People live under an illusion that the secret behind memorization to rote anything over and over again like a parrot. But that’s called rote memorization that focuses on repetition only. If you want to memorize anything faster, you need to add more elements to the process.
The effective way to memorize something has three key elements – collecting information, storing it, and the ability to recollect it when necessary.
If you can polish and perfect these three steps, you too can possess the genius-like memorization skill.
So, let’s take a look at how can do it.
Three Simple Steps Towards Memorizing Things Faster
Step 1 – Collecting Information (Properly!)
What would you do if you were asked to memorize a text about “the working method of a conveyer belt”?
Would go through the whole paragraph over and over again?
That’s the mistake#1!
Because your brain will give equal emphasis on every words of the text. Plus, your brain is not focusing on particular points. This process labels every single piece of information in that text as general pieces of information.
Our brains forget these kinds of information very quickly.
Rather, you should identify the key points of the texts and divide the texts again in smaller compartments.
In this way, your brain prioritizes the key points that are absolutely essential. Moreover, you can understand the summary or the true message behind the text easily.
Some people color code their textbooks in multiple colors. It’s a fine example of successfully doing the process.
WAIT – the step isn’t finished yet!
After identifying and separating every piece of information, you need to assign separate mental images to all of them!
You can use different methods to do so.
Like using –
- Rhymes, or
- Imaginary objects.
For example, people have been using the acronym “PEMDAS” or “BODMAS” to memorize the arithmetic operational order for centuries. With this tool, we can memorize the sequence like –
PEMDAS = Parenthesis > Exponentials > Multiplication > Division > Addition > Subtraction
BODMAS = Brackets > Orders/Of > Division > Multiplication > Addition > Subtraction
Step 2 – Storing the Information
Now that you know the “smarter” way to memorizing anything, you need to store that information properly. Otherwise, you’ll forget that information after a few weeks or months.
You wouldn’t want that, would you?
The easiest and most effective way to store the information, you need to follow the spaced repetition system (SRS).
SpellQuiz has clearly explained the concept in this blog on – How long does it take to memorize something?
What is the basic of the SRS method?
We need to revisit the material that we have memorized a few times over time. This will help us to keep the retention level at a high percentage.
Otherwise, we will fall into trap of “Forgetting Curve” – a hypothesis developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus. The hypothesis suggests we would forget 79% of a piece of information only after 31 days.
There are some other great ways to store information for a long time.
One of the most underrated method is taking a quiz yourself! It’s an unorthodox information storing method.
No, I’m not talking about taking help from someone else to be the exam taker. In this case, you will be both the examiner and the examinee.
For example, ask yourself – what are the basic steps in the operational methodology of a belt conveyer?
You could also think of a spelling test. The concept of a spelling test is quite scary as the word “test” is attached to it. But a spelling test actually helps the students remember the correct spelling of words. It always helps.
There is another unorthodox method. What’s that?
When you switch your role from being a student to a teacher, things change. Suddenly, you can see the core concept of a topic and try to convey that teaching to others.
Step 3 – Recollecting the Information
Have you ever gone through the nightmare of forgetting something when you need it the most? Like forgetting the answer to the most important question in the exam hall?
It’s frustrating because you know the answer, memorized the answer a lot of time, yet you have forgotten it.
What was your mistake?
You overlooked the importance of step 3 – to recollect information whenever you wish to recollect them.
Let me tell you the secret – you need to create a mind palace!
It’s a tricky concept so bear with me.
A mind palace is an imaginary palace in your mind where you can ORGANIZE all the pieces of information. In that palace, you will have rooms and every room will have furniture. Each piece of furniture will represent concepts or topics of a chapter and each room will be each chapter.
So, if you forget the answer to a question, you will visit the room (chapter) and look at the furniture (topics) in it. Suddenly, your brain will disclose all the pieces of information in that topic.
We can store an unimaginable amount of information and theoretically NEVER forget anything. All we need to do is to sort them in order.
Put some faith on your brain!
Our brain is an amazing machine – better, stronger, and faster than any machine we can imagine.
Memorizing is a simple process if understand the science behind everything. Just follow the steps that I have mentioned for once and you’ll how much easier memorizing has become.
Lastly, I want to break a common myth!
People often say that – “My memory is TERRIBLE!”
Memory is NOT a physical object. It’s not like that some people have powerful or weak memory.
Memory is a mental function that you can always improve. Think of it as a skill – the more you practice, the better it becomes over time.
So, keep practicing away!