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Memorization Techniques

MenaceMenace regular
edited March 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I'm looking for a better way to memorize things for school.

I have a fine memory for normal things, like what someone said earlier, song lyrics, birthdays etc.

But I am terrible at memorizing names and formulas for classes. I'm in Calculus right now, and I go blank all the times on tests. I dropped out of Biology in high-school because I can't remember all the parts of a plant or whatever when they give me a diagram to label. I can remember most of the formulas and their names for my Logic class, but I cannot remember which name goes with which one.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks to help me out? I'm getting really frustrated here. I'm good at math and doing great in Algebra, but knowing even all the trig functions and shit is a stretch for me.

Menace on

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    MotherFireflyMotherFirefly Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    When you're working on memorizing things...work in red, it's a memory color and so it's easier to work with.

    I also did powerpoints/flashcards. Don't just say it out loud, write it down when you do it.

    If you're struggling with math, specifically, make sure you have sample problems so you know how to solve it, if you have one problem down in regards to how to solve it, it'll apply for the rest when you're being tested.

    MotherFirefly on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Mnemonic devices are an excellent thing. Arrange what you need to remember in a list, and take the first letter of each thing. Then create a sentance that has those letters.

    i.e.

    Kings Play Cricket Often For Good Sport is

    Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

    The second method is called 'locii' and deals with a familiar place, like a bedroom or house. When remembering, visualize yourself taking that formula and it's associations, wrapping them in a box and placing them say, in a specific dresser drawer. Then do the same for another formula and the next drawer - continue on until all drawers are filled. When you need to retrieve the information, visualize yourself taking the box out of the drawer and looking inside of it to see the information you put there.

    Both of these methods are considered fundamental techniques in improving recall.

    Sarcastro on
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    Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    On a piece of paper held "landscape," start at the top corner and write your equation you're trying to memorize in what will be your first column. Right below it, write it again, and again until you reach the bottom of the column. Now, write it again in the next "column," and you are allowed to look at the previous column. After finishing this column, fold the first over the 2nd, so you can't see the equation. Write it from memory.
    Now correct it, and do another column, looking this time. Complete until it's memorized. This has been very effective for me.

    Sharp10r on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    "Mnemonic Acronyms" all the way. That's helped me to memorize a heck of a lot. Making a drawing out of the mathematical symbols can also help. Making a "tune" with the lyrics being what you need to memorize (or taking a melody you know and replacing the lyrics).

    I've done that a number of times...Math, English, Geography, Art History, etc all work with it.

    Example: to memorize pi, count the letters in each word of the following sentence.....

    May I have a large container of coffee?

    =

    3.1415926



    Personally, I've found that mneumonic aids are the best for memorizing things. Also, listening to music without words helps, too - I think it helps me to focus, and absorb the material more effectively (not sure why!). I think this is one of the reasons why song lyrics are easier to remember (aside from having the song repeated to you over an over again)...they're combined with a melody and beat, which seem easier to recall than words alone.

    NightDragon on
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    MenaceMenace regular
    edited March 2007
    Mnemonic Acronyms are great for memorizing things that need to be in a specific order, but otherwise they don't seem to help me. I will keep it in mind though.
    Sharp10r wrote: »
    On a piece of paper held "landscape," start at the top corner and write your equation you're trying to memorize in what will be your first column. Right below it, write it again, and again until you reach the bottom of the column. Now, write it again in the next "column," and you are allowed to look at the previous column. After finishing this column, fold the first over the 2nd, so you can't see the equation. Write it from memory.
    Now correct it, and do another column, looking this time. Complete until it's memorized. This has been very effective for me.

    This is an interesting idea, I'll definitely try it out.

    Menace on
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    jkylefultonjkylefulton Squid...or Kid? NNID - majpellRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I've used Sharp10r's technique to great effect in memorizing the ins-and-outs of probability distributions for actuarial exams.

    jkylefulton on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I find it difficult to memorize things for class by simply reading or listening, and I found that if I write out what I need to memorize, it works much better. for instance, rather than writing "Formula, pg 10" to reference it, I will write out the full formula. Or I will read the terms of a list and what they're supposed to be, and write them in a separate sheet that's truly a "list" and not just pages in a book or notes. So I went through the effort of "figuring out" what everything was and now have a handy list to reference for the next few days.

    but yeah, rote memorization is never fun nor easy, so don't feel bad if you need to expend extra energy doing it.

    EggyToast on
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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Sarcastro wrote: »
    Kings Play Cricket Often For Good Sport is

    Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

    I made up a better one: King Phillip Came Over For Great Sex.

    Teacher edited it to King Phillip came over for great Starburst... =/


    I have done this from time to time. I play some of those memorization games where there are like 20 cards or something and you have to match the pairs, those are fun and a quick little way to sharpen them but I really recommend getting a deck of playing cards and just trying to remember hands and slowly building up to a nice size stack of cards. When I started, I could only remember like 4 cards, (meaning number/value and suit) and after about a month, I had worked my way up to 15. Did I really notice anything much at school or remember anything in the past, not that I have noticed, but I am sure it has at least done something for a little while.

    Lucky Cynic on
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