Mnemonics Enhance Retention of Study Material

The amount of raw data that you need to remember as a student will only increase over time. The ability to retain important names and dates is an important study skill. These days you have a lot to remember, what with phone numbers, access codes and passwords, and if you have several of each and don’t use one for a while, you will notice how difficult it is to recall it.

At other times you feel the numbers are in the right order or the password is correct – then realise as you are denied access that you’ve used them for the wrong application. Remembering dates and details is easier and more useful if you can connect them to something else by use mnemonic memory aids.

Mnemonics are memory aids that you can use to help you remember something. You make an association between them and what you want to remember. When you create a password, you are often asked to provide a password hint to help you remember the password if you forget it. This is making a link between something you know well – the hint – and something you want to remember.

Everyone uses mnemonics every day. If you learned music, your teacher probably taught you the mnemonic FACE to remember the four notes in the spaces on the scale and EGBDF – Every Good Boy Deserves Favour – to help you remember the notes on the five lines of the treble clef.

Make sure you choose the right memory aid, one that can have only one answer. For example, if you make a link through your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s name, by the time you need to use the link to remember important information, they may be history, so the link may be lost or forgotten.

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