding important coursework. This could help a person not only rephrase and understand key concepts but could also be the chance to include charts and visual to help people better understand such ideas. Similarly, it helps to reread notes once a day right before bed. This ensures that a person is familiar with the key terms and prevents people from cramming right before the test.
Tell Someone Else
Another great memorization technique is to actually explain key or new concepts to another person. This ensures that such concepts are fully broken down for the person. Having to teach ideas means that a person really has to think about how to make concepts clear and relatable. Speaking about such things out loud strengthens one's understanding of the information. This is why it is important to have a study partner or to reach out to a family member or friend.
Break it Down
It is important that people really break down key information into easy to digest sections. For example, if a person needs to remember a long ID number, then it is important to divide this string into pairs or trios. Dividing key ideas into parts makes information easier to understand. This is why it helps to use bullets when taking notes and why it is important not to overload one's self with too much information. The chunks of information should be ordered in a meaningful way so that people can better remember them.
Rhyming key terms and ideas into little songs or poems can make it easier for a person to remember key ideas later on. This is a chance to rhyme together the four basic food groups or to associate key ideas with one another. The more fun the rhymes are, the more likely it is that a person will remember them later on. After all, this is a chance to call on key information when a person is stuck.
Images go a long way when it comes to memorization. For example, if a person needs to remember the name of the Stooges, a famous comedic trio, one could use an image of curly hair to remember Curley or could use a mustache to remember Moe's name. Again, the more specific the images are to one's interests or needs, the more likely it is that one will remember such things.
Using all of the sense during studying can really help people memorize key information. This is why people need to take the time to focus on and remember key colors, smells, and tastes experienced studying. A snack and reading materials out loud or drawing pictures can really make information stick in a meaningful way.
Format Your Notes
Using different colored and sized font when retyping notes can really go a long way to memorization. This can make information come alive and seem new again. Similarly, it can help to have a loved one read notes out loud and to even read another student's outlines or notes. This is a chance to try and process information in a new and unique manner. Different phrasings, visuals, and even font can help information sink in.
It is important that students start memorization as early on as possible. Waiting until the last minute will have poor effects. Instead, after every class, one should review one's notes, and a student should begin work on an outline or study guide weeks in advance. Doing a little bit every single day really does have an impact so that the brain has time to process information.
Mix It Up
Lastly, it is important that students try many different study and memorization techniques. This ensures that information is processed in a meaningful way and that key concepts are truly understood. Different people learn in different ways. This is why trying different approaches is effective. Identifying how one learns best will come with time and practice. In time, students will no doubt improve their grades and memories by adopting different study and memorization techniques.and highlighting or headings to organize the notes and ensure that you are able to create a focus for important points that are being displayed. This can help you to review important information come testing time and help you to determine which information is required. Creating your own system can be an effective way to ensure that you are able to sufficiently organize the notes.