HAYP: Article 4: Memory Skills Development part:3   1 comment

Some Essential Memory Skills: Part 3

You have now seen how a single impossible-to-forget sentence can translate into an impossible-to-forget 23-digit number something you probably would never have thought yourself capable of memorizing before you picked up this book. Now you’re going to learn how to use the process in the opposite direction by taking the numbers you need to memorize, turning them into words and ideas you can remember and incorporating unusual images that will stick in your mind just as readily as this sentence did:

“Some people don’t like to eat worms but I certainly do!”

The digital alphabet can make hard-to-memorize “abstract” numbers you face instantly memorable. (In the following examples, we’ll be memorizing only the dates by associating them with the most important single idea of the passage. You can also use the Acronym and Replacement/Exaggeration methods to develop more elaborate memory connections, and to master no numerical material as well.)

William Shakespeare died in 1616.

Picture yourself strapping William Shakespeare into an electric chair (William Shakespeare died…). As you do so, he begs you to refrain from touching his body and you scream, “Touchy, touchy!” (…in 1616) before you pull the lever.

The population of Nairobi, Kenya, is estimated by one source to be 1,482,386.

For “Nairobi” picture a knight in your own bathrobe. He’s causing a huge commotion by galloping his horse through a drive-in movie show (1,482,386), and he’s irritating the patrons by getting in the way of the images on the screen.


Stop! Take a moment now to review all the numerical associations you’ve just made. When you feel confident with each of them, take a break of at least 10 minutes. Then review all three categories of the mnemonic work you’ve done. Look once again at an the acronyms, replacements and exaggerations and numerical associations you just mastered. The process should take no longer than five minutes or so. Do this right now.

This step is an essential part of the memorization/study process. When it comes time to prepare for your exams, don’t skip this step! Take a few moments and review the associations you develop for your real-life study material.

An amazing thing happens when you use these systems: The effort you expend in applying the systems helps your “natural” memory do a better job. Often, the merest hint of the mnemonic technique you used is all that’s necessary help you recall the information in full.

Now it’s time to surprise yourself. Please take the short test on the next page. Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper.

One response to “HAYP: Article 4: Memory Skills Development part:3

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  1. Brilliant article. I will soon include it in my website. I coin, collect and crave for mnemonic devices. I have coined couple of mnemonics on softskills and behavioral skills.

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