Tired of taking tests and, in the heat of the moment, not being able to remember what you just read last night? It's easy to memorize anything you need, with customized instructions based on the type of learner you are; all you have to do is figure out which method works best for you. Soon, you'll be memorizing Articles of the Constitution with ease!


Memory Help

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Auditory learners

  1. Listen to this. If you do best by hearing things, and can retain information that comes to you orally, you're probably an auditory learner. Here are some characteristics to help you determine if you are:
    • You remember, with great detail, information that you hear in conversations or lectures.
    • You have a well-developed vocabulary, an appreciation for words, and strong language skills, picking up new languages relatively easily.
    • You're a good speaker, and can carry on interesting conversations, articulating your ideas clearly.
    • You have musical talents, and the ability to hear tones, rhythms, and individual notes in a chord or an ensemble setting.
  2. Take a deep breath. Scan over your entire course/paper, so you know what you're going to be reading. If it's very long, break it into sections.
    • Investigate and note intuitive relationships between the elements and your own experience. This is called memorizing by association. The relationships don't need to be rational, only memorable (interesting, funny, enjoyable) and inspirational. If you're memorizing Article 1 of the US Constitution, for example, it begins, "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a congress...," you might imagine a congressman in a vest, with a power cord dangling out of his pocket.
    • Take the first letters of something you're trying to remember and create another acronym for it. For example, the anterior pituitary gland secretes six major hormones: TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), PCR (prolactin), and GH (growth hormone). They're tough to remember, but if you create an acronym out of the first letters of each hormone (for example, The Actor Fails Like Purple Gnomes), they all become much easier to remember.
    • Create a vivid story with the entities involved in what you're trying to remember. Making a story up with Belligerent Bob, Laconic Linda or Intrepid Ingrid can help you remember those tricky vocabulary words. It doesn't even have to make sense: again, as long as it tickles you somehow, you're liable to remember it.
    • Create a little or medium drawing that explains what you're trying to memorize! For example, if you want to memorize the definition of scientific inquiry, (which by the way is: The many ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence they gather) you would draw a little drawing of a scientist, someone proposing to someone, and a little folder that says evidence. The other little words like adverbs and verbs you write, next the drawing! Don't get messy, always draw and write in order.
  3. Repetition is key. Use verbal and listening repetition to help you remember the order of things:
    • Read the first object.
    • Say it without the paper.
    • Read the first and second object.
    • Repeat them both aloud until you're able to say them without the paper.
    • Read the first, second, and third objects.
    • Say them aloud until you're able to remember them.
    • Repeat this process until you can say all the objects without the paper.
    • Once you're at the end of the list, repeat the list without reading it. Say it aloud three times.
    • If you cannot do it all three times, start over.
  4. Take a short break. It's important to keep your mind fresh, so once you think you have something roughly memorized, take a 20- to 30-minute break. Do something you enjoy that's easy to accomplish (i.e., something that doesn't involve a lot of learning) during that time, such as talking on the phone or taking a walk in the park. You're relaxing your brain and giving it time to encode what you just learned into your long-term memory. Excessive stimulation of new concepts and learning different things can interfere with that encoding process.
  5. Check your memorization. After your break, test yourself again to see if you've still memorized everything. If you get it all right, you probably have it. If not, work on the sections you're having trouble with. Then take another short break and come back again.
  6. Listen to yourself. Record yourself saying what needs to be memorized once, then play it back to yourself while you sleep. Though this doesn't work well for teaching you new, unfamiliar information, the repetition in your sleep can help prime you to reinforce concepts you have already consciously acquired.
    • You can purchase or make a special headband that holds headphones from your MP3 or other audio player to your head as you sleep––this is commonly used by people who use relaxation music to help them sleep.
  7. Listen to others. If you can, and if it's permitted, try taping lectures to help you both fill in the gaps in your notes, and to hear the information presented again. Listening to it a second or third time can often be enough to cause the information to stick without much more effort.
  8. Move around. Pace around the room while studying and repeating the information to yourself. By walking around, you will use both your right and left brain and will memorize the material much easier.

Visual learners

  1. Take a long hard look. If things leap out at you visually and stick well, you're probably the type of person who collects information visually. If you see it, you can understand it. Ways that you find taking in information easier include:
    • Information on pictures, charts, or diagrams is much easier to remember than the same information presented to you verbally.
    • You visualize things as you learn them, often looking into the distance as if you are "seeing" the information.
    • You create vivid images of information in your mind. When learning the Articles of the Constitution, you may envision yourself in the room with the Founding Fathers as they discussed them.
    • Your spatial skills are very strong: sizes, shapes, textures, angles, perspectives—–these are all easy for you to grasp.
    • You're able to "read" people by their body language, knowing what they're really thinking, even as they say something else.
    • You're very aware of your environment, and have a strong appreciation for aesthetics, art, and other visual media.
  2. Sit in a peaceful environment. Go where there are no distractions, nothing that will visually catch your eye. Avoiding "shiny objects" will allow you to focus on what it is you need to memorize. That means no TV, open windows, or those cat clocks with the eyes that move back and forth.
  3. Color code your information by type. For example, if you're memorizing history notes, then color code them by dates or key people. George Washington is blue, Ben Franklin is orange, anything about the Revolution is red, King George is green, etc.
  4. Go through each color-coded section, writing and rewriting each item down until you can successfully memorize it all. Writing each item down on a matching-color Post-It note will not only help cement this association in your mind, it will help with the next step too.
  5. Place a Post-It or index card on a location you frequently visit, such as your locker or your bedroom door. Read it every time you pass by. Align your notes by color, vertically, and horizontally. by time.
  6. Frequently write and rewrite the notes. When you go to your note board, look at an item, rewrite it on a fresh Post-It or card, and replace the existing one. If you are having particular difficulty with one of the existing notes, take the old note and put it somewhere else, where you will see it more often. Replace that one occasionally, too.
  7. Find a partner to study with. Draw diagrams/graphs, write out explanations, and teach concepts to each other to help each of you better remember them.
  8. Highlight the high points. Look for important of key words depending on what you have to memorize, highlight them, remember them, then try to memorize the rest. If reading online PDFs, make use of the highlighting function for key points. This helps your memory, as well as fast recovery of information when searching through the document again.
  9. Move around. Pace around the room while studying and repeating the information to yourself. By walking around, you will use both your right and left brain and will memorize the material much easier.

Tactile/kinesthetic learner

  1. If you like to touch things to obtain information, you are very likely the hands-on kind. You like to feel the information, if at all possible, learning in the doing. Here are some characteristics of tactile learners:
    • You learn best when you are hands-on––moving, doing, and touching help make the information real to you.
    • You use your hands when you talk.
    • You remember events by what happened, but not necessarily what was said or seen.
    • You're good at drawing, art, cooking, construction—–things that require manual manipulation of objects.
    • You tend to be adventurous and easily distracted, finding it hard to stay put for long periods.
    • You don't like to be hemmed in, preferring to be where you can stand up, move around, and take a break.
    • You don't like sitting in classrooms when there are things you could do that would teach you more.
  2. Find your space. You need room to move around, so don't sit in your bedroom with the door closed while you study. The kitchen table might be more suited for your style of learning.
  3. Be creative. Act out or pretend to be the object, trying to mimic every detail of the object. If you're trying to memorize the Articles of the Constitution, grab a piece of paper, or better still, cut out a panel from a paper bag: it's more the size of the constitution, and doesn't look like a fresh piece of computer paper. It will also have a smell that you can associate with. Hold the paper in your hand as if it's the Constitution, and point at each phrase and "read" it from the "Constitution." You've engaged most of your senses—–touch, smell, sight, even hearing—–so you will have a much easier time remembering.
  4. Memorize abstracts. If you're memorizing abstractions, such as the value of pi, write down the individual numbers or steps on each flash card. Then personalize each flash card with stickers or drawings. After personalizing, scramble the cards and attempt to put them in order. Be sure that you write down the order somewhere or you'll never remember what the sequence was.
    • Alternatively, you can grab a couple decks of cards; search for, and "play" each number after the decimal, in sequence: Ace, 4, ace, 5, 9, 2, 6, 5, etc. Lay each one down, then flip them over. Go left to right, flip them face up again, and say the number. Repeat, and next pass say the number, then flip the card.
  5. The tips for visual and auditory notes should help you too, especially learning by association and repeating concepts aloud as you pace around the room. Adapt the tips as needed so that you are interactive with your material.

Reading method

  1. If you're a reader type, then you memorize best what you can read. Perhaps you incorporate elements of visual learning, or perhaps your earliest learning experiences centered on reading and it feels solid and real to you.
  2. Read what you must memorize and read it over and over again.
  3. Repeat it to yourself, verbally, and then write it down on an index card. Write a question about the fact(s) on the reverse side of the card.
    • Usually, the brain loves seeing colors and pictures, so, when you write notes, write them out colorfully or draw them in pictures.
  4. Test yourself. Read a question on the front of the card, and see if your answer matches what you wrote down.
  5. Repeat to others. Find a willing friend, and teach him or her what you have learned, then have your friend test you.
    • When you teach others, not only do you teach others some new knowledge, but you memorize what you taught them a little better.
  6. Keep reading until you memorize it by heart.


  • Read and write. After reading or memorizing something, try to write it at least one time if you are not in a hurry, because remember that "Writing Once Equals Reading Thrice".
  • Take short, frequent breaks. It is best to exercise during these breaks rather than doing something passive like watching 10 minutes of TV, which can get you attached to the TV and make you think of not studying. Exercising will stimulate your brain, and you will work better when you return. Be careful not to overdo it.
  • Try writing out whatever you need to memorize. After writing it out, read it aloud a couple of times. This works especially well for memorizing paragraphs of writing in another language.
  • Be aware that many people find that their learning style is a little of each of those mentioned above. It might be that you have a bit of all three styles or you might find you have a different learning style in different contexts. Stay aware of what works best for you when memorizing information and avoid boxing yourself into one style only, just because someone told you that you were "only" a visual learner, etc. If another way works well for you too, then make use of it.
  • Turn the facts into a song and make up a beat (optional) to remember because most people can remember it by hearing it in a certain way like in the music version.
  • Don't leave studying to the last minute. Prepare in advance!
  • Use acronyms to remember lists of significant words.
  • Go to a place with no distractions or gadgets to disturb or distract you.
  • Rather than memorizing it from flashcards, consider replacing the lyrics of your favorite song with what you're trying to memorize.
  • It's okay if you don't memorize the whole content. Just try memorizing the keyword.
  • Take short breaks after half an hour, but don't get too distracted! Otherwise you may forget what you were trying to learn.
  • Memorize paragraph by paragraph and use cue cards.
  • Read it at least 3 times and then look out of the book and repeat it to yourself. If you can't say it without looking back, read it over.
  • Record yourself reading your notes. Someone speaking is a white noise, so this will help you sleep and study (in bed).
  • Do not do one big study session; memorization is achieved faster and is more permanent when broken up into 3+ sittings.
  • Try changing your environment every time you study. Some people report that this helps them generalize what they're learning so they can remember it in all environments and settings.
  • Take a walk somewhere quiet and listen to your test questions and try answering them slowly(while recording what you are saying) and when you're home,check your answer.

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