Memory techniques to enhance revision for exams

Which memories do you use for revising?

Are you primarily a visual (by seeing), auditory (by listening), or kinaesthetic (by doing), learner?

Try using these three memories together and you will remember much more:

If you are a visual learner and prefer the linear layout, make colourful bullet points on cards.

  • Make up a funny visual story in your imagination about the work you are learning, choosing a cartoon character for each subject, so that the information stays grouped together in your memory.
  • Try learning sitting comfortably with your arm propped up by a cushion so that the material that you are learning is above your eye line and therefore going straight into your visual memory.

If you are primarily an auditory learner:

  • Try reading the key points out aloud, recording them on your phone or on an MP3 recorder and play your recording back to yourself.
  • You can make up a funny story using mnemonics.
  • The first letter of each word you are learning changes into the first word of your funny story e.g. for remembering the points on the compass – North, East, South and West, a well-known phrase is “Never Eat Shredded wheat.” This goes around clockwise to remind you where the points of the compass are.

Kinaesthetic learners can act out what they are learning on an imaginary stage, walking around the room they are in, as they learn and also make bullet points on cards and place them around the room that they are learning in.

Try a combination of these memory techniques called the Roman room system:

  • You imagine (visually) one of the subjects in each room, say science in the kitchen.
  • You attach information about electricity circuits, and place them on post-it notes saying the information out aloud as you write it on post it notes (auditorily).
  • You then place the notes on the circuits in the kitchen (kinaesthetically).
  • Learn about radio waves by the microwave, magnets on the fridge door, photosynthesis on the herb plant pot in the kitchen etc. Remembering the information visually, and in an auditory and kinaesthetic manner. Then use another room for another subject.

Try these memory techniques for learning and especially for revising for taking exams and see how well it works.