Memorization Tips: You Might Be Wasting Your Time Memorizing Without This Step

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When students ask me to share my most powerful memorization tips the reason why is obvious.
If students can't memorize, then they can't soak in the information needed for tests.
If they can't soak in the information needed, then they can't recall it during tests.
If they can't do that, then they do poorly in class and maybe even fail.
Students who get straight A's consistently know how to memorize.
If you are reading this article online, you can see the web address above that was used to get here.
If you delete any character in that address bar, you are not going to come back to this page.
You are either going to go to another page entirely or you may get an error page that says we don't know what you're looking for; it doesn't exist.
A similar thing happens when we're studying.
When we try to memorize a page of information, if we haven't memorized the information correctly, when we look back it doesn't seem to exist anymore.
Many of us stop and say to ourselves, "Whoa, wait a minute.
I know that I just read that page.
What was that I just read?" Ever read the same page a couple times before realizing the ideas just aren't sticking? It's challenging to study when information doesn't stick - if it doesn't get into our heads.
Most students think, "Okay, I just look at the material and then repeat it over and over again".
Though if you do that and it doesn't stick it's because there's a step you have missed before that.
Remember the address bar above.
If you remove any one character it goes to some place different or you get an error page.
When you study and you run into a word you don't understand it's like removing a character from the address bar.
It can become very challenging because our minds hit our own version of an internal error page.
If that word repeats over and over again in while you study, you may conclude, "Alright, I kind of get the idea but not really.
" Oops, page error.
For example, let's say we're in science class and they're talking about "mitosis".
Let's also say we missed class the day they heavily covered the term "mitosis".
So now the teacher and students are all talking about "mitosis" this, "mitosis" that.
It's like they're speaking another language.
Our brains go fuzzy.
If you ever find yourself at this point, you can stop feeling like an alien by finding out what the odd word means.
In this case, we can find out what the word "mitosis" means.
When we look it up in the glossary, everything in class starts making sense again.
We find out mitosis is when a cell multiplies and becomes two cells.
When we look back at the lecture and what our classmates were talking about, we feel more comfortable and confident in class.
Ever try to make a house out of playing cards? Sometimes studying can feel that way.
You may find yourself trying to memorize words you need for the next exam.
These words connect together to build the ideas you need for the exam.
When building a house of cards, if just one card is slightly off, what you're building will keep falling apart because of having that weak foundation.
The same happens when you study and you find a word you can't define well.
The ideas that word helps create become like a house of cards that keeps falling apart.
Improve your understanding of that word to strengthen the foundation the ideas you are studying are built on.
This help can significantly help you better memorize the ideas you need for the exam.
So here are the 3 steps on how to use this memorization technique for your next exam: Step 1: Study like you usually do.
Step 2: When a word seems fuzzy to you, look it up in the glossary.
Find out what that word means and then go back to where you were studying and find out if the ideas become more solid to understand.
Step 3: Memorize like you usually do.
(You may find this a lot easier after doing step 2.
) One of the best ways to check if you have memorized the information you need is to go over the example questions and see if you can answer them without any help from the book or notes.
If you answer them alright, then more than likely you're going to do alright for the test.
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