Memorization takes practice and repetition

Have you ever wanted to memorize a passage, definition, verse or poem, but just couldn’t get it to stick in your mind? Memorization takes time and work, but I will share some tips and tricks I have picked up for memorizing quickly and permanently. 

First off is the basic method of memorizing: repetition. The most effective way to learn a passage is to repeat it until it sticks in your head. 

First, read the whole passage a few times, then pick your first chunk. This chunk should be between five and 12 words long.  I try to pick a phrase or short sentence. 

Read this phrase about five times out loud, then, without looking, try to say it another five times. Pick your next chunk, then read it and say it five times like you did the first chunk. After you have both chunks separately, try to say them together another five times. Make sure to check the book every so often to make sure you have it down word for word. 

After that, you work on the next chunk, say the three together, work on number four, say one through four and so on until you finish the passage. 

After you can say the passage fairly well without peeking, it is important to say it all the way through another five or 10 times. I know it is annoying, but you will thank yourself later. 

The final piece of memorizing is review. An hour or so after you finish memorizing, go back and try to say it again. Don’t be discouraged if you have a hard time remembering, just read over it again and try to say it a few times. 

It can help if you get your roommate to listen to you. They can prompt you and correct you when you forget or mess up. 

Review one more time just before you go to bed. The next day, you need to go over it again and at least once a day for the next week. After that, depending on how well you need to know the information, review once a week, then several times a month.

If you forget again, don’t worry. Each time you re-memorize, it will be easier to remember. 

For some passages, the repetition method just doesn’t work for you. In that case, or just to add some spice to ordinary memorization, you can take extra steps.

 Instead of standing or sitting while memorizing, you can actually walk around. Movement stimulates different areas of your brain and can help you stay focused on memorizing. 

You can also practice an accent when you are repeating, the funnier the better. Writing the passage down and even drawing pictures of the passage can help as well. 

With today’s technology, you could also make a recording of yourself and play it on loop while you get ready in the morning, get unready at night, clean or just plop. 

Don’t worry if it takes a long time to get your first passage down, the more you memorize, the easier it gets. Memory is a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly. 

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