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Easy Memorization Technique - Linking

Nishanth 
on 07 June 2013

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Once you understand concepts - “ its easy to remember subjects. But now and again, you may just need to be sure that you remember all items. This technique will hopefully help.

This was one of the first and foremost technique that I learnt and its stood me well in the past several years. In fact, sometimes this technique helps you to remember stuff for very long periods of time. And its simple! You just need to engage your mind a little bit more and spend some time initially. Once you do that its stuck in your mind for ever. This is best to remember lists and more so if you have to remember them in order.

So here's how it goes.

Step 1: Say we have to remember the following list of items (these are just random words):

1. Soap

2. Handbag

3. Weather

4. Scarcity

5. Cradle

6. Sign

7. Government.

Step 2: Now imagine an image for each of the item. For some items its straightforward. For example you can easily imagine a soap or a handbag. But it becomes tricky when it comes it items like weather, government etc. For this, you need to associate these words with the image it brings in your mind. For example, when I think about weather, a cloudy rainy day image is what comes to my mind. When I think about Government, the parliament building is what comes to my mind. These images are in your head. So don’t bother about how extreme they are - as long as they help you associate the words with these images. So here are the images in my head for the above items:

1. Soap: I imagine a bar of pears soap

2. Handbag: I imagine an ad of an handbag which I saw on TV with the actress Kareena Kapoor carrying the handbag.

3. Weather: A cloudy, rainy day

4. Scarcity: I imagine a young malnourished child (indicating scarcity of food)

5. Cradle: A cradle of a baby

6. Sign: A road “stop” sign

7. Government: Parliamentary building.

Step 3: Now take the first image and second image and “Link” them. Try and make this linking as humorous or as extreme as possible. Your mind tends to remember the extremes. Example: Linking soap and handbag. A simple image would be just you putting a soap in a handbag - this won’t work. You need it to be more active and impactful. A better image would be that you are having bath with the soap and from your shower a ton of handbags are falling on you. -Now this is an image which you won’t forget that easily. Spend some time imagining the entire image of you having bath and how you see the bags falling down on you - Imagine you are there and how it hurts! Next link the second image and third i.e. Handbag and weather. A simple but ineffective image would be that of a handbag being drenched in rain. A good solid image would be that you are stuck in rain and are trying to cover yourself with a handbag as a raincoat. It should be as humorous as possible. This way you have fun while studying.

Similary link the third to fourth and fourth to fifth and so on:-

Weather and scarcity: Imagine the malnourished child opening his mouth to drink the rain and you can see his tummy bulging

Scarcity and cradle: Imagine that instead of a cradle that a mother is swinging a malnourished child

Cradle and sign: imagine that a cradle is in the middle of the road with "STOP" written on it and there is a huge traffic pile up because of the cradle

Sign and Government: imagine that there are a massive number of people carrying "STOP" signs and are throwing them (like a javelin thrower) on the politicians who have climbed up the parliament building.

Step 4: Now all you need to do is remember the first word i.e. Soap -think about the associated image -what was it ? You were having bath and from the shower something was falling down -what was it? Yes! Handbag. Now picture the handbag -what do you remember? You trying to put on the handbag like a raincoat in the rain (associated word -weather). Now picture weather - what was linked to it -the malnourished child trying to drink and his tummy swelling (associated word -scarcity). From the malnourishned child you remember the mother swinging (picture cradle) -From the cradle -the middle of the road of the stop sign -from the stop sign -people throwing stop sign at politicians on the parliament (picture Government). That’s it! by remembering just one word - Soap - you remember the entire linkage.

Once you associate a picture with a word - stick with it. Even if it applies to different lists that you have to remember.

Let’s apply this. If you have to remember sentences or sets of words then select a key word (refer point 4 below). When you study for your exams, say you have to remember the “Basic Principles Governing Audit”:

1. Integrity (Hard to imagine - so associate with a similar word say Integers, think of a large block of numbers 1,2,3 etc. in front of your house - Integers - which will remind you of Integrity)

2. Objectivity - (again hard to remember -associate with a similar word say objective - Imagine a archery target (target = objective)

3. Independence - Imagine the Indian Flag

4. Confidentiality - Imagine a file marked “Top Secret”

5. Due Professional Care - pick a key word –“Professional”-imagine a young man with a suit and tie and a briefcase

6. Skills - Imagine a potter (pottery is a skill -this is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of skills)

7. Competence - Imagine the stage of a competition e.g. the Olympic stadium etc.

Now link. Imagine that you are trying to hit a target which is on the large block of numbers and they all fall down like dominoes (one after another). Next, imagine that the archer is standing on top of the Flag pole and trying to hit at people who are looking at him. (to make it more humorous think of people trying to pick up the arrows and throwing back at him simultaneously. Next imagine, that you are carrying a top secret file - and you trip and fall - the file opens and you find gold plated Indian flags all lying down on the floor. Next, imagine you are carrying the file and suddenly from no where there are five or six people well dressed in suits and ties and briefcases come and attack you - they want the file that you are carrying. Next, imagine a well dressed man in a suit and tie and briefcase is sitting down in a shed and opens his briefcase -and what do you see? He has a large potters wheel and clay inside. Next, imagine say a large number (say 10,000) potters all sitting inside an Olympic stadium and trying to make pots as soon as possible and there are scorers counting and crowds cheering. At each image spend some time thinking about it, feeling it. It’s easier if the image is impactful and extreme.

Remember -you can think about anything - its in your own head – don’t try to be “correct” in associations -the more important thing is to ensure that you can remember and visualize the image.

Start now with Integrity -Imagine the word -and link it -You should be able to get through to the last word Competence (Olympic stadium) pretty easily.

Let me know if it works for you - Comments are welcome.

By: Nishanth


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