50 Best Memory Methods & Tests

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After memorizing a set of cards, they had a minute break wherein one group napped, and the other stayed awake. After the break, both groups were tested on their memory of the cards — the group who had napped performed better:. Much to the surprise of the researchers, the sleep group performed significantly better, retaining on average 85 percent of the patterns, compared to 60 percent for those who had remained awake. Apparently, napping actually helps our brain to solidify memories :. Not only is sleep after learning a critical part of the memory creation process, but sleep before learning something new is important as well.

Research has found that sleep deprivation can affect our ability to commit new things to memory and consolidate any new memories we create. Have you tried any of these methods for improving your memory? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments. This article originally appeared on Buffer and is reprinted with permission. By Belle Beth Cooper 6 minute Read. Recalling the memory This is what most of us think of when we talk about memory, or especially memory loss. Drink coffee to improve your memory consolidation Whether caffeine can improve memory if taken before learning something new is debatable.

Eat berries for better long-term memory Another diet-related effect on memory is the mounting research that eating berries can help to stave off memory decline. Exercise to improve your memory recall Studies in both rat and human brains have shown that regular exercise can improve memory recall. See how a quick walk ignites the brain in the scan below: 5. Chew gum to make stronger memories Another easy method to try that could improve your memory is chewing gum while you learn new things. Sleep more to consolidate your memories Sleep has proven to be one of the most important elements in having a good memory.

Your Magnetic Modes are based in brain science, and easily tapped when the Magnetic Images you create in your Memory Palaces are:. Because, like most memory techniques, the Major Method works on the principle that the human brain remembers images far more easily than plain numerals. Sure, they might use different rules and offer different prizes. But at the end of the day, these are the competitive meetings where mind athletes of every stripe compete with each other to prove the superiority of their cognitive prowess. While there are no memory athlete techniques unique to any given country, several mnemonists from various regions have modified ancient mnemonic techniques to perfect memory training exercises for professionals and amateurs alike.

During that time, the Chinese had their own diligent study methods that used repetition and recitation as memory aides. This was coupled with mnemonic poems and rhyming jingles that were part of the traditional Chinese memory practice. He also developed a means for memorizing how to write in Chinese. Want to know what system Chinese mnemonist Wang Feng uses to memorize a deck of cards? To memorize the order of a deck of cards , Feng first gives each card a two digit number. Next he turns that number into an image and then puts that image in familiar location — from where he can retrieve it easily when needed.

Because it not only helps you remember the information faster, but also helps you get predictable and reliable permanence that grows in strength with practice. The founder of the Mongol Empire — Genghis Khan — would probably be delighted to know that in some of the most recent world memory statistics , ten of the top 50 people are his descendants!

The teacher points to the periodic table and moves through the first column turning letters and numbers into vivid and outrageous images. The visuals are accompanied by an engaging story that offers a way to remember the name of the element, its atomic number and its atomic mass.

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When asked to recall the period table memorized using this mnemonic technique, there are virtually no errors! Impressive accuracy aside, the Mongolian team still faced tough competition in the Extreme Memory Tournament. Despite the steep competition, using memory palace training exercises paid off for year-old first-time competitor Enhkjin Tumur, who set a tournament record by recalling 30 images in Two time Guinness World Record holder for being able to memorize 59 decks of cards in order , Dave Farrow, is a Canadian who has either invented or improved some memory training techniques to remember information and recall them with ease.

This is what Farrow says about his memory technique:.

BEST memorisation techniques for exams: the secret science of how to remember what you study

What I do and what I teach people how to do is trick the brain into triggering that mechanism at will. This approach uses numerical and phonetic codes to memorize numbers and recall them with ease. It uses an arrangement like this you can create your own version :. As we come to the end of this first part of a two part series on memory training techniques around the world, you might be wondering….

You need to connect "Mike" to something more. With the memory palace technique and other memorization techniques that deal with symbols such as letters and numbers , the best strategy is to turn something abstract into a sound and visual representation. Use the sounds in the word to turn it into an image.

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In the case of "Mike," you can think of a picture of a microphone. For multi-syllable names, create an image for each syllable. For "Melanie," you might think of a melon and a knee crushing it.

Then, the second step is to peg or anchor that image onto the place you will remember it. If your new friend Mike has unusually big eyes, you might imagine microphones bulging out of each of his eyes. It's similar to the memory palace technique, but instead of anchoring new visual information to a location, you anchor it to a physical feature of whatever you're trying to remember.

Animate the images: The more animated and vivid you can make these images, the better. Doing this creates stronger, novel connections in your brain between that word or number and an image. Engage as many of your senses as possible: Remember how the brain begins the encoding process through your senses? You'll remember abstract things like names and numbers more if you tap into your sense of hearing, taste, and smell.

In the Mike example, perhaps you'll hear audio feedback from the microphones. In the Melanie example, perhaps some of the fruit is gushing out of the melon and you can actually smell it. When it comes to numbers, similar techniques apply. You can associate numbers with images, which will help you better remember long strings of numbers.

To remember the number , then, picture a swan swimming past a flagpole to pick at a donut. Memory champions such as Dellis encode double- or triple-digit numbers with images so they can memorize hundreds of digits in five minutes. For example, 00 equals Ozzy Osbourne, 07 is James Bond.

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Practice and learn more: This name game can help you train yourself to remember names and faces better. And Litemind explains how the major memory system for numbers works. Put away your laptop. You're more likely to remember notes you write by hand than those you type. There are a few reasons why handwriting is preferable to using your laptop when it comes to memory. First, the physical act of writing stimulates cells at the base of your brain , called the reticular activating system RAS.

When the RAS is triggered, your brain pays more attention to what you're doing at the moment.

3 Powerful Memory Training Techniques From Around The World (Part 1)

When you're writing by hand, your brain is more active in forming each letter, compared to typing on a keyboard where each letter is represented by identical keys. Also, research has shown that when people take notes on their laptops, they tend to transcribe lectures verbatim.

Conversely, when taking notes by hand, we tend to reframe the information in our own words—a more active kind of learning. Perhaps even better: Create mind maps for topics you're learning. It combines the visual element—remember, our brains latch onto images—with handwritten words. Make a note of it: Learn how to take effective notes and combine paper notebooks with digital tools for productivity. You know how you can study for a test or learn something new, like interesting facts from a book, and then immediately forget what you learned? Unless we actively work to retain that information, chances are we'll lose it—in a matter of days or weeks.

That's the natural exponential nature of forgetting, as depicted by the forgetting curve:.

How to Dramatically Improve Your Short Term Memory In No Time

If you want to remember something for the long term, such as vocabulary in a foreign language or facts you need for your profession, the most efficient way to learn that material is spaced repetition. As Gabriel Wyner explains in his excellent book on learning languages, Fluent Forever , "At its most basic level, a Spaced Repetition System SRS is a to-do list that changes according to your performance.

You'll begin with short intervals two to four days between practice sessions. Every time you successfully remember, you'll increase the interval e. This keeps your sessions challenging enough to continuously drive facts into your long-term memory. If you forget a word, you'll start again with short intervals and work your way back to long ones until that word sticks, too.

This pattern keeps you working on your weakest memories while maintaining and deepening your strongest memories.

Because well-remembered words eventually disappear into the far off future, regular practice creates an equilibrium between old and new. The way to defeat forgetting is to use a spaced repetition system, with your own physical flashcards or with an app such as the Anki or Pauker. Digital apps are more convenient, naturally, but the act of creating your own cards—including finding images to tie to what you're learning—is a powerful learning experience.

For both methods, daily reviews are ideal, but any type of regular routine will help you learn and remember faster. Pro tip: Wyner shares these tips with us, particularly for learning a new language: Make your memories personal don't just copy someone else's mnemonics and make sure you can actually hear the sounds you're trying to remember.

Here's his advice on how to create better flashcards. Finally, there's the old adage that "the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. As demonstrated in one study:. As [students] prepare to teach, they organize their knowledge, improving their own understanding and recall.

And as they explain the information to [a computerized character that learns from the students called Betty's Brain], they identify knots and gaps in their own thinking. The human brain is incredible.

What is “retrieval practice” and how can it help you to remember what you study?

Because our neurons can store many memories at a time, our mental storage capacity is somewhere around the 2. That said, while we don't run the risk of our brains getting full, there's tons of information we come across that we can simply offload to our digital tools. Memorizing information takes effort, so we should focus on the information that we really need to commit to memory. Evernote can stand in for your second brain to help you remember just about anything, or you could use one of the plethora of other note-taking apps to do the same. Related : Use a book note-taking system to remember more of what you read.

Memory might still be a mystery to us, but studies have shown that the techniques above will help you retain more of what you learn.

The Science of Memory

I don't have a photographic memory and sometimes still struggle to remember where I left my keys, but when I try to commit something to memory using at least one of the techniques above, it tends to stick in my brain. At least, I've had fewer "What's your name again?

Forgetting curve image via Cambridge University Press. Brain network image by Bob Holzer. Sleep photo by planetchopstick. Exercise photo by Fit Approach. Name tag photo by quinn. Notebook with pen photo by Neil Conway.