How To Memorise Faster, Longer and Easily for Exams (8 Tips You Need to Know)

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Imagine

the awesomeness …

if you can know how to memorize notes in one night

The time you can save …

by being able to study well for exams in a short time,

to do many other things that matter to you.

And the distinctions you will start getting …

to be able to memorize long answers.

 

Your life as a student is miserable and we know it.

Throughout your years in school,

You probably have to remember and regurgitate things like

– organic chemistry reaction (Chemistry)

– photoelectric effects differences using Newtonian physics and quantum physics (Physics)

–  the human digestive system (Biology) or

–  on how plate tectonics works (Geography)

 

What if I tell you,

there are many memorization techniques for students you could pick up to immediately improve your memory?

And in fact,

“A” students can obtain fantastic grades while spending minimal time on studying

by mastering the following techniques.

Check out the extensive examples of each technique provided below:

 

1. Filter First

First and foremost,

Before deciding to commit any materials to memory, do filtering first.

You only have a limited capacity to remember your notes.

Therefore,

you shouldn’t be remembering stuff

a) where they are different forms of the same thing

b) when you can derive the formulas or steps easily

c) when they won’t be tested

for a), instead of remembering oxidation equals to

  • Gain in oxidation number
  • Gain in oxygen
  • Loss of hydrogen
  • Loss of electrons

You can remember oxidation only as “gain in oxidation number”.

This is because not all reactions contain exchanges of oxygen or hydrogen.

Also, whenever there are changes in the number of electrons there will also be changes in the oxidation number.

Therefore, by considering just changes in oxidation number,

you effectively memorise 1 single definition instead of all 4.

 

b) In mathematics,

rather than memorizing all 3 formulas for cosine double-angle formula,
cos2θ = cos2-sin2θ
= 2cos2x-1
= 1-2sin2x

You should remember only the 2nd one (used most often),

and derive the other 2 if you’ve to use them.

 

c) Finally,

do go through the SEAB learning objectives to confirm you don’t have to memorize unnecessary materials.

Schools have a great tendency to provide more than required studying materials for students to memorise.

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2. Use Mnemonics

The use of mnemonics should be familiar to you.

Likely, you just didn’t know the name of this memory technique you have learnt before is known as mnemonics.

Mnemonics is normally a pattern of letters which assists in remembering something and is powerful to remember a long list of items.

 

The downside is –

they could be a little difficult to create at the beginning.

But after you’ve created a solid mnemonic, it becomes easy to remember.

 

For example in Chemistry,

students are often required to remember the reactivity series for metals:

  
PleasePotassium
SendSodium
Catherine'sCalcium
MotherMagnesium
AAluminium
CuteCarbon
ZebraZinc
InIron
LargeLead
HeavyHydrogen
CageCopper
MakeMercury
SureSilver
GuardedGold

Another example can be found in Physics,

where the order of electromagnetic spectrum is to be known by heart:

 

  
RonaldRadiowave
McDonaldMicrowave
InventedInfrared
VeryVisible Light
UnusualUltraviolet Ray
&-
ExcellentX-Ray
GlassesGamma Ray

 

Famous example in Mathematics includes the trigonometric ratio mnemonics TOA, CAH, SOH in remembering

TAN = opposite/adjacent

COS = adjacent/hypotenuse

SIN = opposite/hypotenuse

 

And then,

there is ASTC (All Science Teachers are Crazy)

used in remembering which quadrant yields a positive trigonometric ratio.

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3. Simple Association

Sometimes, creating memory anchors can be fast and easy.

For example, you might find it difficult to remember that acids turn blue litmus paper red.

By associating the last letter of “acid” and “red” shares the same letter “d”, you can easily remember that litmus paper will turn red with the addition of acids.

 

In mathematics,

cos3θ = 4cos3θ−3cosθ

can be best remembered as 4 dollars and 30 cents minus 3 dollars using the Hokkien dialect.

Somewhat silly, but effective.

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4. Memory Palace

A memory palace works by tagging,

images you need to remember,

in different locations of a place, you are familiar with.

 

For example,

in the iron extraction of the haematite ore,

There are 5 reactions to remember and you can set your house as the memory palace in this example.

How to Use Memory Palace

 

a) C (s) + O2 (g) -> CO2(g)

Imagine carbon dioxide gas flooding when you enter the lift.

b) CO2 (g) + C (s) -> 2CO(g)

Next, visualize cars zipping along your corridor emitting carbon monoxide gas.

c) Fe2O3(s)+ 3CO(g) -> 2Fe(l) + 2CO2(g)

As you unlock the door to your house, picture

mini factories producing iron bars in your living room.

d) CaCO3 (s) -> CaO(s) + CO2(g)

Sidestepping the factories as you make your way to the kitchen, you see cars carrying the letter “O”.

e) CaO(s) + SiO2 (s) -> CaSiO3 (l)

On closer look, they are actually not one, but triplets of Casio watches stacked together!

 

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5. Create Outrageous Mental Images

Did you know,

Creating visual images that are outrageous, funny and ridiculous are very effective ways to remember stuff?

 

For example, in the addition of water to an alkene, H3PO4 is used as a reagent with the operating conditions to be 360 °C and 60 atm.

To remember these reaction conditions,

You can imagine many C-3POs surrounding the alkene in a 360° circle, adding water to the reagent every 60 seconds.

C3PO and H3PO4

 

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6. Chunk Them

Chunking takes long strings of letters or numbers and breaks them into smaller, more manageable bits of information.

This technique is most useful in remembering long words such as:

Phenolphthalein.

Rather than remembering the word in its entirety at once, remember it as

“phe-nol-ph-tha-lein”

For longitudinal waves, break it into

“long-i-tudi-nal”

 

See this interactive video below:

 

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7. Write Down

Writing what you have memorised down is the most effective way to ensure that you have attained mastery.

When you can write what you’ve learnt down, you also gain confidence in the process.

And you can be sure you will be able to perform during tests or exams.

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8. Use them in conjunction with Ingel’s Legendary Blank Piece of Paper

The beginning is always the hardest.

When you first attempt to write down what you can remember on a piece of blank paper,

You might struggle a lot.

However, you should constantly remind yourself it will be easier to recall as you practise more.

Utilise the memory techniques you have acquired to speed up your learning.

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9. Share What You Know.

Whether in class or with your study group outside,

sharing what you learn reinforces your concepts significantly.

Furthermore,

your friends may raise questions you may have never thought of before,

prompting you to think further and deeper.

Want to know the best part?

Teaching others is the hallmark of the true master.

The day you can confidently impart what you’ve learnt to others is the day you completely know your stuff.

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