Samples of Memory Devices

Organize information

  1. Organize (called “chunking) – by category, event, chronologically, alphabetically, etc.  (Create your own groups, if needed)
  2. Learn in small sets (Magic number = 7, +/-2)   Learn in sets of 5-9 items
  3. Incorporate your learning style(s) into your memory device
  4. Ask yourself, “Does this resemble material I already know?”

Create acronyms (coined words)

Qualities of a scientist:

C- curiosity
H- high intelligence
O- originality
P- patience
P- perseverance

Greatest rivers in the world:

N- Nile
A- Amazon
M- Mississippi
O- Ob
Y- Yangtze

Create acrostics (creative sentences)

Doesn’t a King put crowns on five Girl Scouts?
Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species

My very excited mother just sent us noodles.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Use visualization

  1. Attach post-it notes to your furniture and recall the order of the furniture in your living room, etc. Visualize the object, and then visualize the label
  2. Create your own charts, Venn diagrams, mind maps, pictures

Create rhymes and songs

Make up your own jingles and rhymes.  (example: “I before e, except after c”)

Use the peg system

This system uses key words paired with numbers.  Each word forms a “peg” on which you can “hang” a
mental association.  1 goes with bun, 2 goes with shoe, 3 goes with blue, etc.

Use study cards

  1. Making cards produces kinetic energy.  It makes a stronger impression on the brain.
  2. The cards are available for repeated study sessions. Add them to a big key ring for easy transport.
  3. Reciting aloud from cards is an active way to study which creates a strong impression on the brain.
  4. Write cards with a question on one side and the answer on the other side.
  5. Use different colored pens or markers to create your study cards.

Adapted from Dave Ellis’ "Becoming A Master Student," 14th Edition


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