Step 1: Memory
The world is not a two dimensional plane. The brain evolved to remember material that is living, active, colourful, vivid, and engaging. It is no wonder so many people find such a hard time trying to remember the names and sequence of complicated processes that are described abstractly in a book: there is no life to it!
To make the task of learning simpler and more interesting, there are memorization techniques that can be employed. Arguably, the most effective and time-tested technique isthe Roman Room (many rooms become a Memory Palacewhen practised regularly). The idea is very simple, yet powerful. This is the sort of exercise that you need to experience to appreciate. The first five techniques will be what the Roman Room is built on. Master them all and you will be surprised at the results.
Step 2: 1.LINK METHOD
As the name suggests, this memorization technique involves creating associations between items in a list and assigning images to each connection to help you memorize better. For instance, your accounting exam is tomorrow and you need to memorize which items fall under the Current Asset section of a balance sheet (Cash, Inventories, Accounts receivable, Prepaid expenses).
You can create associations as below:
I currently don't have any cash to buy any inventory
To buy the inventory, I shall collect my accounts receivable that my friends owe me
If I collect the accounts receivable, it should be enough because I already have prepaid expenses from last year to count towards the purchase
Step 3: 2. CREATE a STORY
This approach is really similar to the Link Method. While you create a bunch of different images between each two items using the Link Method, you combine everything into one big picture with the Story Method. This technique helps you memorize the sequence of the images and hence the order of the items. Using the accounting example, it would look like this:
I currently don't have any cash to buy any inventory. Maybe I should collect my accounts receivable that my friends owe me. After I get my money back, it should be enough because I already have prepaid expenses from last year to count towards the purchase.
Step 4: 3. Loci Method
You can use this memorization method by associating terms or list items with familiar locations. Let's say, for your Greek myth exam, you have to memorize a list of symbols of each of the Olympian deities. Take Aphrodite's symbols/characteristics for example: Eros/winged cupid, myrrh tree, apple tree, and goose.
First, pick a place that you're very familiar with, say your house. Imagine that you walk into your front yard, and find a winged cupid sitting perched on top of a ginormous myrrh tree. As you enter the house and into the kitchen, you see a five-feet-tall goose devouring your dinner leftovers from the fridge. Aghast, you run out of the kitchen into the living room, only to find that an apple tree is planted in the middle of it, and apples strewn all over your couch.
Get the idea right? Make these images as absurd, comical, sensory (e.g. can incorporate sounds, smells, tastes), and vivid as possible for best results. This is a centuries-old method started by ancient Romans and is still used today by many World Memory Champions.
Step 5: PEG METHOD
This is useful system for memorizing lists in a particular order. There are two steps:
Step 1 requires you to memorize words that are easy to associate with numbers (e.g. 1 to 5). You can use words that rhyme with the number, or shapes that resemble the number. For example:
Sun or Bun
Once this peglist is memorized, you can now associate the words with the list of objects you need to memorize. For example, you need to memorize the five successive stages of history as identified by Marx and Engel: Primitive Communism, Slave Society, Feudalism, Capitalism, and Socialism.
In the primitive times only a little after the sun was created, people shared their buns (food) in a communal setting.
Slaves were treated worse than animals in the zoo
It was not free to become a feudal lord. The price was to own some land.
Those capitalist pigs want more and more money!
Bees are social insects, so they live together in a hive.
If you need to know what the fourth stage on the list was, all you need to remember is more, and then you'll remember capitalism. Another advantage to this memorization technique is that once you memorize the peglist, you can use it repeatedly for other lists.
Step 6: Draw a Mind Map
For memorizing any structured concepts or information, mind maps work well by laying out the structure and making the flow of information more clear. If you are struggling to memorizing the whole decision making process in the correct order for the short answer section on your upcoming psychology exam, or anything similar, you should try out this method!