DUÃ¢Â€Â™s Study Tip 8: HOW TO MEMORIZE (PART 2)
DU’s Study Tip 8: HOW TO MEMORIZE (PART 2)
Memory is the most important tool of learning. Even when you’re being spontaneous and creative, you’re probably utilizing your memory. Let’s look at another way to improve your memory.
TIP EIGHT: HOW TO MEMORIZE (PART 2)
Use mnemonic techniques (such as “Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit” and “FACE” in music). Making little jingles and acronyms is a powerful way to recall things you absolutely must remember. Such little ditties often stick around in the long term memory. See for examples of mnemonics used by medical students. You will see there that some mnemonics are funny, some are politically incorrect and some are a little rude. Funny, controversial and rude things are easier to remember. One way to remember the difference between stalactites and stalagmites, for example, is that “tights come down.”
You can use mnemonics for everything from spelling and grammar to science and law. You can also use visual imagery and other associations to improve your memory. When thinking up imagery, try to go for colourful, moving pictures because these are more vibrant and memorable. If you can, select pictures that are associated with strong tastes or smells, or distinctive sounds or locations to make them even more vivid. Let your imagination go wild! If, for example, you want to remember that veins carry blood to the heart whereas arteries carry it from the heart, you could remember the image of a heart on a TV (where “T” stands for “to” and “V” stands for “vein”), or you could imagine the vainest person you know at an amusement park, sailing in a little boat (with a replica of him or herself) on blood-red water into the heart-shaped entrance of the tunnel-of-love ride. Note here that if you manage to remember blood flow for veins, you don’t have to worry about arteries.
The act of memorizing therefore involves making associations. With practice, you can make these associations more rapidly and effectively, using everything from artificially-constructed pathways (such as mnemonics) to real feelings and emotions. In general, memorize with a pen in your hand. Just reading can be ineffective unless you are actively testing yourself. One way to actively test yourself is to cover up parts of specially-prepared sheets. Another way is to put your questions on the front of index cards with the answers on the reverse side, then to put each set of index cards on a large key ring. You can then conveniently test yourself on the train or bus or whenever you have a spare minute. These methods are especially useful when you need to remember spelling or new vocabulary, whether in your own language or another.
Don’t forget, remember!
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