Studying with Mnemonic Techniques
Mnemonic techniques are something that every student should be familiarized with.
When you are in college, remembering key information and memorizing large amounts of information can be overwhelming if you don’t know how to approach it.
At Gradehacker, the non-traditional student #1 resource, we help students with their studying techniques every day, so we decided to share this information that we found useful for everyone.
There are techniques that can make your studying process easier. One such method is using mnemonic strategies, which are memory aids that help us recall information through association with familiar words or phrases.
In this blog, we’ll go over the benefits of each type and tips that will help you master your memory skills.
What Are Mnemonic Techniques?
Mnemonic techniques are tools that help people remember information.
With mnemonic strategies, you can work on creating a connection between the new information and something familiar, and as a result, you will improve everyday memory.
These memory strategies are versatile and can be used in multiple situations, and some examples go from recalling a number sequence to learning foreign languages.
It is very common for medical students to learn these techniques because they can care for people affected by short-term memory loss or patients with memory deficits.
Mnemonics are ancient techniques, but the most common ones we know today became popular in the mid-’60s with the book Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates.
When it comes to using this technique, you can associate what you need to remember with something you find familiar, like a place you frequently visit or an object you come across regularly.
Benefits of Mnemonic Techniques
Mnemonic techniques are popular because of their effectiveness. The main benefits that you can expect from using them are:
Mnemonic Techniques Types
There are various types of mnemonics that students can use to aid in their learning and memorization process. Here are a few examples:
This is one of the most popular mnemonic techniques. An acronym is a word formed by the first letter of each word in a phrase.
For example, you need to remember the procedure of how to do a task at school or college, so you use the acronym C.U.B.E.S. that means:
This common mnemonic can help you remember long lists of related items or words.
Similar to acronyms but instead uses the first letter of each line or word to create a new message, often related to the subject of the piece.
At kindergarten, sometimes they use this mnemonic for spelling and learn the A, B C.
This technique is often seen in poems or other writing methods, such as advertising slogans. Here you can see an example!
These phrases that use words that sound similar, can help us remember information through repetition.
For example if you are studying chemistry, and have a hard time confusing Cyanate, the structural formula with Cyanide, a deadly chemical, you can use “Cyanate “I ate” and Cyanide “I died.”
Acoustic encoding is a mnemonic technique that associates information with sounds or words.
Music mnemonics use melodies and rhythms to help recall information. This technique works by associating a tune or rhythm with the information you are trying to remember, helping you store it in your long-term memory.
You can use popular songs and nursery rhymes or create your own songs to help you remember important information.
If you find it comforting and rewarding to study while music is playing, to improve your studying concentration, we recommend you to check our content about the best music to put on while studying!
Also called the keyword method, involves creating mental images that associate new information with something we already know or can visualize.
For example: if you need to remember the order of planets in our solar system, you can imagine a mnemonic sentence and then match the beginoing of each word with the planet.
“My (Mars) very (Venus) educated (Earth) mother (Mercury) just (Jupiter) served (Saturn) us (Uranus) nine (Neptune) pizzas (Pluto) “
Along with this method, a popular technique is the knuckle mnemonic.
The Knuckle Mnemonic
This is a great strategy for remembering lists of items or concepts.
This method involves tapping your fingers on the back of your other hand and using each finger to represent an item or concept you need to remember.
For example, if you need to remember a list of five items, you can use each finger (thumb through pinky) to represent each item in the list. As you tap each finger, you can verbalize or visualize the item to remember it.
If you think these types of mnemonic methods are right for you, then you’ll find more benefits when studying as a visual learner.
Method of Loci
This one can also be known as the memory palaces technique.
It’s a memory technique where you associate the items you need to remember with different locations.
For example, if you need to remember a list of books, you can imagine each book in a specific room in your house.
The Method of Loci is by far one of the most recommended and used no matter the age differences or memory skills. So, even if you are an adult trying to remember the grocery list or a kid at school, this strategy will always improve your abilities and performance.
Tips For Getting The Best Out of Mnemonic Techniques
Once you start using active memory encoding to actively engage with the information instead of passively trying to remember it, you’ll see the results immediately.
So, here are tips to help students use mnemonics effectively:
These are just some of the many approaches you can find to improve your study habits and get the best out of college.
But there are multiple techniques that can help you achieve your academic goals and improve your memory.
Master Your Memory Skills
Focusing on mnemonics can greatly improve your memory retention and make the learning process more efficient and enjoyable.
By incorporating different types of mnemonic strategies into your study routine and practicing regularly, you can experience the benefits of this technique and enhance your overall learning experience.
If you liked or found this information helpful and want to take your skills to the next level, we recommend you check our these blogs: