There is so much stuff to memorize
I sit with my books and agonize
Zero retention in my memory
No comprehension of the summary
I wish for some magic methods to remember
Which could get me a very high number
So I discovered some techniques to memorize faster
And soon I became the favourite student of the schoolmaster
Script Contribution – Trishha Jhaver
So, in this article I will share with you – Top 4 Scientific Techniques to learn faster and remember more – and by the end of this you will become a walking-talking encyclopedia! These are the top 4 scientific techniques that scientists, teachers and also the smartest students in the world use to learn faster and remember more
TECHNIQUE 1 – Big Picture Technique
Most times we just start cramming every single detail from our textbook. And then forget most of it anyway. Instead, learning can be easy with the big picture technique. Just like how little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle never make sense until they all come together to make one big picture – Similarly learning in bits and pieces means nothing until it all collates together to make the topic meaningful.
For example, if you want to learn about the Mughal Dynasty in Indian History – how about you first look at the map of India over time and notice the changing shape and size of the Mughal Empire over the years. Think about which different communities that existed in the Mughal era? Understand why different groups of people supported them. What was their motivation? You can Think about different tactics used by the Mughals. Imagine if you were a ruler and how you would have ruled under those conditions. And other big ideas like Where did the Mughal Empire fit in to the rest of the global empires of that period. If you think of where they came from originally and what kind of challenges they faced – much of their tactics will become easy to understand.
Once you understand the big picture, the small details will all just perfectly fit in place. For one day, read your history book like a fairy tale – keeping the large canvas in mind , the bigger picture. And you will learn for life!
Try this Big Picture Technique to learn anything from Biology to Geography, Economics and Quantum Physics too!
TECHNIQUE 2 – Visual Mnemonics
Research proves that images and pictures stay in our mind for longer than words and sounds. While there are several types of memory-enhancing mnemonics to choose from, my personal favourite is the one that involves lots of drawing and sketching…basically visualising information into fun images and pictures.
So, let’s say you are a biology student who is studying about depressant drugs like Barbiturates, Alcohol, and Tranquilizers. You can use a Visual Mnemonic to remember B.A.T – BAT instead B for Barbiturates, A for Alcohol and T for Tranquilizers. And just draw a sad, sleepy looking depressed bat in your textbook next to where this information is given. This strong visual will stay in your memory for times to come.
Let’s try another one together – let’s learn the meaning of the word numismatist? Now, close your eyes and visualize a beautiful beach with coconut trees and clean cool water. Suddenly from far away a new mist is approaching and it starts to cover the whole beach like a mat. After a few moments it begins raining. And instead of drops of water, coins are falling down from the sky. Open your eyes. Silly? Of course, but now you will never forget that a numismatist is another word for a coin collector.
Ok, here is another one – let’s try this technique to study organic chemistry! How can you very quickly and effortlessly learn the Williamson-ether synthesis: Here’s how! Imagine a hill station, tall mountains and trees all around. Imagine this man called William and his naughty son sitting outside their resort. William is drinking a can of beer and his son is playing the mouth organ. Suddenly, they throw the mouth organ and the bottle of beer down the hill and find a surprise gift of the most beautiful feather flying up and landing on them! How fascinating!
In this story, William and his naughty son remind me of “Williamson”, the mouth organ is an organohalide, the bottle of beer is an alcohol, and the feather represents an ether. Now draw this in the textbook right next to its explanation so you’ll never forget the Williamson ether synthesis.
Points to remember here are –
1. Make the image as visual as possible – Let it be gruesome, scary or just plain silly – it leaves a lasting impression on the memory and makes recall of the related information much better.
2. Don’t worry about your artistic ability. No points for that! As long as you remember the information looking at the picture you’ve hit Bull’s eye.
TECHNIQUE 3 – Humanify to Simplify
Why is it that we remember the scenes, dialogues and even expressions from our favourite movie, even though we watched it months ago. And why do we forget the chapter we studied last night?
We remember full details of what we like and conveniently forget what we don’t like. So, let’s humanify difficult concepts…identify them with real people (your friends and family) according to their unique properties.
Let’s try it out.
This is a list of the 17 mineral nutrients that the human body needs lots of –
Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Sulphur, Phosphorous, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. C,H, O, N, S, P, K, Mg, CA
Think of this as a boy named CHONS who picked (p, K) Mangoes Mg in a car CA
So a boy named CHONS picks up Mangoes in a Car – think of this boy CHONS – give him some attitude, try to visualise the colour of his clothes and imagine that he has got some amazing nutrition by picking up mangoes in his car. Think of the brand of the car and the colour too. These visual details will help you remember the information like a movie.
Ok, let’s try one more – here is the list of micro-nutrients – those nutrients that the human body needs in micro quantity – small doses. Nickel (N), Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), iron (Fe)
A nice boy called Zen manages to cure the monkey by feeding him – think of this nice little sweet boy called Zen and also this scratchy monkey with some white spots who had some deficiencies. And imagine the monkey getting cured by having the micro nutrients
TECHNIQUE 4 – GO ALL OUT
This technique is literally stretching and going all the way leaving no stones unturned to study the same concept using all sorts of learning mediums. So, assuming you’re studying for an important test on Atoms and need to memorize the structure of atoms and isotopes here’s what you can do –
- Read the chapter from the textbook and make notes.
- Go through your handwritten notes after that.
- Take a break and do your own research online about atoms, their structures, properties, etc.
- Look at some videos or listen to podcasts related to the same subject.
- Make a mind map of all that you’ve learnt so you can put the information into perspective.
- Take up mock tests and finally test your own knowledge by teaching the same concept to someone else. This is sure to drive the last nail into your memory and you will definitely ace your test!
So, basically if you GO ALL OUT and learn the same information in several ways you are bound to retain the information much longer.
As the saying goes…
How do you build a palace? One brick at a time.
Similarly, to implement all 4 tips in this video focus on just one tip a week. Pick one and practice it for a week and once you’ve turned that tip into a consistent study habit, move on to the next one. And in no time you’ll be your class topper!
So, wish you the best for your exams, and happy learning.