We’ve all had to at one point or another memorize countless pages of school related material. Be it public speaking or a history test, there are always times in our academic career where we encounter a topic or subject that needs memorizing (along with understanding of course). Below is a list I’ve compiled of the best ways that I feel memorization can be achieved.
1) Reading Out Loud
Let’s face it, most of us just simply remember things better when we speak out loud. So repeating the same thing over and over again (as mundane as it can be) is a great way to ensure something is memorized. It may even help to memorize word for word. An alternative or a twist on this method is to try it on a friend or family member. Instead of speaking to yourself, having someone there to speak to can help that material register much better as opposed to reading it out to the wind.
2) Write, Write, Write
More than anything writing will help by giving you a visual aid. If we write something often enough, not only is the act engraved in our minds but the mere image of seeing those combination of words over and over again becomes embedded in our brains. This is by far the one I recommend the most. Writing notes in class and then recopying them multiple times outside of class almost always results in success.
3) Cue Cards
This isn’t something I picked up until early high school but it remains to this day one of the most effective methods out there. For example, if you have to write a speech, you can usually break it up into sections (for argument’s sake, let’s say we have an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion). Instead of keeping the whole speech in front of you, one section can suffice from writing keywords of each section on a separate cue card. That way, instead of memorizing the information word for word, you just need to read the key words, as they will trigger your brain into remembering all of the related information.
Think of your favorite song. Do you know the lyrics of it? Chances are you know most, if not all of the words in the song. Why is this the case? It’s as simple as repetition and listening. Just as easily as you pick up the words to your favorite song by playing it over and over again, we can pick up the material we need to grasp by hearing it over and over again. This can be done by recording yourself reading the material and then replaying it or by having someone else read it out to you.
5) Sleep and Rest
Finally, no matter how much you want to memorize something, unless you and your brain are properly rested, you’ll be hard pressed to do so. So the final way to memorize is to ensure that before practicing any techniques you’ve had the proper amount of sleep.
Now it goes without saying that these are five of the countless methods that exist. Hopefully this list has given you a few key tricks to help stimulate your mind to come up with even better ideas to memorize!
For more information on memorization check out The Best Study Techniques For Memory Retention.