Any tips on how to memorize I love learning and some things stay with me but some go away and I think memorizing everything is my only chance…
Well if you to ask me, memorizing isn’t the best way to go about learning. There was a great post about this topic on Farnam Street Blog just the other day.
Let’s try a little experiment. If I say the word bicycle what comes to your mind?
I doubt it is the dictionary definition of a bicycle. If you are like me you get vivid images of your first bicycle or memories of a bicycle trip you once took. Our minds weren’t really evolved to memorize written words. Imagery and context is a much stronger way to keep things in our mind. In fact, that is how memory champions store information. They use images.
Check out this great TED talk by Josh Foer, the 2006 USA memory champion and author of Moonwalking With Einstein.
While his techniques work, I think there are better ways to learn long term information in the sciences. To truly learn something you must do a few things:
-First, you must understand what you are learning. That seems simple, but often it is not. When I took physics for the first time I got by with memorizing all of the equations and I did reasonably well. But when the class ended I lost that knowledge because I didn’t truly understand it. Two years later when I relearned physics for the MCAT I had a tutor who showed me how to derive those equations for myself. I soon realized that I had used the equations successfully but never fully understood them. You have to get down to the root of the concepts and build up from there, not vice versa (as many classes are taught).
-Second, you have to build a framework of knowledge. I always preach that learning can be fun if you become curious about the world. I find this is a tremendous help in remembering things. When you learn science concepts, find ways to apply that information else where. If you learn about fluid dynamics look into its applications. You would be surprised to know that many of the physics laws that govern the movement of fluids through pipes directly apply to blood moving through vessels. Then, if you are curious enough and do some reading you will also learn that many of those principles determine where aneurysms occur in blood vessels. Basically, what I am saying is that the more you can apply the things you learn to the world around you, the better you will remember the information.
-Finally, I think the key to learning anything is being able to teach it to someone else. I jump at the chance to tutor others. It really is a mutually beneficial scenario. When you teach others you have to think critically about information and find novel ways to present it. It forces you to come up with explanations and metaphors, which ultimately add to that framework of understanding.
Here is another great post from Farnam Street Blog on learning using the Feynmann technique.
This is a lot of info, so go through some of the posts and videos I have linked in. Think some of it over and come back if I can explain any techniques better.
Best of luck,