How to Memorize Using Mnemonics

Mnemonics are tricks to help you remember information. Mnemonics come in several varieties, allowing you to choose what works for you. Some mnemonics enjoy widespread use because they are easy and effective, but you can always make up your own.

Memorization is very important for a content test where you are tested on what you know instead of your ability to answer tricky questions (aptitude test).  Most certification exams, such as Nursing Certification, Securities Certification exams, or Fitness and Personal Trainer Certification exams are content test and cover a lot of material.


Types of Mnemonics

Visual - Visual mnemonics involve creating visual images that sound like the information that is to be remembered. The image should be in some way related to the information. For example, if you are trying to remember that an event took place in Chillicothe, Ohio, you could visualize a cup of coffee sitting in a freezer (chilly coffee). The cup could have a picture of the state of Ohio on it to help you in remembering that Chillicothe is in Ohio.

o This can be helpful in learning another language also. For example, rey is the Spanish word for king or monarch. You could visualize a crown with rays of light coming out from it. The Spanish verb caminar means to walk, so you could visualize an old El Camino model of car that is broken down, forcing you to walk.

Acronym - Acronyms use the first letter of each word to be remembered to create an easy-to-remember word. A well-known example of this is ROY G. BIV. The letters stand for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, which are the colors of the spectrum in order.

o A variation of the acronym mnemonic is to use the letters to create a simple sentence. In the case of the spectrum colors, students in Britain often use Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain – as their memory device.

o  A variation of the acronym mnemonic is to use the letters to create a simple sentence. In the case of the Kids Prefer Cheese Over Fried Green Spinach represents Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species (taxonomy classifications, often appear in biology).
o  The order of sharps in music can be remembered with Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battles. Reverse that to Battles End and Down Goes Charles’ Father to get the order for flats.

o RAVEN stands for Remember Affect Verb Effect Noun. This is used to remember the difference between affect and effect.


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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.

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Mnemonics. Regards

  2. Anonymous says:

    I like your blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I do not know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It looks like some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thanks

  4. mikayla says:

    i think u all are full of crap some people cant remember stuff easily

    • Brian says:

      Thanks for your comment. Remember that everyone is different and some people remember things easier than others. Also, don’t forget, there are many many different types of exams, and some require more memorization than others.

    • enid says:

      Mikayla, you do not have to agree, there is no need for rudeness.

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