How to Improve Memorization Skills

Improve your Memory

Whether you are trying to study for a chemistry test or memorize a speech, it can be extremely frustrating to try to train your brain to remember something. One thing you should keep in mind is that people learn in many different ways--some are auditory learners while others tend to be more visual learners. Many people are a combination of both. You can apply the type of learner that you are to memorization skills. While there are many techniques for improving memory, you will find that some work better for you than others, and you should experiment with different methods.

Visualize it. When you need to remember where something is, take a mental picture of its location. The mere act of making yourself take a mental picture will increase the chances that you will remember where the item is located. This works with memorizing words, concepts and even mathematical equations. Visual learners find this an efficient method for improving memorization skills.

Relate what you are trying to memorize to something you are familiar with. If you are trying to remember someone's name, try associating their name with something familiar. For instance, if a girl's name is Lucy and she has red hair, you can associate her with Lucille Ball. Make note of details of whatever you want to memorize--color, texture, layout, designs and more--use these details to make associations to other things.

Vocalize it. Say the material you need to memorize out loud. This allows you to not only see the material but to hear it as well, which will increase the odds that you will be able to retrieve the information at a later date. This is a perfect exercise for auditory learners who learn best by hearing information.

Repeat it with more than one of your senses. Write the material over and over again on your computer or on a piece of paper while saying it outside. Using the tactile sense of forming the words and the auditory sense of vocalizing the words reinforces the information in your memory banks. According to an article on communication prepared by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board up to 50 percent of people who use this method of reviewing the material with more than one of their senses retain more information than those who don't.

  • Practice your memory skills by playing memory games on your computer.

Karen Silvestri is an English professor at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Fla., and has been writing professionally since 1997. She also leads workshops on memoir writing, journaling, creative writing and poetry in her community and online. Silvestri holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, and studied business and education at the graduate level.