What lessons have made you wiser with age

Better memorization during your studies - 7 steps that you can implement right away

by Tim Reichel

Why do some students seem to be able to memorize immense amounts of material with ease? And why is it so difficult for me to memorize? Are you smarter than me?

I keep asking myself that. And I bet you you too

The answer is obvious: No, these students are not smarter or more talented. They just came up with better strategies. Strategies that help them learn and ensure that they can memorize a lot of content in the shortest possible time. They don't have a higher IQ - they just use smarter techniques.

And you can do that too. All you need is the right approach. You need an uncomplicated plan that will help you immediately and is very easy to use. So now I'm going to show you step-by-step instructions for memorizing.


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Memorize - that's how it works

You can learn by heart. It's not that complicated, but it takes a few steps. With this method you become a sponge: you absorb liters of learning material - and keep it in your head. The trick is to keep reducing the material and repeating it in different ways - it's easy. But one after anonther:


Step # 1 writing

This first step is the beginning of every learning process at the university. First, get an overview of your learning material and then create a summary by writing out important aspects from your documents. You don't have to prioritize perfectly at this stage. However, avoid simply copying out the entire script, book, or lecture slides.

Think now about which learning content is really important and work effectively. So the process of writing itself contributes to memorization. By writing down the content, you prepare your brain for the upcoming memorization process, because you actively deal with your learning content and lay the foundation for your further steps.

To do: Summarize your learning material in writing! Make sure that you are already working in a focused manner!


Step # 2 Reduce

In step 1, a comprehensive summary of your learning material was created. Now in step 2 it is important that you concentrate on the essentials. You have to filter out the learning content that is actually suitable for memorization. This can be, for example, formulas, definitions, diagrams or vocabulary.

Find exactly this content and reduce the amount of text. Cross out superfluous text passages, words and statements and structure your learning material to memorize. Arrange it separately from your summary by defining subtopics and assigning your content in list form.

To do: Reduce your learning material and write out the content separately that you actually want to learn by heart! Delete what is superfluous!


Step # 3 visualize

Make learning more enjoyable by visualizing your memorization content in the third step. How exactly you do that is a matter of taste. Proven learning techniques such as index cards, mind maps or posters are particularly suitable for anchoring content in the memory. In addition, you can work with different colors, images and diagrams. This way you are less bored with learning and appeal to other senses - the best prerequisites for memorizing.

To do: Visualize your material to memorize! Use different methods for this!


Step # 4: speak

Now that you've updated your learning materials, it's time to get down to business. Through the previous steps, some parts of your study material will already have found their way into your head. However, it is unlikely that you can reproduce them right now. But since this is the goal, in step 4 you move on to saying your learning content out loud. For example, you can go through your index cards yourself: Look at the keyword on the front and try to recite the content on the back by heart. If you don't know what to do next, you turn the card over and look. Over time, this looking up will become less and less necessary.

This step is particularly effective if you are looking for a learning partner and you ask each other. Because you not only say your learning content by heart, but also listen to your fellow student when it is their turn. In this way you address a wider sense and solidify the content via your auditory memory.

To do: Say your stuff out loud! In addition, look for a suitable learning partner!


Step # 5: tacting

Sometimes it's bewitched: There's just this one definition or that stupid formula that you just can't remember? Then, in step 5, reach a little deeper into the bag of tricks and use a mnemonic technique. Create a personal reference to your learning content, come up with a funny anecdote or construct a donkey bridge. This is how you relate to something you know and make it easier for your brain to make a connection.

To do: Use a mnemonic technique! Build a donkey bridge for your learning content!


Step # 6: remember

Reciting your learning content by heart works quite well - you only need that last bit of security. That's why you build passive learning into your learning routine in step 6. You place learning content in your room and everywhere in your apartment (for example on slips of paper, cards or posters). Make sure you assign a specific topic to a specific location. In this way you will be reminded of your learning material again and again and repeat it "on the side".

In addition, assigning a topic to a specific location is particularly helpful and promotes your memory performance. If you also design your study overviews from your head and go through your memorized content, you will train again. Anything that gives you the missing but necessary security in this step is allowed.

To do: Learn passively and fill various places with your learning content! Find a suitable place of remembrance for each topic!


Step # 7: keep calm!

Stress inhibits your ability to concentrate. It is therefore important that you remain calm at all times in your learning process. By that I don't mean that you don't give a shit attitude. That certain tingling sensation and a little excitement won't do any harm to get your learning process going. Rather, I mean that you shouldn't put yourself under excessive pressure or let any fears block you.

To do this, take regular breaks between your learning units. Use these interruptions to banish from your head all thoughts that have nothing to do with your learning topic but still occupy you. These can be to-dos that come to mind spontaneously or thoughts that make you nervous. Write everything down. This way you know that nothing is lost and that you can take care of these matters later.

To do: No matter what, keep calm! To do this, outsource all distracting and blocking thoughts!


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Memorizing is not that difficult - if you use the right technique. When memorizing, concentrate on the essentials, work in a varied way and address various senses. Don't go to work in a rush, instead come up with a smart strategy and learn with your head. I showed you how this can work in this article.

You now have a simple but effective step-by-step guide - now it's up to you. If you follow this technique, you can remember your learning content better and also promote your understanding. By integrating passive learning into your everyday life, you will also save a lot of time, which you can either use for relaxation, hobbies or additional learning sessions.

And now: start with step 1!


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