Memorising techniques that actually work

Student writing an assingment in bed.

Memorising is a skill that relies on active learning. Simply reading the same notes over and over again doesn’t work very well.

Instead, try some of these tried and tested techniques from the ALLaN team:

  • Write the notes out, using different colours and annotation techniques (underlining, circling, highlighting, etc) so the visual image is memorable.
  • Stick your notes up somewhere really visible like the wall above your desk or on the fridge.
  • Read the notes aloud.
  • Try to re-write the notes unseen.
  • Re-write the information in the notes in a different way. Try mind maps, different headings for lists, or in date order.
  • Read the information you need to memorise, close the text and recall what you can, reopen the text and assess the accuracy of your recall.
  • Write the facts on to flashcards using a different coloured card or pen for each category.
  • Use the flashcards to play games like Concentration or Snap. The aim is to look at the information as often as you can without becoming bored and disengaging from the task.
  • Record the information then replay it when you are driving, cooking, or about to go to sleep.
  • Study with a peer and test each other on the information you need to memorise and revise where necessary.