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5 Simple Study Methods for Memorizing Anything

Published on June 6, 2016 by Staff Writer

If you have taken any college classes, then you know that the instructor usually assigns a significant amount of reading and memorization of facts, terms, and concepts.  For students who are taking a full load of classes, this can be overwhelming and confusing.  With Google readily available on your computer, facts can be easily found if you are online, but concepts require you to understand and absorb it for application in your workplace or classroom.  The following are five simple study methods to help you memorize anything quickly so you can complete your reading assignments or prepare for that important quiz or exam.

pile of textbooks

Plan Ahead to Avoid Cramming

Cramming is not useful because it leads you to feel stressed and less accepting of what you must do to complete an assignment or pass an exam.  Some students will go into denial and think of reasons why they do not need to study or work on an assignment.  Instead, make a weekly plan on a journal or calendar for study sessions for each of your classes.  Refer to it often and focus on completing each session and crossing it out once you have finished it.

Take Study Breaks

Studying long hours without frequent breaks will tire your brain, and a tired brain will not remember much.  Instead, break-up your study sessions into smaller periods with a timer and rest your brain for several minutes between each period.  Taking breaks in this manner will make your study sessions more effective, and your brain will have more energy to absorb more facts and concepts.  Diverting your attention during breaks to something entirely different will help such as washing dishes, taking a shower, or cleaning your apartment.

Use Different Senses to Learn

People tend to learn in alternate manners.  Visual learners learn best by observing, while auditory learners like to listen when picking up a new skill.  Those who are hands-on learners learn most effectively when they practice the new skill or knowledge.  Although you might be a visual learner, experts suggest that it is best to use your different senses in learning the material.  Therefore, you will retain information quicker and better if you not only read it, but also take notes, draw diagrams, and read it out loud.

Use Mnemonics

Mnemonics can be very effective when you have to memorize short facts or lists.  Mnemonics involve using rhymes or acronyms to separate information into smaller sizes so that it will be easier to retain and recall.  For example, to memorize the colors of the spectrum, try using the mnemonic, ROY G. BIV, which represents Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.  Another popular mnemonic is FANBOYS, which represents the seven coordinating conjunctions, For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.

Teach What You Learned

Teaching a new skill or relaying new knowledge to another person solidifies the organization and retention of the information in your mind so that you can explain it.  This makes you focus on the information more efficiently, which helps you to understand, recall and relay the newly learned material.  If you have no one to teach, you can try explaining it to yourself by looking at a mirror.

College can be stressful, especially when it is near mid-term and final exams.  You can relieve much of the stress by following these five simple study methods to help you remember what you need to know to ace your exams.

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