It’s worth noting at the outset that if you want to learn how to memorize quickly, then you need to consider what it is you want to remember.
What I mean by that is that you’re not likely to remember an entire novel, word-for-word, in the next hour. Nor should you try to.
That kind of pressure will actually make your memory worse, as you’ll be too busy looking at the clock to take in anything.
As with several of the methods on this blog, this one may not be for you and what you specifically want to memorize, so take a look at some of the other methods in the memorization techniques section.
Mnemonics Are Your Friend
If you want to know how to memorize quickly then let me show you The Peg Method. This is actually a mnemonic technique. The word ‘mnemonic’ simply means any system of learning that helps you to remember information. According to Wikipedia:
Mnemonics aim to translate information into a form that the human brain can retain better and even the process of applying this conversion might already aid the transfer of information to long-term memory.
The Number Peg Method
In the number peg method, the idea is to associate or ‘peg’ a word to another word that you can remember more easily. Put simply, you remember the peg word, which then gives you the memory of the word you want to remember. Sounds complicated? It isn’t. The first stage is to associate the numbers 1 – 20 with a word each. Let’s start with the numbers:
|1) Sun||2) Shoe|
|3) Sea||4) Door|
|5) Hive||6) Sticks|
|7) Heaven||8) Gate|
|9) Wine||10) Hen|
And so on… These are fairly standard words to associate with each number because they rhyme. Also, some of them (like 7 and Heaven) have the connection of being expressions in the English language (‘being in 7th Heaven’)
Now, here’s the first simple step:
Look at these and go through each one, remembering and associating each number with the word. Then, after a couple of minutes, minimize your browser and see how many you can remember by writing them out. I’m guessing you’ll do well and remember virtually all of them.
What you’ve just learned is a memory system that you can now use to remember lists of 10 objects. Just associate each word on the list with a number from 1 – 10. If you can rhyme them with the number, that’s ideal, but if not, create another association with the number in your mind.
However, this may not be enough for you… You can remember more complex lists or phrases using this same method. Here’s how it works:
How to Memorize Quickly Using Number Pegs
Remember, this might feel clunky or awkward the first few times you do it as you’re still learning.
Once you have this down, these associations will happen very quickly, almost automatically. Think of the peg numbers (and their associated word) as clues on the trail of the memory you’re recalling. They don’t have to be logical or make any sense but it helps if they do:
- Think of a list of things you want to remember. I’ll use a simple list of ingredients for an aspragus salad with shrimp as an example. Let’s say that a friend tells you about it and you want to remember the ingredients without writing it down.
- The ingredients are: asparagus, shrimp, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper. That’s 8 ingredients.
- First, think of the number one and the word ‘sun’ that rhymes with it. Then think of an association between ‘sun’ and one of the ingredients. For example, the sun shines down on olive groves to make the olives grow, so associate olives with sun and you have your first association: 1 ==> Sun = Olives
- Next, with number 2 and the word ‘shoe’, you could think of a bright yellow shoe, filled with lemons which you have to squash to get your foot in, which gives you lemon juice.
- Number 3 is sea, and what lives in the sea? Shrimp! Imagine a shoal of shrimp swimming around in the sea. Picture their colour and the blue water and make the sea and the shrimp really clear in your mind.
- Continue like this until you have an association for each one up to 8. What associations can you come up with for the other ingredients?
This technique uses your imagination and so you’re likely to connect with it more effectively.
You can already count to 10, so you can now remember a list. Start by learning the words in the table thanks to the numbers they rhyme with. Then try the more advanced memorization technique where you learn the numbers and words in the table, then associate them with a list you want to remember.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this technique, or if you’ve learned how to memorize quickly using another method.
Category: Memorization Techniques
About the Author (Author Profile)I'm James Gladwell, chief contributor and editor of SmartMemoryPower.com. I'm fascinated by the human mind and I set this site up in order to help people increase their memory power, while I learned how to improve mine. Feel free to leave a comment on the site and let me know how you think I can make the site better.
Sites That Link to this Post
- 3 Simple Ways to Increase Memory Power : Smart Memory Power | 10 September, 2012
- Memorization Techniques of the Memory Ninjas : Smart Memory Power | 11 September, 2012