Memorization is an essential tool for studying. You can re-read your documents, papers and books as much as possible, but if you don’t memorize the content, your studying efforts won’t be effective. When proper memorization techniques are used, your brain fuses sensory-motor information with symbolic representation. This is how you are able to remember and refer back to content you’ve seen previously. However, memorization isn’t as simple as reading something over and over again. There are specific techniques that will help embed the information into your brain, making your studying highly effective.
1. Link the Content to Something of Importance
One easy memorization technique is to link the content you’re studying to something of importance. These simple associations allow you to easily recall the information retained. You could link items in a list to names of people in your life. Use the first letter of the word you’re trying to memorize with the first letter of someone in your life, or link the items you’re memorizing to specific and memorable moments or attributes. The more precise you can be, the better. If you were studying the body parts, here is an example of how to link the content to a group of your closest friends:
- Trevor – Triceps
- Bradley – Biceps
- Darren – Deltoid
2. Create a Story with the Content
This memorization technique is fairly similar to the prior. However, instead of associating each item memorized with something else, you would combine everything to create somewhat of a story. As such, you create a big picture in your brain that allows you to easy recall the content studied. So, instead of linking the first letter of someone’s name to the first letter of the list item studied, you could create a paragraph that uses the full names in order of importance. Here is an example:
- Trevor focuses strictly on his triceps when we go to the gym, and Bradley likes to show off his biceps in some mirror-selfies. Darren likes to be a bit more focused on the deltoid muscles.
3. Link Content with Familiar Locations
This memorization technique is called The Loci Method, and it is the process of linking the content you’re studying with locations that are familiar to you. It’s truly as simple as that. However, the more interesting, odd and sensory the association is, the more likely you are to remember them. So, let’s say you’re studying body parts. Here is how you can link the content studied to familiar locations:
- The heart is your home where mom bakes delicious muffins.
- Eating too many muffins will take away from my muscles and I have to hit up the gym.
- The local pub is bad news for my liver.
4. Link Content to Numbers
This memorization technique works especially well when studying lists, as you can easily link each word with a specific number in a particular order. The trick is to find a way to make the numbers trigger the specific item you studied. This could be as simple as making the words rhyme, or associating words with numbers that start with the same letter or that sound similar. Again, the funnier and more interesting, the more likely you are to remember it. Here is an example:
- Two is for the shoe, where the tibial muscles are located.
- Three is for the knee, where the popliteus muscle hides.
5. Little Ins and Outs
Now that you know four of the major memorization techniques, you can use the little ins and outs of studying to ensure that you retain the information even further. These simple procedures will imprint the content studied even further into your brain. Here are some of the most successful and traditional tools to study:
- Perfect for quick and easy references and facts, such as the content you linked to something of importance, as well as the number linking technique.
- Recite out loud
- Ideal for memorizing poems, songs, and stories you created that relates to the content studied.
- Teach someone else
- This technique is a true test that allows you to see what you have memorized, and what areas you need to study more.
As you can see, all of the memorization techniques can play into one another, which will make it easier for you to remember. For example, when we used the linking content to numbers technique, we also made it into a bit of a story. Incorporate these memorization techniques into your studying, and receive superior results that bring you closer to achieving your goals.