8 Useful Memory Tricks for Exams

Study Skills

8 Useful Memory Tricks for Exams

8 Useful Memory Tricks & Short-Cuts for Exams

Everyone has a great memory. Yes, this includes you too 🙂 . I know what you are thinking “Yeah right, I have the worst memory ever”. But I’m sure you do, you could probably recall your favorite song lyrics or a famous dialogue, so you have it in you. Simply consider this – all it would take is to know a few good techniques and tricks (also known as mnemonic devices) and there you have it, you can sit down and memorise most things including all your up and coming exams and I really mean all and score higher than you would otherwise. The best part is you don’t need to work harder just smarter, this is especially good when you are running out of time and you’re overloaded with study material.

1. Memorize Definitions or Similar-Cue Words

Here use a similar word that sounds like the vocabulary you want to memorise. Then use a cue that will help explain the meaning. For example, lease looks like please and for the meaning, please give me that house. This sounds a little funny too which makes it much more memorable. And is particularly useful in answering multiple choice type questions and such questions that require you to answer it in your own words as you are more likely to remember a story than plain word for word text.

8 Useful Memory Tricks & Short-Cuts for Exams

2. Memorise Lists

Create an acronym for every first letter of each word. It somewhat simplifies many words into one word. Where each letter then focuses you to remember which each letter stands for. This is much structured than memorising a bunch of random words and with hope you can recall them all by chance. For example “ROY G BIV” stands for the colours of the rainbow that of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, ivory and violet. Create your own for topics that call for it. Then go over it a few times throughout you daily routine such as, while you are walking, traveling or waiting for something and see your chances of remembering the entire list increased by folds.

3. Memorise Names

As lightly mentioned above making it funny helps the information stick. The next time you meet someone new, makes a funny picture in your head about that person from whatever pops into your mind first. The sillier the better. So for my name Jasmine Scott, my oh so lovely siblings like to call me“Jazz Man Scotland” (The word Scott originates from Scotland). You can then visualize me as a man, playing a saxophone and wearing a Scottish kilt 😛 . We all think differently so you may like to come up with something different that works for you and what you can relate to.

For more check out this post on “Tips to Remember People’s Names” by clicking here.

8 Useful Memory Tricks & Short-Cuts for Exams

4. Acrostics

These are great for when a list needs to be in the exact order or you simply can’t make a word (acronym) use an acrostic. Thus is a sentence where every first letter of the word represents the answer or first letters of the answer. For example “Every Good Boy Does Fine” = EGBDF which are the notes to help read music. And again you can make one up yourself if it does not exist.

For mathematics: An easy way to remember the sequence of solving a problem is by the acronym PEMDAS or the acrostic “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” which translates to parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and then subtraction.

5. Chunking

Chunking is the action of dividing large information into bite size pieces. This makes it easier for you to read and memorise. For example:

  • The phone number 0294853999 into 029 485 3999.
  • For spelling words, you could go by the sounds (phonics) for instance “mar-ket”.

Remember when possible make it as meaningful as you can so that you can recollect it easier.

8 Useful Memory Tricks & Short-Cuts for Exams

6. Rhyming

This is why we remember lyrics so easily they tend to rhyme. For example, here’s how you can remember the months and days.

“Thirty days hath September, April, June and November
All the rest have thirty-one.
February has twenty-eight alone.
Except in leap year, then the time. When February’s days are twenty-nine.”

8. Loci

Loci also known as memory palace, are useful when you have to remember many things in sequence. It is similar to abbreviations, however, you remember the full words in order with the help of visualization. So say you want to learn this list: chocolate, soap, dog food, hair brush and box. It’s quite random by itself. But try putting it into a story which you visualize in a certain place (palace) you are walking through. Again the story is so out of the ordinary that it will come to you much easier.

Such as, the door was made of chocolate. I opened it and the floor was covered in soap. A dog was eating his food in the corner. I went to the kitchen and a lady was brushing her hair while sitting in a cardboard box.

Is there any tip you need to make more use of? Would love to hear from you, either leave a comment below or message me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/pdhotspot

Until next time,


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