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How To Remember
Equations And Formulae

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Anybody can Remember

Lecturing in France, I covered some simple memory techniques. As it went down so will I thought I would share with you part of what I spoke about.

The simplest way to memorise a list is to make up an imaginative story linking the elements together in sequence. However if you forget one of the items it is difficult to pick up the story again and you can lose everything that occurs after the break, just like a weak link in a chain. The solution to this is to use a series of memory pegs. If you imagine a cloakroom, there are a series of pegs that you can hang your coat on. They are screwed to the wall and don’t move about. Memory pegs are analogous. They are fixed things in your memory that you solidly know. To memorise something new you ‘hang’, or associate, each element to each peg in turn.

It is easiest to explain this with an example. A series of 10 things that you know are the parts of your body. You always have them with you! These will act as our pegs.

Body list man









Let’s learn 10 items on a shopping list.

French Bread

If you have been able to picture these in your imagination and associate other senses you will easily be able to run through items 1 to 10. You can go forwards or backwards from any point. What came before tomato? What was associated to your knees? What was the third item? If you forgot what was on your neck you know you missed one and can still remember the tomato on your nose. A shopping list is a trivial example but exactly the same principles can be applied to learning absolutely anything. I chose ten body parts but if you included ankles, shins, thighs, buttocks, biceps, forearms, chin, mouth, ears and eyes you could easily memorise 20 items.

Next time you need to memorise a list – try it using your body and your imagination. Have fun with your memory.