If you haven’t been in a classroom for a while, you may have gotten a little rusty at trying to memorize facts and figures. So, to get off to a good start with your courses without needless frustration, give these memorization hacks a try. You’ll be surprised at the difference they make!
Be patient. How much do you remember from any test you crammed for the night before the examination? Trying to absorb too much information in too short a time frame sets you up to forget your lessons just as quickly. It’s better to pace yourself and cover smaller amounts of information at a time.
Sort by categories. You can digest more data when you organize it into logical categories. If you have a list of items, look for relationships between them and group them accordingly.
Use mnemonics. A lot of former high school students may not be able to remember where they put their car keys, but they’ll never forget the order of the colors of the rainbow thanks to the name Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). Devise your own tricks that will make your lessons stick by putting together first letters from each word to create a word or phrase you won’t forget.
Focus on key words. Remember that you don’t have to be able to repeat entire lectures or text books verbatim. Spot the key words and concepts that you need to master. When you’re sure of the essential points, you can fill in the details without having to memorize them.
Put it to music. There’s a good reason why children’s educational programs often have a lot of music and sing-a-longs. Even as adults, just think of how often the lyrics of popular songs get stuck in your head even if want to forget them. Music obviously makes a deep impression. Try taking your course material and writing a new version of the lyrics to go with the catchy tune.
Write it out. Just writing things down reinforces your memory. While phones, tablets, and laptops are convenient, studies show that using pen and paper may be even more effective for forming long term memories. Carry a small journal with you or write things out at your leisure on breaks, at lunch time, or before bed.
Say it out loud. Vocalizing the material you’re studying will also help. Try to find a quiet place where you can talk to yourself without being distracted or feeling self-conscious.
Pair off. Everything is easier and more fun when you make it social. Find a study partner or a study group so you can quiz each other. Online sessions are convenient, but face to face interactions will probably have more impact if you can fit them into your schedule. Plus, you can start networking and building closer relationships with your classmates, which is a nice extra bonus.
Try flash cards. Flash cards are definitely not just for kids. Studies show they promote the kind of active recall that’s fundamental to successful learning at any age. For the best results, design your own cards so you hone in on the topics that you need to study most and use the combination of words and images that work best for you. You can also quiz yourself by alternating between both sides of your cards to promote greater fluency with the material. By the way, digital versions can be just as good as the old fashioned cardboard sets. Get started by sampling some of the most popular free flash card apps including Cram, Quizlet, and StudyBlue.
Repeat, repeat, repeat. While all these techniques will make memorizing easier, there’s no substitute for practice. When you apply yourself consistently, your efforts will pay off.
Make the most of your courses by boosting your memorization skills. You’ll earn higher grades and retain more information. Contact us at Chattanooga College if you’re ready to train for a fulfilling career in a highly popular field such as Computer Networking, Criminal Justice, Medical Assisting, Cosmetology, and more.