Udayavni Special

Exam Special: A Palace to remember

Team Udayavani, Mar 20, 2018, 6:30 PM IST

Imagine that day after tomorrow you have history exam. The key aspect pertaining to this subject is remembering the dynasties, its famous rulers, their achievements, critical dates and eras, names of the family members or ministers and many other details. 

The mere thought of remembering such a huge pile of information can be very overwhelming to many students. This can happen when they are learning a new language or a new concept too. Maybe this one of the reasons why many students hate studying history or any foreign language.

Students, please don’t get dejected by this. There is a way out to memorize these aspects and that too comes from the subject of history itself. About 2500 years ago in Greece, an innovative memory technique was developed to help the aristocrats remember their speeches. This technique today is called as ‘Memory Palace’.

The Memory Palace is one of the most powerful memory techniques, which is used by many corporate executives and politicians to memorize a presentation or speech they are about to deliver. This same technique can be used by you too to remember important facts pertaining to history or any other subject. 

This memory technique is not only effective but also entertaining to use and not hard to learn at all. All you need to do to master this technique is calling to your mind a very familiar place, for example, using your own house as a visual notebook by placing or depositing the facts or aspects you need to remember at all the important places in your house, and then as you take a mental tour of your house, the images deposited by you will start popping up.

Let me make it easier for you by explaining this technique in a step by step method:

Step 1: Choose a place that you are you very familiar with like your home, school/college or a restaurant.

Step 2: Define the route – for example, suppose you decide to consider your house, think about the front door, drawing room, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, etc. Mentally plan a route covering all these places.

Step 3: Now take a list of something that you want to memorize – a list of 10 words from a new language you are learning.

Step 4: Take one or two words at a time and place a mental image of them at each location of your memory palace. Try to come up with the crazy images of the items and have them interact with the location. For example, if the first item is “Pomodoro” Italian word for tomato, imagine instead of a doorbell you see a big red pom- pom (woollen ball) hanging on the front door.

Step 5: Make these images come alive with your senses. Crazy, bizarre and funny images can help you to master this technique. On first few occasions you try this, it will be slow, but the more you practice it, easier and quicker it becomes.

Memory Palace is very effective for students not only because they help them to focus their attention, but also because they remind them that meaning is important for remembering, even if it sounds crazy or wild.

Also, this technique can be a great saviour for anyone who has the task of buying groceries on regular basis. Try it and enjoy it

– Prakash Prabhu
[ Mr.Prakash Prabhu works for The Manipal Group as a Senior HR Manager with over 15 years of corporate experience. He has been the lead writer and contributor to CHIRP magazine.(An intra-Manipal group monthly employee magazine) An avid reader who devours one book after another, Mr.Prabhu is also a certified handwriting analyst.]

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