As said in part 1 of this post, sometimes we have to remember numbers and various letters or a procedure in a particular order. In such cases the following techniques prove to be the most effective:
3. Ordered items
The principle for this technique is similar to the ones in part 1, only that it is more useful to have a set image for numbers and letters than to create new associations for them every time. You can use them similar to hangers to put different clothes (different images) on them.
You can associate numbers in at least two ways:
Either by connecting them to a word which sounds similar or rhymes with it (for example two – shoe)
Or by making a picture out of the number’s shape (for example 2 looks like a swan)
Whichever way you choose, you still have to imagine a clear picture of it!
Here is are a few suggestions for the numbers’ shapes:
1 = Pole, pencil, pen, straw, candle
2 = Swan, duck, goose
3 = Double chin, beak,
4 = Yacht, table, chair
5 = Cymbal and drum, hook, pregnant woman
6 = Elephant’s trunk, golf club, cherry, pipe
7 = Cliff, fishing line, boomerang
8 = Snowman, hourglass
9 = Tennis racquet, tadpole, flag
10 = Bat and ball
Some suggestions for rhymes:
1 = Sun, bun, nun, Hun, gun
2 = Shoe, pew, loo, crew, gnu
3 = Tree, flea, sea, knee, me
4 = Door, moor, whore, boar, paw
5 = Hive, jive, drive, dive, chive
6 = Sticks, pricks, bricks, wicks, licks
7 = Heaven, Devon
8 = Bait, gate, weight, date, fate
9 = Vine, wine, twine, line, dine
10 = Hen, pen, den, wren, men
For numbers above 10, you can use the same pictures, but put them for example on fire for the numbers from 11 to 20 and in a giant ice cubes for 21 to 30.
Whenever you have to remember something in an order, just imagine a picture which connects the picture of the number with the item you have to remember. I used this to memorize the periodic table, for example. The element Neon has the atomic number 10. You can imagine a neon light in the shape of a hen (ten = hen) to remember it.
This way you will remember the sequence of a set of items, not just in the order from 1 to 10, but in a reversed or mixed order as well! (this is very useful for the periodic table, guys :)
4. Letters of the alphabet
When you have to remember different letters, imagine one picture for each letter – usually they will start with the particular letter you have to remember. For example, when I have to remember an A, I will always imagine an apple. For an H I will think of Homer Simpson. E is eel and so on. Remember to always keep them the same.
I used this to memorize chemical formulas, various equations and abbreviations for subjects such as cell biology and molecular biology. You can of course combine letters and numbers to one big picture – believe me, this comes in handy when you have to memorize different enzymes and processes such as transcription and translation of DNA.
5. Top secret CIA method
Getting enough exercise is important, but you can also use it to remember an ordered list of items/actions or a word!
Similar as you did until now, you just have to connect a word with a movement. This works great, because you engage your whole body and you can remember the sequence by creating a little dance routine :D Use this when you are tired and you feel that nothing gets into your brain anymore, but you have to memorize a whole list of things.
I used this when I was studying for my management exam – I made a little dance for things like: What are the roles of a manager? What are the challenging factors in a business environment? etc.
Great! Now we did the majority of useful memory tricks, but wait! If you stop here, you will forget what you have learned never the less. In my next post I will reveal the best way to remember and retain what you have learned.