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10 Ways to Memorize Information for the ASVAB

By Rod Powers

Part of 1,001 ASVAB Practice Questions For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Many subtests in the ASVAB, such as General Science, Mechanical Comprehension, Electronics Information, and Auto and Shop Information are hard to ace because you probably didn’t learn much about them in high school. So you may need to memorize facts and illustrations to do well in the areas of the ASVAB that you aren’t familiar with. Use these ten study methods to trick your brain into remembering all the things you need to know to get an excellent score on the ASVAB:

  • Acronyms: An acronym uses the initial or important letters of a phrase to create an easily memorable abbreviation, such as PEMDAS to help remember the order of operations in mathematics (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction).

  • Acrostics: This mnemonic device uses a group of words that start with particular letters to convey a meaning, such as the newly revised acrostic “My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nothing,” to help you remember the eight planets (sans Pluto): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

  • Categorizing: Mentally dividing information into categories can help you remember similarities and differences. For example, studying plants and animals separately may help you remember photosynthesis, which occurs in plants, not animals.

  • Chunking: Especially helpful with numbers, chunking is the process of breaking big chunks of information into smaller segments. For example, you can break larger numbers into shorter segments to help you remember them. That’s why you memorize phone numbers by saying “five, five, five, (pause) one, two, three, four.”

  • Loci method: This mnemonic device helps you remember something if you can associate that thing with a familiar place (loci means “location”). For example, if you visualize E = MC2 spray-painted on your bedroom wall, you’re sure to see that picture when you close your eyes, which helps you memorize that formula.

  • Q and A: Question-and-answer practice is a good study tool for memory if you have more than one person available to quiz you. Get the most out of this study technique by using it together with the re-review method later in this list.

  • Recording: Recording yourself reviewing information (such as vocabulary definitions) and then playing it back aids in memory retention.

  • Re-review: Reviewing new information more than once in the same day helps set that information in your brain more effectively than waiting a few days to look over it.

  • Rhymes: Rhyming with catchy phrases and sentences is an easy way to retain information. For example, “i before e except after c” is a popular rhyme used to help spell some words in the English language.

  • Visualizing: Creating mental pictures of different concepts you want to memorize makes remembering them easier. For instance, picturing yourself running a marathon, exhausted and out of breath, may help you remember that the exhaust of a car is the tailpipe that blows out the smoke.