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6 Ways to Boost Your Memory Power

Using your memory to its full potential is absolutely necessary to remember what you’ve learnt in order to perform well in your exams and score good grades. Memory techniques are the best ways that boost your memory power while supporting your learning ability.

The following techniques/methods come in handy to help you remember.

Method 1: Acronyms

An acronym is an invented combination of letters. Each letter is a reminder to an item you need to remember.

See these examples.

PEMDAS is a sequence in solving math equations.
Parenthesis | Exponents | Multiplication | Division | Addition | Subtraction

1. Perform the operations inside a parenthesis first
2. Then exponents
3. Then multiplication and division, from left to right
4. Then addition and subtraction, from left to right

ROY G. BIV, the colours of the visible spectrum.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

IPMAT, the stages of cell division
Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telephase

Method 2: Acrostics

An acrostic is an invented sentence. The first letter of each word is a reminder to an idea you need to remember.

See these examples.

My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nothing ( name of the planets)
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Method 3: Rhyme Keys

Rhyme keys are used to memorise ordered or unordered lists. The object to rhyme keys is to build associations and images with numbers and key rhyming words. This image in turn helps you remember the target word. It takes practice, and the trick is not to remember the rhyme but the association!

Here is how to do it.

1. First, memorize keywords that can be associated with numbers.
Example: bun = one, shoe = two, tree = three, door = four, hive = five, etc.
2. Then create an image of the items you need to remember with keywords.

Example: Let’s imagine you need to remember four basic food groups: dairy products; meat, fish, and poultry; grains; and fruit and vegetables. Think of cheese on a bun (one), livestock with shoes on (two), a sack of grain suspended in a tree (three), a door to a room stocked with fruits and vegetables (four).

Method 4: The Method of Loci

Also known as the memory walk method, this is used to remember approximately twenty items.

Here is how to do it.

Select any location that you have spent a lot of time in and know well. Imagine yourself walking through the location, selecting clearly defined places like the door, sofa, refrigerator, shelf, etc. Imagine yourself putting objects that you need to remember into each of these places by walking through this location in a direct path. Again, you need a standard direct path and clearly defined locations for objects to facilitate the retrieval of these objects.

Example: Let’s imagine you need to remember a series of Australian cricketers. So this is how you’ll remember using the method of loci ─ Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Ryan Harris are walking up to the door of your location. Finch is seeing a dollar bill stuck in the door; when you open the door Warner is reclining on the sofa, Marsh is eating out of the refrigerator, Harris is picking a book from the shelf and the list goes on…

Method 5: The Keyword Method

The keyword method is used to remember foreign language vocabulary.

Here is how to do it.

First, consider the foreign word you need to remember, then select a keyword in English that sounds like the foreign word.

Next, imagine an image, which involves the keyword with the English meaning of the foreign word.

Example: Consider the Spanish word “hermoso” which means “beautiful.” For the English keywords, you might think of words like “her” “most” You could then invent an image of a girl with the most beautiful face. When you see the word “hermoso” on the test, you should be able to recall the image of the girl’s beautiful face and you should be able to retrieve the definition “beautiful.”

Method 6: The Image-Name Technique

This technique is used to remember names. Simply invent any relationship between the name and the physical characteristics of the person.

Example: If you had to remember Shirley Temple’s name, you might ingrain the name in memory by noticing that she has “curly” (rhymes with Shirley) hair around her temples.

Method 7: Chaining

This method is used to remember ordered or unordered lists. Create a story where each word or idea you have to remember cues the next idea you need to recall.

Example: If you had to remember the words Napoleon, ear, door, and Germany, you could invent a story of Napoleon with his ear to a door listening to people speak in German.

Now that you know some of the memory techniques, try to think which ones will work for you. Each method depends on how comfortable you are with, or how useful they are to your way of thinking.

The Role of Parents

Encourage your child to ask questions in class when he/she is unsure of an idea or fact.

Children can remember things that they are interested in. So help your child become interested in the subject they need to memorize by checking out books, stories, videos, movies or music on the subject or by visiting a museum or a gallery.

Encourage your child to explain the information he/she is memorizing to a parent, sibling or friend without referring to notes.

Encourage your child to choose the best memory techniques that suit their needs. Then help them to practice these techniques regularly.

Author: Sim K


Sim K


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