Sometimes you have to memorise information which is not logical (e.g. a song, a list of cities, the chemical elements of Mendeleev’s table). In such situations, a number of methods are useful and they are listed below:
Research in pedagogy has shown that holding frequent repetition sessions in a shorter duration is more effective than repeated many times in a single session. One of the major disadvantages of memorising is that the material is quickly forgotten. In order to prevent forgetting it is necessary to repeat it many times after long intervals over a long period of time i.e. leave long periods of time between repetitions. There is an expression in Latin language “Repetitio mater studiorum est” which can be interpreted as “The harder you practice, the luckier you get”.
When you want to learn a list of words, then you should build and memorise an acronym from the first letters of these words. For example, European capitals: Stockholm, Brussels, Rome, Vienna, Bucharest, and Dublin -SBRVBD.
Is used to memorise information that is associated with an image. For example, to remember a friend’s birthday you have to visualise an image with the friend’s home and a placard that says “Happy Birthday! – August 10, 1990”. For better memorisation you can imagine funny or bizarre pictures.
Is utilised to store information associated with a frequently used route or with a familiar place e.g. room or divisibility rule for 5 (a number is divisible by 5 if the last digit is 0 or 5) you think you have 5 shirts and 0 skate-board or to memorise the parts of a plant (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds) you can create an itinerary: when I go to school I walk beside a park where is a tree with large roots on the surface and a thick stem, then I walk beside a green fence with a lot of green leaves. After I pass the park, I must cross the street near a flower Then I pass by to a bakery which has specialties of tarts with fruits and bread with seeds.
Help us to repeat the learned knowledge. They are small pieces of paper containing formulas, definitions, relationships between concepts, etc. created as pairs of questions and answers. Flashcards support us to easily figure out which topics have we forgotten and we must repeat.
Using repetition can help us bring learning in the pass from the short-term memory into long-term memory. It is said that if we learn hard, we forget quickly. Even if we learn something we like, in order to be able to memorise for a longer period of time, we have to repeat it. A question: how many times to repeat? The answer: whenever it is needed. If we repeat too often, we waste time. If we repeat it too rarely, we forget what we learnt. In addition, some topics are easier to remember than others taught at the same time. When we must repeat can be determined by when we begin to forget. But how do we know when we start to forget?
To prevent forgetting you should repeat 5 times at different intervals. Take a box with 5 compartments. Put all the flashcards in the first compartment. The flashcards from the first compartment will be repeated every day. At each repetition the memorised cards will be put into the next compartment. The flashcards from the second compartment will be repeated every 3 days. Thus, each compartment has set a different interval for repetition. Consequently, the flashcards who are memorised in current step will be repeated at bigger intervals at the next step. If at the current step a card is not correctly or completely memorised, then it will be moved to a lower compartment, where it will be repeated more often.
An example of repetition intervals is: 1 day, 3 days, 10 days, 30 days, and 90 days.
These intervals can be modified. Thus, the second repetition can be made at 5 days instead of 3 days, and the last repetition can takes place at 40 days instead of 90 days. Establishing optimal repetition intervals will be done by trial and experience and depends on each person.
There are several software applications (2.5 chapter) that are useful in organise the repetition.
To explain to someone your new learning or knowledge (if nobody available, then write) this will help you remember and better understand the study material. So, when you find something difficult to explain, it means that you have not memorised it and you must therefore repeat them.