Memorizing Tips:

  • Look at the big picture first, then learn specific details. Skim reading assignments for the general idea first, then read for details.
  • Associate new information with what you have already learned.
  • Learn actively. Stand up, walk around, make gestures, get the whole body involved in energetically learning the material you are studying.
  • Create pictures, either in your mind or on paper. Illustrate concepts and facts. By visualizing information, you store that information in the verbal and visual parts of the brain.
  • Mnemonic devices: Make up a silly saying using the first letter of each word to memorize items in a list. Example: My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas = Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto
  • If you don't need to memorize facts in order, take the first letter of each word, then rearrange them to make a word. Example: HOMES = Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior
  • Make up a rhyme to remember facts. Example: "Thirty days hath November, April, June, and September, February hath twenty-eight alone, and all the rest have thirty-one."
  • Use flash cards. These are helpful for large amounts of information (foreign vocabulary, mathematical formulas, scientific terms, etc.).
  • Recite information out loud. This also uses more than one sense and stores information in more than one place. Repeat the information in your own words. Be creative: make up a song about what you are learning, imitate someone else reading the information and put it in their style of speaking.
  • Write the information down. This is active, and it uses another part of the brain.
  • Choose information to NOT memorize. Decide what is the most important and learn those ideas, not extra information you don't need.
  • If you can't remember the actual information, remember something that it is related to it. Example: If you can't remember the specific fact, remember what example/illustration the professor used while lecturing. Or if you can't remember the formula for finding the circumference of a circle using the diameter, use the formula for finding the circumference using the radius.
  • Use the information you have memorized. Example: If the test is a week away, make a study guide and get together with a group of your classmates to go over the questions and answers.