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Aqua's avatar

What's the best way to memorize lots of facts?

Asked by Aqua (2543 points ) October 7th, 2010

For an upcoming history test we were given 20 terms (names, places, etc) we’ll be required to give 7–10 facts about each one on the exam. There will only be 5 terms on the exam. I’m currently trying the Roman Room system. I’m using the same room and the same objects for each subject. The only problem is remembering which things in the room go with which subject. I’ve got at least 140 facts to memorize.

I thought about having different rooms with different objects for each term, but that’s a lot of rooms to create in my mind.

Does anyone have suggestions on how I can do this more effectively?

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16 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I always went with just writing stuff down a bunch of times. Normally if I write it down I remember it.

Megan64's avatar

I second writing it down. I also make things into flashcards.

KhiaKarma's avatar

Acronyms are easiest for me. And you would only have to create 20. The Roman Room technique seems confusing to me- but I may have to try it sometime!

lillycoyote's avatar

I think the most important thing is finding a method that works for you. Flash cards as @Megan64 mentioned, Roman Room, finding someone to grill you until you’ve got it, creating poems with the information, acronyms as @KhiaKarma mentioned, other mnemonic devices, whatever. I’m not sure that there is one best way. Whatever works best for you is the best way for you. Hopefully people here will provide you with options and that you can find one that works for you.

Mista_Reflexivity's avatar

Learn them in context… History is all linked together, so it’s easy to make connections between names and events… and if you can somehow chain the facts to something you enjoy, can easily imagine/remember, known for a long time or think is funny then all the better. Example:

Marcus Aurelius
Some events…
Some facts…
Something about Rome…
I have an uncle named Marcus who was born in Uruguay

I don’t have an uncle Marcus who was born in Uruguay, but I was able to imagine it instantly, and will be able to instantly imagine it and perfectly remember the name Marcus Aurelius during a future test.

If all you know about a girl is that her name is Stacy, you’ll soon forget her name, but if you know that her name is Stacy, she’s 18-years-old, lives in San Diego and plays tennis, you will not only remember her name, but all of those facts.

This is a natural method of the room example you gave. No need to create convoluted rooms.

Aqua's avatar

@KhiaKarma: Hmm… that might work better if I can reduce each fact down to a word or two.
@lillycoyote: Yeah, I agree. Thanks!

GeorgeGee's avatar

Mnemonics, such as
“Schools of honor can always hire teachers of algebra” or soh-cah-toa
that helps you remember sin= opposite over hypotenuse, etc.

Pandora's avatar

The easiest way for me was having someone ask me over and over randomly. It didn’t matter if I got it wrong the first few times. After a while it stuck.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Learn it before sleeping :D

meiosis's avatar

With me it’s writing it down on paper a few times. The process of passing the information from my eyes, through my brain and out to my hands seems to lodge it in my memory pretty effectively.

downtide's avatar

I second (or is that third? fourth?) the writing-it-down thing. Over and over and over again. Write it down, throw it away, start again. Keep doing it until you can do it automatically from memory. It’s the only way I can learn things like that.

mickhock's avatar

Word association always works for me .http://digitalhive.blogs.com/digiblog/2007/11/great-online-wo.html

Austinlad's avatar

@GeorgeGee, mnemonics are great… if you can remember ‘em. And I agree with @johnpowell. Writingstuff down a few times really helps plant it in your mental RAM.

crisw's avatar

I’ve had good luck with flashcard programs; one I’ve used a lot is Cram. It’s a Mac program, but I am sure that there are similar programs for other operating systems.

mattbrowne's avatar

Pictures and other unusual memory hooks.

linguaphile's avatar

My son sings his facts… makes a song out of the words, It works wonders.

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