What are the best study techniques for memorization?
Most students struggle to remember the important information for their exams. This problem is also true to many people. In fact, if you are reading this post, it means that you also have the same difficulty.
What most students and people do not know is that memorization is a skill that can be learned. Yes, that is right. Mental athletes are aware of the plasticity of the brain.
Brain plasticity is an ability of your brain to adapt and deal with new learning. It literally adjusts and changes its structure to accommodate the newly acquired information.
Because of the neural plasticity, humans have been able to survive throughout the evolution. Understanding the power of your brain will give you so much advantage in your daily life.
In this post, I will not discuss brain plasticity. Instead, this post will talk about how you can take advantage of your untapped mental power.
That is right. There are so many things that you can do to succeed in school or in a workplace. All you have to do is to develop your own study techniques that will allow you to succeed.
The truth is that there are thousands of techniques you can develop to achieve maximal memory performance.
However, I will only share with you the ones that I used in college. These techniques really helped me in my studies.
Here are my five best study techniques for memorization:
1. Relate new learning to the things important to you
This is one of the best ways to capture and store new learning in your memory. Most mental athletes use this technique more often because of its effectiveness.
This technique involves relating new learning to something that is important. What I mean by this is that every time you want to remember something, you need to figure out something significant to you. Then in your mind, establish a connection between the two.
For instance, if you want to remember a historical event, equate it with something very important to you such as the names of your loved ones, your personal belongings, etc.
The reason for associating a piece of new information with something you value is simply to connect that new information to something you already know.
By doing that, the new information will be firmly encoded making it easier to remember and less likely to forget. Why is that so? Well, the brain works that way. It is a natural neural process of encoding new learning.
If you want to memorize something easily, you probably want to try this technique.
2. From general to specific
This technique of memorization involves grouping pieces of information. After doing so, start memorizing the general category. Once you’ve done with the broader groupings, proceed with the specific information.
This technique helps you remember the pieces of information in a more logical and strategic manner. Usually, as my experiences go, understanding the broader category makes the smaller categories easier to remember.
3. Say it loud
The third best study technique of memorization is simply uttering aloud the information you want to memorize. This involves reading your notes loudly such that you can clearly hear yourself.
This process will help you remember the information faster and easier. This worked for me too. However, the negative side of this technique is the availability of space where you can do it.
Obviously, you cannot do this technique inside the library. You certainly distract others. Your room can be your perfect place to implement this strategy.
4. Relay it to someone
Most students study and keep what they have learned within themselves. They missed the bigger picture. The best way to learn is by teaching.
What I mean by this is that every time you learn something, try to relay it with your friend or someone who is willing to listen to you. By doing this you will be able to assess whether or not you really understood what you’re studying.
Reading is very different from discussing. In this process, you will notice what information you missed or you don’t completely understand. If you could explain very passionately the concept that you have just learned, that means that you nailed it.
But if you think you’ve lost along the way, it suggests that you don’t fully understand the concept. Go back and read your notes until you are confident enough.
5. Chunk the information into smaller pieces
This memorization method is called chunking. What you do is to chunk information into smaller pieces. This technique is perfect especially when you’re dealing with a long list of numbers.
If you are memorizing twenty digits, for instance, you can break it into four digits per group. This will be easier to remember than the longer one.
Answering the practice tests or quizzes at the latter part of your book could also help you pass the exam. Most books come in practice tests at the end of each chapter. It is a great strategy for making sure that you won’t fail the test.
The key point of all of this is practice. The techniques I mentioned above are useless if you don’t practice them.
I hope that my best study techniques for memorization will help you achieve your greatest academic goal.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.