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Memory Tips

Memory Tips

Linking: When remembering definitions, facts, etc., make links between the thing you want to remember and something you are familiar with. Making your association personal, silly, or outrageous will help you remember it better.

  • Example: learning states and capitols - Raleigh, North Carolina
    THINK: I "ral-e" (really) would like to visit North Carolina.


  • Example: Thirty days has September, April, June, and November.
  • Example: In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Visualization: Think of yourself in a familiar place-your bedroom, kitchen, etc. As you walk about the location, visually place the items to be memorized in a particular spot in that location. When trying to recall those items, mentally retrace your steps and "pick up" the items as you find them.

Categorize: When remembering a long list of items, first group them into specific categories. When trying to remember the items, first recall the categories, then the items within the categories. Categorize, for example, according to: common characteristics, what is unique about the objects, or where they can be found.

Acronyms: Use the first letter of the words to be memorized to make another word.

  • Example: Great Lakes (remember the word "HOMES")
    Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior
  • Example: Order of the Planets (remember the sentence "My Very Educated Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas")
    Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

Peg-Word System: This system can be used to remember a list of unrelated items. Associate a word with each number. Then associate the words in that list with the words in the list you want to remember.

  • Example: Memorizing the thirteen colonies.