These are the most effective memorization techniques

Maximize your time and effort

Asian Woman ReadingCredit: by nuchylee @

Everyone likes pictures and one of the reasons for this is because visualization is one way you can learn information quite effectively.  Try to create a picture in your own mind in the form of an image.  For example, if you are learning about  a war try to put yourself in one of the important battles.  From a bird's point of view smell the gunpowder (or whatever they used), see the different uniforms and taste the smoke from the battle.  Make it as real as you can.  Now attach whatever you need to know to this very real situation.  When your senses are engaged, then you are utilizing more parts of your brain.  Another way you can use this technique is through drawing.  If you have to learn a scientific concept, think about how you might illustrate the concept.  Get lavish with details, add color, make dialog bubbles or create a whole cartoon with a storyline.  Illustrate the idea as best as you can and through drawing you are connecting the ideas to other parts of your mind.

Ever get a song stuck in your head?  You could recite the lyrics to a song you don't like, right?  Auditory stimulus is another way you can integrate information effectively.  Remember how you learned information when you were a child?  Lots of material is put into song format for children so it is easier to remember for them and more enjoyable as well.  The same idea hold true for adults; how many song lyrics do you have memorized?  Use this effective idea to memorize information.  Put whatever you need to memorize into a song.  Use a tune you already know and rewrite the lyrics. It does not need to be perfect or even acceptable for anyone else's ears, this is just for you.  Yes, this technique takes a bit of work, but once accomplished you will have the material memorized in no time.

Smiling StudentCredit: By imagerymajestic

Association is another way to memorize material in a fun, imaginative way.  Our brains learn information best by associating new information with already mastered information.  Try of connect the information you need to learn with something already familiar.  For example, if you were trying to learn the periodic table of elements you could associate each element with one of your friends.  Create a familiar personality for each element; create a storyline for them, going to restaurants or other familiar places you visit as well.  By associating these unfamiliar periodic elements with familiar things in your life, them they become easier for the mind to memorize.  The crazier the story, the easier the information becomes to remember, so have fun with association.  Make your material unforgettable.

It is easy to goof off and to sideline studying.  Imagine, though, if you had to teach a group of your peers the information.  Would you study then?  Sure!  Nothing like a little positive peer pressure to get something done.  Get involved with a study group.  It doesn't have to big, usually a serious group of three or four is most effective.  If you are studying material in review for a final exam you could separate the information by chapters.   Assign each study group member a chapter for the next week.  In the next meeting each member is responsible for teaching the core material of the chapter and answering any questions the other study group members have.  If you had that kind of pressure, then you wouldn't just learn the material, you would master the material.  Teaching others is an excellent way to insure positive motivation for studying material.

Asian Woman Reading(131147)Credit: By singkham

Did you every have to write vocabulary or spelling words over and over to learn them?  Did it work?  Repetition works for many people, it is just boring.  Still, the act of writing something, a fact a concept or a timeline helps you process the information in a new way.  The very act of writing things down is usually more effective than reading the same thing if you are trying to commit the material to memory.  Rewrite whatever you need to learn in another way.  Try a flow chart, a timeline, a Venn diagram or the old way, just over and over.  The mind will memorize information more effectively if you employ rewriting the information.

Your brain is working hard when you are trying to memorize information and will need to rest in order to fully process the new material.  Remember to take a break every hour.  Have a healthy snack, like a piece of fruit.  Move around during your break to get your blood moving.  For 15 minutes take a quick walk, pinwheel your arms or touch your toes a few times.  While you are moving around put your mind elsewhere.  Go visit a tropical island or a snowy retreat.  More often than not this is when your mind will come up with a solution to a problem or come up with new insight.  Letting your mind rest will help you process and retrieve new information.