How to memorize information faster

a college student studying from a laptop with headphones on

Written by Charaf Mrah

Salut! I'm a college student majoring in Software Engineering. I created this website to share whatever I'm learning with you.

July 7, 2020

While memorizing shouldn’t be the way we’re taught at school and especially college, some courses still need some memorization from you. How to memorize faster should be mastered nonetheless for various reasons other than studying for exams.

When I looked at other memorizing tips all I found was everyone talking about how you should write down what you’re studying, I disagree with this completely. I think that I have a photographic memory (or that’s what I think it is maybe) because I find memorizing text just by looking at it and reading it much easier than having to write it down. So today I got you what I personally found helpful in terms of memorizing courses and things in general.

Figure out your input preference for memorizing:

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Figuring out your ideal information input preference (writing, hearing, listening, or seeing) is the most underrated advice regarding this topic. Every time I look for advice on this matter I keep getting the typical advice of “write what you want to memorize down”. I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. A big percentage of people will find writing things down as their ideal way of memorizing, but this is not the case for everyone.

I personally find writing things down as a waste of time for me personally. I believe that’s because I can’t focus on what I’m writing while writing. Instead, I just read what I’m trying to memorize and try to take like a screenshot of the topic. I can’t explain how I do it properly but I’m sure everyone has their own way when it comes to memorizing. You can experiment with all the different methods available and see what works for you.

Practice memorizing consistently:

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You probably heard that the brain is a muscle before. Well, this fact means that the brain needs to exercise just like the other muscles. Studies show that your memory can get better by practice. You can get good at anything if you put your mind into it and work hard for it. But always remember that consistency is always the key. Have plans for years not just for the next couple of days.

There are two kinds of memories in the brain: the short term memory and the long term memory. You need to practice both using different methods. As far as how you can do that it’s still a new field in science and the methods are still being developed. However, you still can make a good estimate of what works, one of them is probably memorizing text. Just memorizing large amounts of text as a practice really helped me a lot personally. Also there are hundreds of brain games apps available online that could help you warmup or practice.

Break your memorization sessions:

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If you’re trying to memorize things for long periods of time, you really should break your memorizing sessions. You can “utilize” your short term memory much easier than the long term one. That’s why people can cram and revise everything the night before an exam but end up losing all the information after the exam.

If you want to have the information for the long term though (which is better in the case of studying), then you need to access the long term memory. I found that breaking my sessions is much easier, here’s how I break my memorizing sessions:

  • Day 1: An overview of the material for context (no memorization intended, but you’ll still memorize things)
  • Day 2: Memorizing the most important information
  • Day 3: Memorizing the details
  • Before the exam: Final review and calling back the already memorized information

Get enough sleep:

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I can’t stress how important sleep is for memorizing. I could go for literally pages talking about how vital sleep is and why you should regulate your sleep. We all know that sleep is important, but we don’t really know how important it is (yet). I would suggest that you watch a documentary called: Mysteries of Sleep. It’s a really good documentary about sleep and how it affects our memorization process.

If you like this post you can check my other posts regarding studying and learning at https://thecollegeroute.com/college-tips .

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