Any tips on memorizing a lot of information?

I'm going to be doing a really important test soon, but I have to essentially remember a lot of information, mostly geographical in the province that I live in and multiple choice. So far, I've been creating flash cards, but wondered if anyone could offer up some other good tips in keeping track of large amount of information, (as its important that I do well on this).

I appreciate any and all suggestions, but I'll pick the most helpful answer as the best answer.

~ canucksgirl

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This is how I do it: Read the first few lines. Memorize the first few lines. Look away from your paper and say them back to yourself in your head a few times until you have it down pat.

Then memorize one more line at a time, reading it all up until the end of that line, looking away, and reading it back from memory.

Repeat this process until you have memorized it all. It's okay if it isn't perfect, you can work out the flaws after the main idea is memorized. It also helps to really understand what you are memorizing.

Write what you have memorized out on a piece of paper, check it, then write it again from memory multiple times until you are confident with it and have worked out the flaws. If you are having trouble with one spot, circle it in red ink, something that will stand out, and focus on that for a minute. Then, copy it down again.

Hope this helps! :)
framistan5 years ago
When you use flashcards, do NOT write multiple choice answers. You only want your brain to "see" CORRECT answers (written on back of the card). When studying the cards, talk outloud the question and answer. Then check the back of the card to see if you are correct. This gives your brain verbal and audible AND hand written cues to help you remember. Place the cards in TWO stacks as you go through them. One stack you answered right. The other stack you didn't know the answer. Then keep going through the ones you dont know untill you are getting most of them correct. This method i used to pass several very difficult tests in electronics, ham radio, and at a phone company pass/fail (loose your job if you fail) situation. The pass fail test I studied about 500 different 3x5 cards.. and I passed! I also used different color cards for different categories of subjects.
Visualisation is the key skill to memorising data. Take a look at the books of people like Tony Buzan. O'Reilly published a book called Mind Performance Hacks which is very useful
+1 I used to write my class information for each test as sort of a comic-book.

I'd try to be very conscious of the info, the page layout and creating illustrations that explained the content. The illustrations were really my way to visualize the info, forcing me to "see" what I was doing.  Was time consuming, however.

Lots of diagrams for physics classes. I did polygon-flow charts for logic classes. Equipment and action-figure drawings for sports classes. Basically any way I could make the material into a illustrated note.

The Way Things Work by David Macaulay and Larry Gonick's cartoons were some of my inspiration.
lemonie5 years ago
Story / Poem / Song.

For example, the North-African countries:
MAT LE aide-memoir
Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt.

Compress the information into cues / reminders until it's short enough to remember.

Like most of the replies, I made flashcards and found it helpful to write down the information. If it was complicated (organic chemistry structures and formulas, statistics formulas, etc) I would write it down multiple times. When I could write it from memory I knew it well enough for the tests.

My flash cards would usually have one keyword on the upper right and all the related information that needed memorizing on the lower left part of the card. That way I could cover most of the card and quiz myself whenever I had a few minutes.

There is something about actually writing the information out that makes it stick better than just reading it. Best of luck to you.
Burf5 years ago
What seems to work best for me is to first write what I am trying to memorize. As I write each point, I read them out loud. Then, when I have everything written out, I go back and once again read each aloud, word for word. If I have time I will do this routine two or three times and have my wife quiz me on it.
Mrballeng5 years ago
Method of loci. There are plenty of videos on the web about it.
bwrussell5 years ago
Flash cards in specific colors for specific info can help recall of the information. Put capitals on green, rivers on blue, etc. Also playing specific songs while studying specific things can help some people.

Basically you're trying to make some sort of basic connection to the information, a color or song. The more connections to the information the easier it is to recall.
londobali5 years ago
i was told once that it's different solution for different people:
- Some people are visual, they need to see to remember things, best is diagrams or drawings, or maps..
- some are audio, they remembers easily things that they heard, so to remember things, it's best for them to repeatedly listen to the information..
- some are kinetic (or something like that), they need to do things to remember..

But most people are a combination of the above.. you'll have to figure out which one is more you..

I usually learn much faster with diagrams and drawings, and i found that writing stuff down, like what thegeeke suggested, along with mnemonics helps me to memorize stuff..
thegeeke5 years ago
Personally, I like to write stuff down by hand a number of times. That seems to help. If for some reason you can't write it down by hand, typing it out is the next best thing. Muscle memory is an amazing thing... as a pianist, my muscles have better memory than I do! :)
Dave-T5 years ago
Use flash cards with mnemonics and acronyms to summarize your information. Just be sure to make the individual mnemonics and acronyms unique enough where you cannot get them confused. Then it is just a matter of repetition until they stick.
rickharris5 years ago
Repetition is a good way to fix information in your head

We are mostly visually driven so if you can create a visual "hook" to "hang" the detail onto then it will be easier to recall.

Memory entertainers often use variations of mnemonics an ancient greek method of recall by association. this often involves imagining a building and putting information in separate rooms, you mentally go to the room to recall the memory.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=59d0111ceafc8057&biw=1920&bih=919
kelseymh5 years ago
Google is your friend (and would be an even better friend if you were allowed to use your smartphone in the exam :-).
iceng5 years ago
I used to do my flash cards in some kind of order and then learn them
forward and backward.