A Guide to Memorizing Anything Easily and Painlessly


If you’re going to master the art of studying, you’re going to have to master one of life’s basic skills: memorization. Most Content Exams such as Nursing Certification or Teacher Certification, require memorization.  Relax. It’s not as hard as you’ve always thought. There are actually four principles that are fairly basic; if you master them, memorization will be a cinch for you.  More on Studying for a Content Exam.

- First and probably most important to memorization is the principle of repetition. You remember what’s important to you, and when you repeat something over and over, it causes your brain to perceive the material you’re studying as important. If you keep reviewing it consistently and constantly, you’ll start recognizing the facts that you need to remember. Put simply, repetition just assails your brain with facts, words, speeches, etc., so much that it can’t help but to remember them.

- Writing things down is another great aid to memorization. In fact, that’s one of the best reasons to take notes when you’re in class. Any time you write down information, you’ll automatically remember it a lot more than if you just read it. That’s because now, you’re getting your body involved in the learning process. The wording becomes etched, not just on your paper, but on your mind also. When you combine writing with repetition, your brain picks up the fact that this is important material you’re dealing with and it keeps it in that section it allocates for easy recall. And by the way, typing does not count here. That’s because typing does not connect your brain and your hands in the same way as handwriting. When you hand write information, your brain has to do more thinking about what you’re writing than it does when you’re typing.

- A third suggestion for improving your memorization is to say the material out loud. When you talk out the information that you’re studying, your ears are able to hear the sound of the material. This involves your brain in yet another way, increasing the likelihood that you’ll remember the facts when you need them.

- In your brain, think of some bizarre connection between the material you’re trying to memorize and something familiar to you. By creating a strange association, your brain will see this out of the ordinary and the brain remembers things that are out of the ordinary more than it does the commonplace. So the more bizarre you make this combination, the better your chance of recalling the information.

Keep in mind that one of these suggestions in and of itself is not the ultimate key to memorization. Instead, try to incorporate two or three or all of them. The more you use these strategies the more likely your brain is to agree with you that the material you’re studying is worth remembering.  See our post on Using Mnemonics

Techniques for memorization based on your learning style.

About the Author

Brian has a BA in Economics, and an MA in Psychology. He lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has traveled widely and has written extensively on education, testing and tests.

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  1. Susan says:

    Memorizing the material you need in order to study can be hard if you make it hard. I have read a lot about tips that help and I totally agree that your tips help out the most when it comes to memorizing the material. I learned that repetition is the best cause if you keep going over it over and over again that it works like muscle memory and you will retain the knowledge. I take notes on just about every thing the professor covers and when I get to my room I usually set down and recopy my notes three to four more times and it puts that knowledge in my brain and allows me to retain the information I need. When reading my notes I often read aloud and ask myself questions to help me memorize the notes. I do that over and over several times. When I study I try to approach the subject from different angles to help my brain comprehend the material in a way like never before so it recognizes it as important material. Remember it is important to use more than one of these suggestions instead of just one because they work hand in hand at helping you memorize the material.

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