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Eight Powerful Memorization Techniques for Exam Preparation

Preparing for an examination can be daunting.

Even if you’ve studied hard to meet your objectives, revised and prepared as well as you can, you worry that your mind could go blank and you’ll forget everything.

But did you know that it’s never too late to learn and retain key facts and information and boost your learning potential so you can confidently achieve higher scores for a more successful future?  

Use Forbrain’s patented device alongside the eight powerful memorization techniques we’re about to share and you’ll stimulate your brain’s natural learning and memory potential, boost your confidence, get rid of nerves, and learn how to prepare for your exams effectively.

1-Mar-21-2022-04-13-14-11-AMActive Recall Method

The Active Recall Method is a common study technique that is used across all fields of study including medicine and language learning.  

Because it activates the brain to recall information, you’re more likely to grow your learning capacity and lay down long-term memories when you do this. This means that when you’re under pressure in the examination hall, you’re much less likely to forget.  

You can use active recall in the following way:  

- Read one page of your notes or textbook
- Close the book and try to recall as much information as you can
- Write down what you remember
- Re-read your notes or textbook and check how much you have remembered

If you want to accelerate your learning, you can use the Forbrain bone conduction headset to optimize your practice. By using this advanced learning technology, you can become a more efficient learner and ensure you achieve success in your exams.

Mental/Mnemonic Peg Method

The Peg Method is a simple way to remember lists of information or anything you could organize into a list. This could include learning vocabulary, historical dates, people, countries, medical or legal terminology, or even computer programming.

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It works by connecting facts and information with things you already know, using the numbers 1-20 or letters a-z. Then you simply ‘hang’ the information you need on each of these pegs, ready for recall.

One of the best things about this powerful memory technique is that you can reuse the pegs for other groups of information and ensure you don’t forget.

Chunking

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to remember strings of information when you organize them into smaller groups? Perhaps you’ve done this when you need to remember someone’s phone number or a certain historical date.

This is a memorization technique called chunking and can be used to support your exam revision and recall abilities.

Although it’s best used to learn words, letters, strings of numbers, locations or positions or even reading music, it can be applied to almost every subject area, depending on how creative you are willing to be!

You can use it however you want and organize information into groups of any size (for example, some people would remember a phone number in chunks of two digits, others three, and so on) but it shouldn’t be any more than seven items.

This is because our brains work better when we remember smaller groups. According to Very Well Mind, “While some research suggests people are capable of storing between five and nine units of information, more recent research posits that short-term memory has a capacity for about four chunks of information.”

When used alongside the innovative Forbrain headset, you can repeat these chunks in manageable bite-sized chunks until they stick.

Acronyms and Acrostics

Acronyms and acrostics can both be used to help memorize phrases or ideas using patterns and can help give meaning to information to make it more memorable.

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An acronym is an abbreviation of a word, usually composed of the first letters of a phrase or word. This is widely used across the world, even in brand names (KFC= Kentucky Fried Chicken and NASA= National Aeronautics and Space Administration). 

If you’ve ever studied French at school, you’ll likely have used the acronym Dr.(&) Mrs.Vandertrampp to remember which verbs use ‘être’ in the passé composé tense. This takes the first letter of each verb then forms a phrase or sentence.

Like acronyms, acrostics use the first word, syllable or letter of a word or words. But instead of abbreviating them, it turns them into a line, paragraph or poem that explains the message. For example, let’s say that you’re learning the order of operations when studying maths: parenthesis, exponents, multiply, divide, add, subtract.

By taking the first letter of each of the words, you can create an acronym such as ‘Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally’ and make it much easier to recall in the exam room.

Mind Palaces / Method of Loci

The Method of Loci is a great technique you can use to memorize huge amounts of information or even entire subjects, using the power of your imagination. It’s said that the ancient Greeks used it to remember their long speeches as do memory champions, polyglots and highly successful entrepreneurs in the current day. 

5-2By associating pieces of information that you want to learn for your exam with familiar visual and spatial clues, you’re activating several areas of your brain in the memorisation process and making it more likely you will remember. This also makes it perfect for all types of learners.

To use it, visualize a place that you are familiar with such as a building or a road. Then fill in the details until you’ve created a vivid picture. Next, mentally connect each feature of the room with a chunk of information that you’d like to remember. 

Once you’ve done this, you can practice your recall by walking through the building or road and seeing what you remember. This technique is fantastic because the memorization potential is endless- you can add as many rooms or features as you like.

Mind Maps

Throughout your academic career, you’ve most likely used mind maps or spider diagrams when gathering together your ideas or planning your essays. They’re great for helping you get organized, link ideas together and see how they are related.

2-Mar-21-2022-04-13-14-31-AMBut did you know that they’re also an effective exam revision technique that can help you fill in any gaps in your memory, especially when under stress? You can also add colour and illustration to elevate your study skills to the next level and improve your recall.

Start by writing your core topic onto the middle of a sheet of paper, then come up with three to five main ideas then write them around your core topic, spacing them evenly.

Then draw a line from each topic back to the core topic. Continue to build in this way, adding information related to the main ideas until you have covered everything.

Storytelling

When we read or hear a story, multiple areas of our brains light up, our bodies release a cascade of positive emotions and we feel like we’re living the same experience as those in the narrative.

This level of engagement with the story means we’re more likely to retain what we are hearing and want to share it with others. For example, you probably remember at least one of the books you read as a child fondly and could share it with others, even if many years have passed in the meantime

4-4Therefore, if we can use the power of storytelling when studying for an exam (especially if learning dry or tricky information), we’re more likely to remember and lay down long-term memories.

So how can you use it? Simply break down whatever information you need to learn into key facts then use the power of your imagination to create a story.

Rhyme

When you were at elementary school, your teacher likely shared the following rhyme to help you remember how many days there are in a month;  

“30 days hath September, April, June, and November.

All the rest have 31

Except for February my dear son.

It has 28 and that is fine

But in a Leap Year it has 29.” 

You can use this very same technique to help you retain key pieces of information and pass your exam with flying colours. It doesn’t matter what information you want to revise- simply break down the topic into key ideas then turn it into a rhyme.

If you can set your rhyme to music, you’ll trigger various areas of your brain at the same time and make it even more likely you’ll remember. You don’t need to be a poet or a musician to make it work for you, just have fun and use your imagination. Here’s a funny example of rhyme and music being used to teach young children maths facts.

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