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Part of Western Governors University

January 12, 2011

Effective memorization techniques.

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Memorization can be the most difficult part of online university success. Many students are able to apply what they learn to practical situations, but are unable to readily recite what they've learned. If you have trouble retaining information, don't worry, there are a few ways to improve your skills.

Mnemonic devices quick ways to remember complicated information. A mnemonic device is a technique that allows you to condense information by using a rhyme or phrase to help you remember it. For example, chemistry students must learn the chemical elements in the periodic table. If you were trying to remember all the halogen elements (Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine, and Astatine), you might associate the first letter of each element with the phrase, "Follow Chemistry Beyond your Initial A+."

Flash cards are a fun way to test your knowledge. Online degree studies require independent working habits; flash cards allow you to challenge yourself each day. As you progress in your coursework, create new cards that correspond to key terms and concepts. By the end of your online university experience, you will have compiled a comprehensive resource that covers your entire study process.

Rhythm is like brain food. As children, many students relied on catchy songs to help them remember information — e.g., Schoolhouse Rock, "The Fifty Nifty United States Song", etc. While you may feel foolish, consider making up songs to hum to yourself as you study. Some things come more naturally with a tune attached, and memorization is one of them.

Repetition is at the heart of every technique mentioned above. The most important part of studying is the act of repetition; by repeating what you have learned, you are more likely to retain it. Success in your online degree courses requires diligent study skills. Go over your notes and study guides continuously until you can recite the information from memory.

A full online course load can be overwhelming for even the most astute pupil, so give yourself some time to adjust to these learning methods. A reliable memory is within your reach.

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