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Studying Smart: Remember the Information

Remember the Information
Learn the strategies for remembering the material you have learned throughout the course of the semester.


Understand the Concepts

Make sure you understand the concepts first before you memorize them. To determine if you understand the information, try teaching it to someone else. If you can teach the information to others, you have grasped the knowledge and can now begin to memorize.

Make Your Main Points Stick Out

If something is bizarre, you are more likely to remember it. When information jumps out at you on a page, you are going to remember it. Strange, unusual, and extraordinary information is easier to retain, so make your most important points stick out.

Use Colors and Pictures

We can recall visuals easier than written text, so information through pictures aren't going to be forgotten as quickly. Use visual aids (with colors to enhance the drawing and make it unique) to help you retain knowledge. 

Ways to Remember Information

What are Mnemonic Devices?

Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery as specific tools to encode any given information in a way that allows for efficient storage and retrieval.

Common Mnemonics 

  1. Imagery Mnemonics 
    Imagery mnemonics are often used to memorize items that are somehow related to each other. By visualizing a specific picture, you can easily recall information that you previously associated with that image. Often, the more ridiculous the image is, the easier it will be for you to remember.
  2. Acronyms and Acrostics 

    An acronym is simply an abbreviation that is put together by the first letters of other words and then pronounced as its own word. An acrostic is a memorization tool that takes the initial letter of every item you want to remember to create a memorable sentence. 

    • Examples of Acronyms 
      Roy G. Biv = colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)
      HOMES - the five Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior)

    • Examples of Acrostics
      "God equals light, not darkness" = the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

  3. Rhymes
    Rhymes are easily recalled because they’re stored in your brain through acoustic encoding, which means you’ve learned the information through your auditory senses. This explains why song lyrics are so much easier to memorize than a paragraph out of a book or some other form of prose. 

  4. Chunking and Organizing
    Chunking is a technique that breaks information down into small pieces that are easier to remember. Organizing is similar to chunking because it involves grouping things together. You can use objective organization by grouping items together in a logical way, or you can use subjective organization by grouping seemingly unrelated things together.

  5. Models 
    Using models such as diagrams, flowcharts, and graphs is also a form of a mnemonic. These are visual representations that help you learn and remember a concept. 

Flashcards are a tried-and-true study tool. No matter what you are studying, flashcards can help you memorize information, reinforce understanding, and retain details. However, not all flashcards are created equal. Below are some tips on how to create a set of flashcards, and how best to study with them.

Create Your Flashcards

Supplies Needed:

  • Index Cards
  • Highlighters or Markers (in multiple colors)
  • Vocabulary List or Study Guide
  • Pen or Pencil


  1. On the front of the card, write one vocabulary word or key term.
    Center the word horizontally and vertically, and be sure to keep the front of the card free of any extra markings, smudges, or doodles.
  2. On the back of the card, write the definition of the vocabulary word in the upper left-hand corner.
    Be sure to compose the definition in your own words.
  3. Categorize the word (time period, school of thought, etc.) and write it in the upper right-hand corner.
    This will help your brain categorize and group similar concepts and information. 
  4. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word on the lower left-hand side.
    Make the sentence creative, funny, or memorable in some way. (If you write a bland sentence, you're much less likely to remember it!
  5. Draw a small picture or graphic to go with the vocabulary word on the lower right-hand side.
    It doesn't have to be artistic, just something that reminds you of the definition.

Studying with Flashcards 

Study the flashcards on a regular basis, preferably once a day for 1 to 2 weeks, before a test or exam. Explore different techniques, such as reviewing out loud versus silently and working alone versus with a study group.

When studying with flashcards, make a small checkmark in the corner of the cards you answer correctly. When you have made two or three marks on a card, you know you can put it in a separate pile. Keep going through your main pile until all cards have two or three marks. Then, shuffle them and put them away for your next review session (or keep practicing!).


Fleming, Grace. (2020, August 26). How to Study With Flashcards.
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