I recently read a remarkable story of a guy who was at college and his professor said the following two statements:
1) No student had ever aced his introductory exam; and 2) all the answers could be found in the first 7 chapters of the textbook.
So what did he do? He memorized the entire 7 chapters.
In total he had remembered a whopping 23,000 words, and he got 100% on the test. So how did he do it?
He claims to use a technique called stacking, now, I should add that I haven’t tried this, but I suppose it makes sense.
Here is how you stack memories:
- “First, use a pencil or word processor (I prefer the latter because itâ€™s faster) to type, in complete sentences, any fact you think might appear on the test. Use short sentences because theyâ€™re easier to remember.
- Take your printed notes into a quiet room, shut the door, and eliminate all distractions.
- Look at the first sentence in your notes and read it out loud. Then, close your eyes and say the sentence without looking at it.
- Repeat the step above, this time with the first 2 sentences.
- Next, try it with 3 sentences. Then 4. Repeat until you have memorized every sentence in your notes.
After a study session, take a quick nap. New memories are very vulnerable, but studies have shown that sleep helps your new memories stick. After your nap, repeat the memory technique once more for maximum retention.”
Now I should add that I have tried similar techniques to learn languages, and at first they can seem futile, but with time and effort you really can store huge amounts of information.
One final point I feel I should make… there is a difference between remembering and understanding.