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How to make things stick in your head

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How to make things stick in your head

Just like all those theme songs from your distant childhood.

We all learn differently – some people are visual, some are aural, some like theory while others prefer diving straight in. Here are some ways to try getting vital info lodged in your head and brain for good. Or at least until the end of your exams…

Put it to music

Need to remember a poem, a long quote or something else entirely? See if you can turn it into a song – or even better, “sing” it to the tune of a song you already know (or, you know, an ad or theme song). Even if you hit some key words, it’ll help jog your memory in an exam situation.

Mnemonics are your friend

That’s not a typo. Mnemonics are things like “Never Eat Soggy Weet-Bix” to remember the cardinal directions (read the first letters), or “Roy G. Biv” for the colours of the rainbow (in this case, these are the first letters). There are plenty of these online, but making up your own might help them stick better.

Connect it to something weird

This comic from xkcd sums up what we’re talking about here. We tend to remember something better if it’s linked to the bizarre or disgusting. Trigonometry’s SOH-CAH-TOA? Imagine peeling off a rancid old sock from your ingrown toenail. (Did that help? Apologies if not.)

Connect it to something you already know

If you can remember who’s who in Hamlet because you’re obsessed with The Lion King, that’s excellent. Sames goes if you keep track of Egyptian pharaohs by nicknaming them after Riverdale characters (Hatshepsut was *such* a Veronica).

Write it down. Do it again

Copy down the information you need to memorise with a pen or pencil. Not just once, either. This will help you form an association – in an exam, you’ll (hopefully) be able to recall the process of doing this.

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