The memory retention capabilities vary from person to person. Some people can retain every piece of information easily and for a longer duration while some face difficulty to even register the information in their mind. For the latter section of people, the mnemonics play wonders in the memorizing process and increase the overall memory retention. The mnemonics can also help the aspirants to clear the JEE Exam, IAS exam and other competitive exams easily.
Mnemonics are memory devices or tactics that enhance the memory retention of the mind. Mnemonics can be anything from a song, poem, phrase, etc. that relates to a particular piece of information.
As per the Greeks and Romans, the human memory is distinguished into two types i.e the natural memory and the artificial memory. The former is an inborn memory while the latter needs to be trained using various techniques i.e. using mnemonics. Here some of the most famous and important mnemonics techniques that are given can be easily associated with respective facts and improving the memory retention.
The Acronym Mnemonics
Acronyms are abbreviations that are formed from the initial letter of the words and are pronounced as a word like NASA, BODMAS, ASCII etc.
The acronym mnemonics can be applied to various informational facts to remember them better. For example,
- “VIBGYOR” is for the seven colours of the rainbow which stands for Violet Indigo Blue Green Yellow Orange Red with increasing order of their wavelengths.
- “NEWS” for the four directions i.e North East West South
- “PEN” for the atomic parts as Proton Electron Neutron
There are many such acronyms that can be used as mnemonics to retain different pieces of information.
The Order Mnemonics
The order mnemonics helps to remember the order of any information or fact that may be hard to retain normally like:
- “Mums Very Easy Map Just Shows Us North” is to remember the nine planets of our solar system in order from Mercury to Neptune.
- “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” is for the Math operation i.e. Parentheses Exponents Multiply Divide Add S
- “Visitors Are Rude” is to remember the Ohm’s Law which is: Volts = Amperes*Resistors
The Poem or Song Mnemonics
The brain often remembers songs and poems more than the required facts and information. Thus many facts can be associated with poems or songs to remember them better. Example:
- To learn the English alphabets, “ABC” song proves excellent trick to learn fast.
- To remember the number of days in the months, along with the wrist technique, this poem can also be used to remember.
“30 days hath September, April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31
Except February my dear son.
It has 28 and that is fine
But in Leap Year it has 29.”
The Spelling Mnemonics
Often remembering spellings of some words prove to be a very hard task. With the mnemonics, remembering the spelling becomes really easy, for example:
- “Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move” is to remember the spelling for the word
- “A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream” for remembering the spelling for
The Mind Palace Mnemonics
The technique used by Benedict Cumber batch in the TV series “Sherlock” to remember almost every detail of information he comes across. This technique can be mastered by anyone and everyone.
To start with this technique, first imagine a room and keep storing information in different locations. For example, to remember a shopping list consisting of potato, cabbage, onions and garlic, start to place these things inside the imagined palace (here a room) in different locations like a potato on the table, cabbage on the bed, onions on the table and garlic on the chair. After imagining the exact location of the things, the information can easily be retained for a long time. Whenever the shopping list is to be remembered, imagine the room and look for the items already placed. After proper practice, this room can be changed to a huge palace and then more of information can be retained just like Sherlock.
There are also other mnemonics like Fleming’s left hand rule, thumb rule, etc. used for various information. The mnemonics are not something of limited number that can be learned easily. With creativity, every one person can devise their own ways of memorizing things through various techniques mentioned here. By using the mnemonics, memorizing will always be easy and no information will ever skip the brain.
About the author:
With a degree in Engineering, Souvik Bhattacharjee is a content writer by profession. He loves writing and blogging along with part-time teaching. He is presently exploring all about the digital education with Byju’s-the Learning App.