5 Best Memorization Techniques

Memorization TechniquesLearning how to memorize is very important especially when you are just about to sit for an exam. Lists, numbers, sequences and new terms are among the biggest challenges in any cramming session.

If you are interested in learning foolproof memorization techniques, you are in the right place.

Below are 5 effective memorization techniques that have been tested and proven to work.

1. Creating association between things in a list, sequence etc.

This is by far one of the most effective memorization techniques. One of the best ways to remember new terms or things in a list, sequence etc. is to create associations between the items/terms.

For instance, if you have an accounting exam and you want to memorize the items falling under the Current Assets section in a balance sheet i.e. Cash, Inventories, Prepaid expenses and Account receivable, you can create association between this things as follows; To buy inventory, you need cash. If you don’t have cash, you need to collect what you are owed (accounts receivable). In case that money isn’t forthcoming, you can use the money you paid your suppliers in advance (prepaid expenses).

2. Coming up with a story

This is another effective memorization technique to consider. This technique comes in handy when you want to combine everything into a big picture. It is important to note that the above method only creates association/links.

This technique is therefore perfect when you want to memorize a lot of information at once. For instance, this technique can be extremely useful when you want to memorize the functions of the kidney. Coming up with a story will help you remember the functions of different parts of a kidney in a systematic manner.

3. Associate things with familiar locations

You can also memorize effectively by associating a list of items or terms with familiar locations (also known as the Loci Method).

For instance, if you are about to do a Greek myth exam and you are required to memorize symbols of Olympian deities, you can start by listing Aphrodite symbols/characteristics i.e. an apple tree, myrrh tree, goose etc.

You can then pick a place you are familiar with i.e. your house and imagine walking into your front yard and finding an apple tree. As you enter your house, you can imagine seeing a goose eating vegetables in the kitchen only to run out from the back to find a myrrh tree in the middle of your backyard.

The trick to using this technique effectively lies in making things look absurd, comical, sensory and as vivid as possible.

4. Peg things to a number/s

This is undoubtedly one of the most effective memorization techniques when you want to memorize a list/s in a certain order. This technique is broken down into two steps.

Step one requires a person to memorize words which are easy to link or associate with numbers i.e. 1 to 5. You consider using words which rhyme with numbers or shapes which resemble numbers. For instance, number one rhymes with sun, two rhymes with zoo, three rhymes with free, four rhymes with more, five rhymes with hive etc.

After memorizing this peg list, you can proceed and associate the words and lists of things you want to memorize. For instance if you want to memorize the 5 successive history stages identified by Marx & Engel i.e. Primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism and socialism, you can associate the words and your list together as illustrated below.

1. In the primitive ages a little after God created the sun, it was free for all.

2. Animals in the zoo were treated better than slaves.

3. It wasn’t free to rise to the level of a feudal lord. The price was owning some land.

4. Those capitalist pigs demand more and more.

5. Bees live together in hives because they are social insects.

To remember what the 4th stage in the list is, you just need to remember the world ”more” which will in turn remind you about capitalism. This memorization technique is perfect since it can be used repeatedly with other lists.

5. Develop a mind map

This is the last most effective memorization technique in this list. Mind maps are perfect for laying out structures as well as making information flow clearer. For instance, if you are struggling to memorize the entire decision making process in the right order for a short answer section in your upcoming business exam, this technique will be perfect for you. A mind map can be defined as a diagram or map used to organize information visually.


In summary, the above techniques are some of the most effective memorization techniques. Although there may be many other techniques out there, the above techniques are among the most effective because they have been tested and proven to work!