How to Memorize Something Efficiently?

Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 04:13 am
I have a lot of subjects in my school, like Physics, History, Chemistry, Biology, etc. How can I memorize all this stuff into my head without feeling stressful?
View best answer, chosen by arricalee
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 08:08 am
The best way is to pick something you know without thinking---seeing as you like music try this
A scale A---Mercury B----Venus C sharp----Earth D----mars etc. to learn planets in order.
This is how memory masters work. In fact you remember most of what you see: recall is the difficult part. That is why you have to organise it first.

Reading lists with stuff highlighted is a good idea. either underlined or in red works best.

Another way is to split the information into small sections: learn one. then says it out loud.record it. then play it back. move on to the next.

If you can explain something to someone else,then you have learnt it. that is by far the best way.

  Selected Answer
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 09:22 am
College is stressful. There’s really no total elimination of that.

I can tell you how I handle things. Of course, for me, it helps that I haven’t really been out of the loop since I graduated high school. Meaning; I have kept my degree ongoing. I’m now in a graduate program. So my study habits have been kept fairly fresh.

Stress can be lowered by keeping yourself well informed in all of your subjects. Don’t save cramming till exam time. Listen (very intently) to all lectures. Take notes…take notes…and take more notes! On your homework assignments that require x-amount of chapters to be read….make sure you take good notes, also. Participate often in class. This keeps you mentally into it. Just sitting there listening can be boring and almost put you to sleep. If you find yourself with a little bit of free time ….. go back and revisit all those notes you’ve been taking. Helps to keep them fresh, so that when a test or exam is facing you, your stress level isn’t near as great. It’s funny how the mind is almost like a huge library of information. If you keep that information “dusted off”, you’ll be surprised how easily the answer to a question will just pop out of there when needed.

Exercise is a great stress reliever. Do it often. It really doesn’t take that much time, once you are in the habit. Your campus will likely allow you to use their facilities. Especially during exam weeks. This is HUGE for mental alertness, not to mention, energy.

Try to get enough sleep. Hard to do a lot of times. That’s probably my worst bad habit. It really is important, though.

Eat properly. That goes without saying. Food, sleep, exercise, and good study habits will keep your stress level at a minimum.

One more thing. I have always tried to memorize, by association. If you don’t do this, try it. You’ll be amazed at how much you can retain that way. Plus, it’s actually kinda fun! Association can be about anything you want. It doesn't even need to make sense to anyone but you. It's your creation. Your skit. You might even get to the point that you can't wait for the next chapter to be read and entered. Really!

Arricalee, tell yourself that you are THE BEST. If you don’t believe that, you will, after drilling it into your mind often enough. Once you believe it, you’ll have more drive than most students. (This makes retention, easier). Keep the end result of your degree, center front. In other words, do not lose sight of the fact that all of your dedication, and hard work, will give you the edge and so much more bargaining power when you seek out that job in the end. All of that equals motivation. Motivation can equate to less stress. It just makes learning easier. Not to mention, more fun.

You ARE the best! Believe it!

Good luck!

Robert Gentel
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 01:25 pm
Do many small sessions instead of one big one. For example, if you need to learn a list by rote, spending a minute on the list 20 times a day (total of 20 minutes) is far better than spending an hour straight on the list.

Another important factor is to use all your senses. For example, humans tend to remember what they see much more than what they hear. So using an audio-only solution is not as good as reading. But what's best is to use all. Read it, say it out loud and write it.

I used to learn hundreds of words a day (when I was learning Portuguese) this way:

1) I'd write down lists of words I wanted to memorize and I'd carry it with me and post them around the house (e.g. on my bathroom mirror).

2) Every time I had a free second or two I'd get out the list and go over a few items. As I learned the items I'd remove them from the list and add more.

So when I was brushing my teeth I was memorizing, when I was in an elevator or on a bus I was memorizing, and I learned a lot without setting aside any special time to study by taking advantage of many small bits of free time throughout my day.
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 01:34 pm
Exercising and building up your memory capacity is most helpful.
I used to do tons of memory games (look at 10 objects for 10 seconds and
then write them down, and so on...) and I used to memorize poems a lot.
Every week, I memorized another poem and I could tell that I learned them
faster after a while. Jogging ones memory is really the key for retaining
as much information as possible in a relative short time frame.

I also attended a speed reading class once - that was quite helpful too.
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 01:51 pm
Even though I now teach and I approve of all of the above suggestions, what works best for me is to spend a lot of time thinking about the actual subjects and building logical frameworks around them that allow me to relate to them.

For example, with respect to the Cartesian Coordinate System, I learned about Descartes, and then I applied the basics of Right Angled Triangles (Trig & Pythagoras) then I conceptualized Vectors and Phasers, that way everything interconnects and no one thing is floating out on its own, discontinuous and disconnected and out in the cold!

So keep collating the data, and keep finding to ways to interconnect the dots so that they are no longer discontinuous data-points but become an interconnected jelly-like whole!

Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 04:17 am
Thanks, that's a really great idea. I have never thought of using music to memorize stuffs. Thanks a lot. Yeah, I have tried using highlighter and costs me a few bucks for it, but never mind. Thanks for the tips!
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Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 04:24 am
Wow, that's really nice. Although I can't find time for exercise now-with school reopening and tuitions all the time, I might be able to convince my mum to bring me to the park sometimes. Sleep is well, kinda hard with assignments but thanks anyway, all your advice are superb!
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Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 04:28 am
@Robert Gentel,
I hope my mum doesn't mind me messing up the house then. LOL! But, I will stick the important one in my room first, if my mum didn't grumble and nag, I will start with the toilet. =]
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Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 04:30 am
Speed reading class helps? Really? I have never know that it helps in memorizing, I will beg my mum to send me to one of the courses then! Thanks!
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Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 04:31 am
Is that tips on how to memorize math? Wow, complicating but I will print it out for reference. Thanks.
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 05:18 am
don't print it out if it's complicating...that'll just make it worse.

you're being a bad girl arricalee (but funny)- go practice nothing but scales and arpeggios (none of the fun stuff) for thirty minutes...

Hey, I talked to my friend last night - the one with the amazing memory...he can quote HUGE chunks of text from literature - he's memorized Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the original olde English for goodness sakes and can recite it from any point you ask him to start from (doesn't have to find his bearings from starting at the beginning like most people would).
Anyway - he said that he doesn't know how he does it - never had to practice or try. He thinks he's just some sort of freak (he said his parents gave him that sort of impressed but worried message about his ability when he recited all the license plate numbers off all the cars in the pub car park after he'd walked through it with them and sat down at the table for Sunday roast- he was about four).
He said, they looked at him and at each other like, 'What have we spawned here...?!'
Anyway - I'm jealous of his ability. He's a musician like you too (violin though) much better than I am - professional- but he says he thinks it's his musician's ear as far as the words go - he can play anything by ear (I can only play reading music).
Can you play by ear?
But he didn't have any helpful hints at all. Sorry
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 11:55 pm
Wow! That's so cool! I wish I can be like your friend too, don't even need to try to memorize something. I don't have that ability. If I have it, it will be my best gift ever. But, why do you say I am a bad girl? LOL.
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 04:24 am
I don't know why I said that - had something to do with all the LOL's I think.
I always just have this sort of instinctively negative initial reaction to them - but I shouldn't have taken that out on you - sorry. That's not right of me is it - I mean- if I want to put a laughing guy I put it - you should be able to say LOL all you want.

Yeah- that'd be some gift wouldn't it? Effortless memorization - no more hours and hours of after school tuition (studying).
It's a gift to me just to be able to listen and watch someone else who's able to do that.

Back to school today, huh? Try not to stress too much and good luck with your semester.

(by the way - I like your name. That's the first thing that caught my eye about your post. very unusual - arricalee- sort of melodic- and fun to say)
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 12:28 am
LOL! LOL! Ok, I see. Yes, effortless memorization is simply great! School started yesterday. Yeah, thanks for your kind wishes. I will make sure I do well so as not to disappoint you. =].
My name is actually Arrica Lee...lol! Arrica is the name I go by but for my username, I just use arricalee. Is it really melodic? arricalee or Arrica Lee?
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 01:48 am
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy you put three lol's in that one so I'm putting three laughing guys - (that's not the only reason though).
I really do think you're funny- I was reading your response to the thing about someone's sister getting married to some lameass and you said he should eat some sugar or something...you're a funny girl.

Don't worry about disappointing me - do whatever you do for yourself - (although I always did enjoy making my mom and dad proud as opposed to making them ashamed of me- so much easier in the long run and less stressful all the way around).

Arrica Lee - yes melodic to my ear and you're lucky to have a surname that fits so well with your first name (although maybe your parents figured that out and it has nothing to do with luck at all).
I knew this girl named Amber Lee once and I thought her first name was Amberly at first. And I thought that was a much prettier variation of Amber. Reminded me of Manderly - the name of this house in a very romantic novel I'd read.
I also knew a girl named Laurel Rose and I thought at first her name was Laurel (first) Rose (middle) something or other (insert surname) but her real first and last names were Laurel and Rose - how beautiful is that?
What's your middle name - does it work with Arraca and Lee or does it interrupt the flow?
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