30.04.2018 change 30.04.2018

Mnemonics help high school seniors and students

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Chain association method, memory hooks or the first letter technique - these are the most popular mnemonic devices that allow to assimilate and recall memorized material faster and easier.

Their knowledge and application can be useful to all high school seniors or students who have a series of exams ahead of them.

The report on the effectiveness of learning techniques published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest shows that the most effective techniques include using practical tests, quizzes, picture cards. It is also very important to study at certain intervals, says Dr. Marta Znajmiecka-Sikora from the Institute of Psychology, University of Lodz

The expert reminds that the effectiveness of memorized information depends on many factors. Focus is essential in the learning process. It allows the information to reach long-term memory. "Research shows that attention drops sharply after 30-45 minutes and further learning becomes less effective, which is why short, few-minute breaks are so important" - she adds.

The order of the learned content is also important. Greatest effectiveness is achieved at the beginning of a learning session, and then it decreases and increases again after a certain time - it is called the freshness effect. "Spreading learning over time and repeating is also very important. The process of memorizing is also facilitated by interest, motivation and level of aspiration" - emphasises the psychologist.

Effective learning means an ease of acquiring information and effective use of knowledge. To achieve this, you can take advantage of mnemonics known since antiquity, the tools that facilitate encoding and recalling new information.

According to Dr. Znajmiecka-Sikora, the basis for applying mnemonics are associations, imagination, visualization, arrangement, the use of rhyme and rhythm.

She says that the most popular mnemonic technique is the chain association method. It allows to combine the memorized contents, making it possible to remember long lists of objects along with characteristic features in a chronological arrangement. "The essence of this technique is to match pairs of individual memorized elements, resulting in a chain of associations. It is important that the associations should be dynamic, exaggerated, funny or bizarre. The more unusual they are, the better" - she adds.

Another mnemonic device are memory hooks. They consists in using a known text as a skeleton for new information to be memorized. To use it, you need to create a set of hooks, memorize it well using visual imagery, and then - using this imagery - attach memorized content to the hooks.

In the expert`s opinion, acronyms and the first letter technique are help memorize geographical names, names of people or planets. Acronym is a new word or phrase created from the first letters of the words that we learn. "The first letters method consists in creating a sentence from the first letters of the words that we want to memorize. There are also mnemonic devices that facilitate the process of learning words in a foreign language or dates" - adds Znajmiecka-Sikora.

An alternative to linear notes without colour, space or association is a "map of thoughts". It is a tool that allows to create a graphical representation of information, facilitating the process of structuring, organizing and memorizing material.

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