MEMORIZING FOR EXAMINATIONS!!

Dear Students,

Good day!! Before going on further, I would like to present a poem written by Walter D. Wintle as a food for thought to all out there.

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world we find
Success being with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are:
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.

As mentioned in my first post, the subconscious mind creates the mental block. Well, our memory power directly relates to our subconscious mind as well. The human brain is far more superior than any technology ever created by man and the human memory is the major intellectual hub in it. Our memory is what affirms our identity. Imagine waking up every morning forgetting who you are. It would be disastrous right? We have the power to condition this intellectual hub of ours since we are able to. Before going further, do follow these rules each time you start memorizing anything.

  1. Remove emotional clutters. – Your mind should be ready to absorb new knowledge     (like a sponge) and if you have anything else in mind, it will create a fog like image that blocks your focus. Always remember that focus and clarity is two major things you need before you even start studying.
  2. Take deep breaths and believe you will be able to do it – Imagine the chapter ” Salts” in Chemistry for example. Stop rambling about how on earth are you going to memorize all the colors and reactions but instead believe deeply that you will be able to cover the subtopics in it. I’ve even heard of students claiming themselves to be slow learners. If you can confirm the fact that you are a slow learner you would not have reached as far as to sit for a major examination right? How can you define the word slow in this context?
  3. Remember and practice rule 1 and 2!

Okay, I shall stop being very abstract and get to the point. In order to identify your learning pattern, you will have to recognize your own ability. Many students who I’ve met fail to tackle their memory problems from this point of view. Memorizing abilities are divided into three categories namely eye oriented, (I name it photographic memory), ear oriented and action oriented ( sounds a little hyper eh! :>)

  1. Eye oriented – Photographic memory means that you are able to memorize a sentence just by looking at it for a few minutes.
  2. Ear oriented – Do you prefer to hear someone saying and explaining it out to you instead?
  3. Action oriented – Are you those who would prefer to have your hands and legs moving while memorizing something? Do not be shy if you are one of those students. I’ve had students who could memorize only if they are walking around the room. A healthier practice for action oriented people is to write more and more notes.

Ideally, a student may have a little of all three memorizing abilities. It is advisable to identify your learning pattern first before going on further. Let’s try the electrochemical series for example:

Potassium

Calcium

Sodium

Magnesium

Aluminum

Zinc

Iron

Tin

Lead

Hydrogen

Copper

Silver

Gold

How will you memorize this? Would you be capturing the series in your mind, reading it out loud or writing and re-writing it till you’re able to absorb it? Ideally, in addition to the above three method, associating the series with an image or a catchy sentence will help you memorize faster. Try this: Paddy Could Still Marry A Zulu In The Lovely Honolulu Causing Strange Gazes. I bet that if you manage to associate the series with something funny or weird, you will be able to memorize things better. I found this site very useful, http://www.iT1me.com. They provide a list of chemistry mnemonics which you could use in your studies.

Before ending the post, the utmost important factor above all mentioned above is your personal liking towards the subject. Treat learning as something fun and indulge in the knowledge that you gain from it. After all, it’s just an exam! (Okay, I know you will be like, “JUST AN EXAM!!!!”) But that’s a fact! It is just an exam paper, accept it with an open mind do your best and leave the rest.

 

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14 thoughts on “MEMORIZING FOR EXAMINATIONS!!”

  1. I like how your page is set up. Great article, It really got me thinking and isn’t that what we’re suppose to do? I’m going to try to get my kids to read this to help improve their skills in school. The more help the better, right?

  2. Hey Dr. Veena,

    This is such a great article. I am always fascinated by how we can learn and how the mind works in terms of memory.

    I remember years ago trying a memory course by a guy called Dr. Bruno Frost (i hope I spelled his last name correctly!). He spoke of using hooks like clothes hangers to hang stuff on the ‘hooks of the mind’.

    I like the mnemonics model. I do find learning facts to be a bit difficult and would be trying these out!

    I think I may be a mix of action oriented and ear oriented lol…

    Great way of explaining how learning really works!

    Ravi

  3. I have always been skeptical about memorizing things un-naturally!

    Un-naturally is where we need to make an effort to memorize.

    “You forget what you memorize but remember what you learn”.

    I think that making students memorize stuff doesn’t help except in exams!

    We as student have to spend so much time memorizing things that we focus less on the message of the lesson or the reason it is being taught to us.

    I also do not resonate with the idea that students who can’t memorize are thought to be bad learners.
    “Memorizing is not Learning”.

    I hope we had a better education system!

    Thanks for your post though. I’m sure it will help students who don’t have an option but to memorize!

    1. Great point there. I advocate learning for the passion of it and not just to pass examinations. Unfortunately, there are topics which requires students to memorize. This post was written to show them the other side of the coin. Thanks for your comment. Appreciate it

  4. BOOM, that hit home for me. I love this, photographic memory is killer, and I think we can all develop that mental faculty to the next level. This really was an enjoyable read, thank you so much.

  5. Some great tips in this article! I particularly liked the opening confidence boosting poem which I remembered from my days as a student. I particularly liked the tip on the power of association to assist the memory function.

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