Mnemonics to Remember

Exam questions often require you to recall specific facts, rules, dates, formula and sequences. Whilst the cognitive mapping techniques already presented will help you recall information, you may still need to memorise some key facts. Most students memorise information by repetition, which is a time consuming and extremely boring process. A far more efficient approach is to use mnemonics.

Mnemonic techniques 'encode' information by making memorable associations with easier to recall acronyms, phrases, rhymes, vivid mental images, physical actions, and familiar locations. In doing so they provide a powerful method of memorising hard to retain items of information.

You may already be aware of a number of commonly used mnemonics. However, the ability to create your own mnemonics is a powerful revision tool. Below you will find guidance on a range of techniques you can use to create your own mnemonics to aid the recall of key facts in your exams.


Acronym / Phrase

Useful for memorising sequential or consequential information. Use the first letter of each item in the sequence to create an acronym or phrase. Examples include:


Acronym Phrase

Note in the last example, the way the phrase is written out can also be used. In this example to recall trigonometric functions.


Peg-system

Here you create a sequence of mental pegs (objects) that are easily associated with the numbers they represent, either through rhyme or shape. You then 'hang' the items in the sequence to be memorised on these mental 'pegs' by visually pairing the item in the sequence with its associated peg (object).

Number/Rhyme
Number/Shape

Physical

Often involves the use of your hands to represent a sequence or rule. For example, Fleming's left and right hand rules.

Flemings Left Hand Rule
Flemings Left Hand Rule

Method of Loci

This is a spatial / visualisation technique in which the rooms of a familiar building, or locations on a familiar journey, are visually associated with each item to be memorised. To recall each item, you first recall the room / place and then the item you visualised in that location.


Method of Loci
Method of Loci


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