Memorizing facts is not the most important thing to do before a test or quiz. It’s much more important to understand the general concepts and make sure you can explain them. However, there are some things that just plain need to be memorized, like dates, equations, or the periodic table. In order to study as efficiently as possible, it’s important to know how to memorize. If you find yourself having trouble remembering those little memorized facts, try any of these tricks to help get you by.
1. Study Regularly
Studying on a regular basis, instead of cramming right before the test, is the absolute best way to retain information because it gives your brain a change to retain it and make connections. Try planning ahead of time for at least one big test that you know you have to get a good grade one. Section out the material and just spend about 15 minutes every other day memorizing a small amount of facts. By the time it comes to study the rest of the material, you will already have a head start on a good amount of the information you need memorized.
2. Use Tricks of the Trade
We have all heard about using things like mnemonic devices for studying. The reason we hear about it all the time is because it really works. If you have a list of facts to remember, simply take the first letter of every word on your list and create a sentence. For example, if you need to remember the ordered list “Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue,” you can make a mnemonic device, such as, “Really Over Your Good Books.” The crazier the sentence, the better, because it will stick out in your mind.
3. Explain It
The best way to know if you understand the material is to see whether or not you can explain it. If you don’t have someone to study with, try writing out your explanation of the material on a sheet of paper. If you can find someone to study with, though, take turns explaining the material to each other and then giving practice quizzes to test your knowledge.
4. Study Before Sleep
No matter how prepared you feel, take a moment to review the facts you have memorized right before you go to bed. Your brain will actually process the information as you doze off, locking in even more neural connections. Better yet, repeat the material to yourself as if you are counting sheep while you fall asleep. You will get to sleep faster and get some extra practice.
By-line: This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas. She welcomes your comments at her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.