Memorization for difficult subjects – example Biochemistry

How to memorize your amino acids in less than an hour

Amino acids – the building base legos of your Biochemistry lego-castle. If you don’t know your legos, you can’t build your dream castle.

Anyone who has taken a class in biochemistry had to memorize at least the essential 20 amino acids – their names, structures and main characteristics. You can have a hard time and forget most of them in a day, or you can make a pleasant assignment out of it and remember them for as long as you want – you just need the right tools.

Here are Nerdini’s secrets to remember your aminos or anything requiring long-term memorization – for important things, which you have to know by heart <3

Let’s take the amino acid Glycine as an example. What do you think of when you hear the word Glycine? Nothing?? No, no, you have to force it if you don’t come up with anything right away. Glycine reminded me of a glacier, so I imagined a huge glacier – cold, and icy. You can think of whatever you want but it has to be a picture – because you are going to forget sounds much faster than a picture. You have to see the picture clearly and involve some details and senses (for example a glacier must be cold – you can imagine touching it). By the way, my glacier has – as most of the things I imagine, eyes and a mouth…

Glycine – glacier. I think we have it. Now you can add other information to this picture. Glycine has technically no side chain, because one hydrogen atom doesn’t count as a chain. Still, the hydrogen atom is it’s R-group, which determines Glycine’s properties. Therefore we have to remember it. You can make something out of the letter H, the word hydrogen or something else. I imagined a red hydrogen (instead of helium) filled balloon. Imagine your picture in colors, include sound (of squeezing a balloon, or popping it), but in any case imagine it clearly.

Perfect! Now the last step is to connect the two – in my case the glacier with the red balloon. Connect them in the weirdest way possible. The glacier can go to an amusement park and buy a red balloon, the glacier can be in the balloon, the balloon can hold the glacier as a balloon, they can go on a date… anything you like, but make it unusual. This way you won’t be able to forget it.

glycine revised

To add more information you just have to add more stuff to the picture. Just remember to make it unusually weird and imagine it clearly.

This way you can learn your amino acids in less than an hour.

You may find that your imagination isn’t working too well in the beginning, and it might take some time to imagine a good weird picture. But don’t worry – you will improve with time. There are also techniques to increase your creativity, which you can learn by subscribing to the Newsletter.

So, what are you going to memorize next??

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Read more:

Memorization rules – memorize anything fast