Are you looking for the best strategies to memorize something quickly?
Researchers and scientists have identified these learning strategies as effective techniques for fast learning.
When you’re cramming for an exam, these are great strategies to memorize something quickly. You can use some additional strategies for longer term memory!
Best 5 Strategies to Memorize Something Quickly
Use these when speed counts!
Using mnemonics is one of the best techniques to memorize something quickly.
If you’re not familiar with mnemonics, a common example is the acronym “Roy G. Biv” to describe the visible spectrum of light that makes up a rainbow. The acronym stands for the first letters in the sequence: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
Another example of mnemonics is using a song to learn a set of information. A classic example is the ABC song that young students learn, and in recent years, educational startups such as Math Tunes have started teaching math with songs. As in the case of the popular song, Slope, it’s a surprisingly catchy way to remember math formulas.
Overall, mnemonics are most reliable when practiced within six hours of your exam. After about 24 hours, memory quality drops to about 90 percent, but a quick refresher may be all you need to ace your exam.
You’re probably already using the chunking memory technique, even if you don’t realize it. The practice of breaking up long strings of information into smaller “chunks” is most commonly seen in phone numbers.
While a long string of numbers such as “8553926946” is difficult to memorize, it’s much easier to learn when it looks like 855-392-6946. Early experiments found that with a little practice, chunking could help people remember a sequence of 40 numbers in a row and it’s one of the 5 best ways to memorize something!
When applying chunking to your classwork, it’s easy to see how using smaller groupings can make learning more manageable.
3. Mind Map
The tree-like structure of a mind map is one of the best 5 ways to memorize something quickly and a very helpful way to organize information.
This organization ultimately helps a student’s brain to absorb more information to memorize something quickly.
However, a mind map is typically more effective than learning via organized lists. That’s because a mind map embeds the organization within a visual structure, thereby activating multiple parts of the brain.
This visual aspect can be further reinforced by using colors to add additional information to the mind map. For example, you can color each branch of the mind map differently to reinforce the different categories of information.
Alternatively, you can reinforce the hierarchy by coloring each level of the mind map differently.
The mind maps that you use for studying don’t need to be analog; plenty of mind mapping apps can give you drag-and-drop capabilities.
4. Practice Exams
In fact, research from cognitive scientists shows that practiced recall can improve test scores by 25 percent. That is why this is one of the best 5 ways to memorize something quickly also.
Practice exams are effective, in part, because they reinforce the brain’s retrieval process. Rather than other learning strategies that focus solely upon inputting information into the brain, using sample quizzes, flashcards, or practice exams can help you to know the answer on cue.
5. Audio Recordings
This strategy is especially useful for auditory learners, but it’s also a helpful way to maximize your study time by letting you practice memorization while you’re in the car or getting ready for class.
Most smartphones let you record audio notes, making it easy to capture yourself reciting the information. Thus, you’ll have a portable audio file to play back wherever and whenever is most convenient.
Feel free to get creative with how you use audio recordings.
For example, you can make multiple files for the same content. One could be the full set of information, and another could use a “fill in the blanks” style where you only record parts of the information and leave time for yourself to finish the rest when you’re listening to it.
We hope that you don’t find yourself cramming for an exam, but if you’re in a time crunch and are wondering how to memorize something quickly, these learning techniques can help.
Jack Tai is the CEO and Co-founder of OneClass.
Visit the site to find out more about how this online tool has helped 90% of users improve by a letter grade.
He loves to help students add to their learning stategies by learning how to memorize something quickly.
[ Updated – October 26, 2020 ]