Most of us are not too practised at keeping everything inside our heads, and we end up fearing the idea of memorisation. All those countless nights when we tried to learn the syllabus by heart only to remember nothing the day after. Memorising is a vital part of learning in every step of your life. We won't have you memorise the techniques for better memorisation. We will hopefully give you an idea about the importance of understanding content, before blindly memorising word by word.
Understanding is key
If you have to memorise the definition of Brownian motion for your physics quiz tomorrow, avoid trying to do that without understanding what is written. When you clearly know what you are studying, it becomes easier to recall the next word while downloading the information from your brain memory. Even if not the exact words, but because you understand the idea completely, you can write answers in your own words and still try to adhere to the main essence of the definition.
ABCDEFGHIJK ELOMENOPEE. What was that you ask? Well that is what we sound like when we are saying the alphabets out loud, or even inside our head. We can forget our own names, but we will never forget the 26 alphabets. This is because we have learned it through repetition. The more you read something, or the more you write something the faster, and the deeper it gets settled into your brain. If you are struggling with a definition, read it aloud a few times, then test yourself by writing it, then go back to reading it. Repeat until it is completely taken in by your system. If the problem is mathematical, for example product rule for differentiation, then rather than reading it out, write it down multiple times and don’t stop until your wrist can start writing the formula by itself without conscious order.
Pomodoro means a tomato in Spanish, where clock timers are commonly used in baking and cooking. It is recommended to use such a timer (essentially any timer), during your study session. Set the timer for 25-30 minutes and start studying. Memorise what you want to within this time frame, and when the timer goes off shut your books and copies and give yourself a break for 5 minutes. You brain will cool down within this time, and then start the next 30 minute session once again. Research shows, that as time goes, the level of concentration falls for any person. However if small periodic breaks are taken, your brain gets time to replenish and then function properly again. This, is a very effective technique.
Why not record that hideously large history answer into your phone and they play it? Many believe the best way to learn is to incorporate most, if not all, your senses.
When you think you have mastered the art of memorising a particular excerpt you wanted to, try and repeat it, but imagine you are teaching someone. Try teaching to your younger brother or sister, but if they don’t want to be bothered with their busy lives, go ahead and try it out on a few dolls. The idea is, when you know you have to make someone understand, you put in more effort and in turn end up memorising well.