Straight Talk Bob McDonnell

Memorization techniques are helpful in many situations. For high school and college students, learning these techniques will help to get ahead and stay ahead in class work and studies.

Learning a new skill, language or even trying to remember a grocery list does not have to be difficult when you use these tips and techniques that are used to commit something to memory. Easily committing terms to memory can be achieved, if only by using the proper techniques to learn terms and other aspects of lists and information.

Here are some of the most popular memorization techniques that can be used when trying to commit anything to memory:

• Create an acronym for the list. Associating a list or a concept with a certain word that can be used as an acronym to remember the terms that must be recalled is an effective way to commit something to memory. Chances are that once you have associated a certain word with the list to be memorized; you will be able to recall this list for years to come.

• Sing it. As silly as this may sound, signing something that you have to remember is an essential way to learn a set of words, phone numbers and even a grocery list. The song can be silly and funny — as the sillier and funnier the song, the more likely that you are going to remember it.

• Practice, practice, and practice some more. This is one of the oldest techniques of memorization, which will include practice and repetition to remember the items on the list or the concepts that are an effective way to commit these terms to memory. If you are able to spend up to 15 minutes practicing these items, saying them aloud, and reading over the items can be simple to remember.

• Flash cards. Flash cards are an effective way to learn a large amount of information in a short period of time. They can be used to learn complex concepts by developing words associated with the concepts. Flash cards are also known to improve the memory and learn concepts as they can be used to learn terms associated with learning a new language, or learning something new in class. Flash cards are cheap and effective and can be used whenever you have five minutes to learn. Studies have shown that the majority of students use this method to learn information for classes.

• Creating sentences with the terms. Create sentences with the terms that are required to commit to memory with new words, using the first letter of each word. This way, when you are trying to remember a list of terms, the sentence can be used to remember all of the terms and easily recall what can be remembered.

• Chunking. Chunking is used most often to remember long-term groups of numbers. This way, the memorizer can remember from five to eight numbers at one time, which can be completed in three to four sets of a longer number that must be recalled through the memory.

• Use patterns to remember sets of words or numbers. Are there any patterns within the words that are being memorized? Finding these patterns can help to remember more, as well as help to associate words with another. This way, rather than focusing on remembering one word, the person trying to remember can make use of remembering one word, rather than remembering three to four words. The first word can jog the memory and remind the person trying to remember the other three terms, which are associated with the first.

Using these tips, it can be simple to recall everything that you need to. Finding the right method for you can enable you to determine which methods work best for your learning style. Whether you are a visual learner, auditory learner or a tactile learner, there are memory techniques that have been developed for you. One of the best parts about these techniques is that they can be adapted for each learning style, so it doesn’t matter which type of learner you are.


Bob McDonnell is executive director of Arizona College Planners, L.L.C., a member of the College Planning Network, the National Association of College Funding Advisors and the National Association of College Acceptance Counselors. For questions, email

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.