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Memory Strategies 5. Study in short sessions.

After about 50 minutes,

the brain needs a break
to process information
effectively. Even when
you are working on
1. Write it down. When you something more
write down information, you complex, such as
are reinforcing learning by completing a term paper
using your eyes, hand, or studying for finals,
fingers, and arm. Writing you are more effective
uses different parts of the when you take frequent,
brain than do speaking and scheduled breaks.
listening. 6. Use all your senses.
• Taking notes in class Memory is sensory, so
prompts you to be using all your senses
logical and concise and (sight, hearing, touch,
fills in memory gaps. taste, smell) will give
• Underlining important your brain a better
information and then chance of retaining
copying it onto note information.
cards reinforce • Visualize. Be a keen
information. observer of details
and notice
• Summarizing in your
differences and
own words helps
similarities. Look at
transfer information to
long-term memory.
pictures, and
2. Go from the general to the
information on the
specific. Try to outline from
the general (main topic) to
• Listen. Actively
the specific (subtopics).
listen in class, tape
Read, listen, and look for
lectures, and play
general understanding, then
them back later.
add details.
Recite definitions
3. Reduce information. You
and information
don’t have to memorize
certain types of information,
• Move. Read aloud;
such as deadlines,
read while standing;
telephone numbers, and
jot down notes;
assignment due dates. You
College of Southern Idaho Learning in front
Assistance of
just have to know where to Department ofthe
Academic Development
classroom to
find this information. Use
yourself or to your
an address book, student
study group; go on
planner, and calendar to
field trips; draw
help you remember
pictures, diagrams,
More Memory
7. Use note cards. Mnemonic devices are memory
Note cards are tricks that help you remember
visual and, when information. Since memory
the information is tricks don’t help you
recited out loud understand the information or
or in a group, the develop critical thinking skills,
auditory element they are best used for sheer
enhances rote memorization. Some
learning. The mnemonic devices include:
information is • Rhythm and rhyme. In
condensed and elementary school, you
written so the act might have learned the
of writing is rhyme, “In 1492,
kinesthetic and Columbus sailed the
holding cards is ocean blue.” It helped
tactile. you remember the date of
Flashcards with Columbus’ voyage.
keywords, Rhythms can also be
formulas, and helpful. Many people
questions can
help memory.

8. Recite. Recite
and repeat
information, such
• Acronyms. Acronyms are
as a name, a
formed from the first letters
poem, a date, or
of a series of other words,
formulas. Repeat
such as HOMES for the
again and again.
Great Lakes (Huron,
You may find this
Ontario, Michigan, Erie,
Superior). Consider creating
technique helpful
your own acronyms.
when you are
• Acrostics. Acrostics are
dealing with
made-up sentences, in
difficult reading
which every first letter
stands for something, such
Reading aloud
as Every Good Boy Does
and hearing the
Fine, to remember the
material will
sequence of musical notes,
reinforce it for
E, G, B, D, F. Acrostics are
you and help
sometimes used in poetry,
• Chunking. Chunking, or
• Association. Suppose grouping, long lists of
you are learning about information or numbers
explorer Christopher can break up the
Columbus’ three ships. memory task and make
Think of three friends it easier for you. Most
whose first names start people can remember up
with the same letters to seven numbers in a
as the ships’ names:
Nina, Pinta, and Santa
Maria (Nancy, Paul, and
Sandy). Vividly
associate these names
with the three ships,

• The Stacking Technique.

You simply visualize
objects that represent a • The method-of –place or
point and stack them on Loci technique. This
top of each other. For method, which is similar
example, if you were to stacking, is effective
giving a speech on time because it uses imagery
management, you would and association to aid
start with a clock with a memory. Memorize a
big pencil on it to setting in detail and then
represent how much place the item or
time is saved when you information you want to
write information down. remember at certain
On top of the clock is a places on the memory
big calendar, which map. Some people like to
reminds you to make the use a familiar street, their
point that you must set home, or their car as a
priorities in writing. You map on which to place the
stack an object to information. For example,
remind you of each of if you were trying to
the key points in the remember the presidents,
speech. you could place
Washington in your
Helpful Websites with More
Memory Tips
Take a Learning Style Assessment
A variety of different ways to remember things
Mnemonics for many different subjects
Mnemonics for many different subjects
Memory Strategies
Tips from Oklahoma State University