Learning mnemonics: useful tips and techniques

In the world of huge flows of information , there is no special need to remember the necessary data, because the most necessary of them can be obtained without effort, for example, by sending a request to the browser’s search bar on the Internet.

The brain of a modern person is being rebuilt to save energy – this is a kind of way to protect consciousness from overload, gigabytes of information, which is becoming more every day, it is literally everywhere: in smartphones, computers, TV, on billboards, in the radio playing in transport, etc.

Attention switches to simpler ways of obtaining information that we simply do not remember. As a result, the ability to think, to fix what is seen is lost. There is such a thing as digital autism, one of the features of which is just the lack of a developed memory [ A.V. Kurpatov, 2020 ].

But we can’t always be online, from time to time situations arise when something needs to be remembered: students in exams, specialists of various profiles in the line of duty, an applicant at an interview, scientists at a conference. The ability to memorize can be developed, for this there are various methods of mnemonics or mnemonics that are available to absolutely every person.

Let’s talk about learning mnemonics, figure out why and whether everyone needs it and how to learn it. Looking ahead, we note: any training in a group or under the supervision of a curator or teacher is the most effective. The educational program should be structured and delivered consistently.

You can learn mnemonics for free on your own, or you can master this art much faster on the ” Mnemotechnics ” program. Join to learn how to quickly and permanently memorize names, faces, numbers, numbers, foreign words, professional data and much more.

What is mnemonics?

The art of memorization through special techniques and techniques based on building connections and associations is mnemonics or mnemonics, which is one and the same. It differs from cramming, i.e. technical memorization, the ability to restore information by recreating a logical sequence in the head, replacing abstract objects and facts with concepts and representations.

Mnemonics allows you to remember information for a long time and expands the so-called “working memory” of a person. It has been proven that cramming shows effectiveness in the short term, i.e. fixes information in memory for a short period. For example, a student who, without understanding, memorized the facts of a theory for an exam, will most likely soon forget them, as soon as the focus of attention shifts from the subject [ M.A. Gaidukova, 2019 ]. This fact is a problem for vocational education: future specialists need to assimilate the maximum amount of information received, which in most cases does not contribute to cramming.

Learning mnemonics mobilizes the natural memory mechanisms of the brain, which allow you to restore information from storage to working memory quickly enough. The right approach to the development and use of mnemonics opens up the possibility of reducing long-term training programs from several years to several months. With the use of mnemonics, effective programs for learning foreign languages ​​and mastering new professions are compiled.

What opportunities does mnemonics open up?

The concept of mnemonics is probably well-known to many – it has become actively used in the age of excess information in the environment, but not many dare to master the skill of memorization, because they do not understand why this is necessary.

The art of memorizing information is mastered mainly by those people who directly need it: pupils, students, doctors, linguists, professors, experts in various fields. With the help of mnemonics, when teaching languages, you can easily memorize words, so its principles are applied in almost all language school programs.

As already mentioned, the art of mnemonics improves the working memory of the human brain, the convolutions begin to work more efficiently:

  • important deeds and promises are remembered;
  • important facts are fixed in memory;
  • attention is not scattered;
  • you can prepare for tests and exams faster;
  • remember shopping lists;
  • any topic can be thought about in depth without the use of gadgets and notes.

Mnemonics contributes to the development of attention , imagination, imaginative thinking, the ability to visualize. When mastering the art of mnemonics, both hemispheres are activated, while in an ordinary person only one prevails in everyday life:

  • the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for logical thinking and mind, orderliness, conditionally technical direction;
  • The right hemisphere is responsible for creativity, color perception, imagination, spatial relationships and imagery.

The conditional alignment of the activity of the work of the creative and logical hemispheres contributes to the construction of associative series: images are used for logical tasks [ Naryan-Mar Social and Humanitarian College named after I.P. Vyucheisky, 2021 ]. The learning process becomes more harmonious by expanding the capabilities of the brain.

Areas of implementation of mnemonics

The art of memorization is widely used in various spheres of life. Mnemonics is especially useful in programs of work with unusual children, in particular, in correctional pedagogy and psychology.

Practitioners of preschool institutions use the methodology of mnemonics to teach children with general underdevelopment of speech [ I.M. Nikiforova, 2020 ]. Memorization techniques help students with developmental disabilities form thoughts, fix poems in their memory, compose stories, retell, expand their perception of the world around them.

Teaching children mnemonics by progressive teachers of foreign languages ​​is practiced in the senior general education school. The need for this is described by Elena Yurievna Panina, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Language Teaching, Perm State University. In her opinion, the introduction of new memorization techniques stimulates children to learn and increases the level of academic performance, helps to orient themselves in communication situations, master evaluative vocabulary, speech ethics and the culture of the country of the language being studied [ E.Yu. Panina, 2014 ].

In humanitarian universities, the use of the mnemonic method in teaching storytelling, memorizing words, improving vocabulary is also used, but mainly by progressive teachers, in general educational literature, mnemonic techniques have not yet been introduced everywhere.

Anastasia Mikhailovna Gaidukova, Assistant Professor at the State University of Civil Aviation in St. Petersburg, describes the problem of foreign language acquisition among students and proposes the use of mnemonics methods as a solution. One of the effective ways to increase the memorability of vocabulary is to replace abstract objects with concepts, supplemented by visual, auditory and kinesthetic representations that link objects with already available information. The resulting associations qualitatively simplify memorization.

Using the techniques of mnemonics, students remember on average about 92% of the information. A consistently high quality of memorization occurs just at the moment of intensive work of both hemispheres of the brain , usually in the period of 20-50 minutes from the moment the material was studied. In the first hour, human memory is able to record 40-45% of new data, about 30% of them may decrease within 48 hours. Accordingly, the study of languages ​​using mnemonic techniques must be performed daily for 20-30 minutes [ A.M. Gaidukova, 2019 ].

A number of different specialists need to pump the ability to memorize large amounts of information outside of educational institutions: scientists, doctors, programmers, extras, etc. Separately, we note the speakers speaking to the audience. Usually they give lectures according to the planned plan, and, as a rule, they have a synopsis or the backbone of the presentation, but how often do you see speakers, teachers, politicians who read from a piece of paper without taking their eyes off it?

When a speaker interacts with the audience directly, he is, of course, free to improvise, focusing on the reaction of the audience, and yet the backbone of the lecture must be mastered by him [ A.V. Chepkasov, 2010 ]. Memorization is facilitated by the techniques of mnemonics. They are still used by scouts who are able to remember the smallest details without extraneous media.

How to learn the techniques of mnemonics?

Let’s start with the fact that memorization techniques were known to our ancestors before the advent of writing, when there was nowhere to record and accumulate information. Priests, elders were the bearers of traditions, history, events and secret knowledge. Then writing appeared, the effect of short-term memory appeared – at first the event was remembered, then it was transferred to paper, after which it was possible to “free up” space in the brain for new data. The first mention of mnemonics appeared in 86-82. BC: an unknown teacher of rhetoric in Rome created the work “The Art of Memory” [ Evgeny Malyshkin, 1997 ].

We will not dive into history, we will only note that the development of memory was still characteristic of our ancestors and even a generation that was not significantly influenced by the era of gadgets. This means that our task is to learn how to memorize information and restore, and then expand the abilities of the brain .

The techniques of mnemonics are not a big secret hidden from the public. A lot of methods can be found in the literature, on the Internet, among the carriers of knowledge about mnemonics. You can master the art of memorization on your own or in a training group at specialized schools, including 4brain .

The easiest way is to learn mnemonics online. To do this, you do not need to go anywhere, sign up, just find some tricks, choose the right ones and practice. But do not rush to go looking for exercises – below we will talk about the most popular, effective and versatile techniques.


Let’s start with the simplest – independent study of mnemonics. This is the development of certain techniques and regular training – nevertheless, mnemonics involves the development of skills.

The first step is to decide why you need to study mnemonics: memorize words, facts, teach a child or master the art on your own, as they say, for yourself. Then, starting from the need, identify the best techniques. Or use them all together.

Next, we will consider the main universal memorization techniques that are used in various training programs.

Initial letters or edge effect

Most people tend to remember information from the beginning and end of the structural series. The effect was recorded by the German scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus in his work “Memory” [ “Education, science, culture”, 2022 ]. The essence of the method of marginal memorization is fixing in memory what was said at the beginning and at the end.

Experiments have shown that the maximum efficiency of the brain occurs at the beginning of the cognitive process (reading, lecturing, watching the news), then it decreases and is fixed again at the end. This technique can be traced in the film “17 Moments of Spring”, where the main character in this way switched the attention of the interlocutor. A news feed is built in a similar way: if pleasant and positive events have not happened, so as not to leave a bitter aftertaste for the audience, some pleasant video is always put on as the last story – pay attention to this technique.

In structural groups (articles, brochures, informational texts), important information is concentrated at the beginning and at the end of the text. Pay attention to it if you need to remember some data.

Miller’s rule

Psychologist George Miller in the 20th century conducted a series of experiments with a group of people and revealed the following: on average, short-term memory can simultaneously accommodate 9 binary numbers, 8 decimals, 7 letters of the alphabet and 5 simple words. Total 7±2 elements. This rule is used when compiling mnemonic programs and various kinds of training.

If you need to remember something, try to have no more than seven elements in the number of elements (subgroups, objects, facts, etc.). More RAM may not be written in full.

Isolation effect (Restorff)

This memorization method is based on fixing in memory one object that stands out the most among the proposed information elements. In other words, the more expressive the subject, the easier it is to remember. This technique is used by PR specialists, advertising specialists, marketers, trying to highlight the product being sold in the mind of the consumer and emphasize its significance.

When studying and structuring information according to the Restorff method, try to single out facts, elements into groups and fix their image. This must be done in such a way that the groups do not resemble each other, so that each of them becomes bright and memorable.

Cicero’s method

The Cicero method or the Roman room method is the oldest and simplest method of structuring information . It connects associative and figurative thinking.

The essence of the method is this: mentally arrange the objects, facts and elements that need to be remembered in any familiar room in a certain order. Watch them – so the picture will be fixed in memory. It is important that the space is familiar to you: it can be a room, an office, a desktop, a street, a hall, a porch – everything that is known to your memory in detail.

Subsequently, it will be enough to remember this room, and the objects in it seem to fall into place by themselves. Actually, this is what Cicero did: before the performances, he walked around his park and mentally put the topics and questions that would be included in the speech in their places.

Buzan’s mental maps

Another technique of mnemonics is Tony Buzan’s mental maps, link diagram or mind mapping . No, this is not a deck that you can buy in the store. Maps need to be created by yourself. The information is to be structured and recorded in flowcharts.

How to work with cards: Take a sheet of paper and colored pencils or felt-tip pens. In the center of the sheet, place some image that will symbolize information, it can be a circle or a square, a cloud, a house or the sun – symbolism will not necessarily matter.

Further from the center to the edges of the sheet, as you study the topic, draw lines that will be associated with the structure of the material and indicate the direction of thought. On the conditional branch, new, more detailed meanings can be located. The method was described by Tony Buzan, a British psychologist and author of memorization techniques. Mental maps are used in methodological materials for teaching students in universities a foreign language [ M.A. Gaidukova, 2019 ].

By and large, this method replaces the abstract. The structure of the image on the sheet can be any, different images can appear in it, in contrast to dry note-taking.

The method is used in mnemonics for memorizing texts, as well as in psychology for setting goals in therapy and training.


This technique is suitable for memorizing long numbers, phone numbers, any important information that contains numbers.

The memorization technique consists in the associative replacement of numbers with letters. The principle is usually this: a consonant letter is written for each digit. Further, these letters are divided into pairs in order, words are selected for them, with which they begin. Then sentences are made up of words, which may not be entirely logical, but memorable.

Similarly, for each letter or number, you can pick up 3-4 words – a kind of “hanger” of letters that can be folded into a word or sentence, remembering which, the brain will be able to remember the whole story.

Image numbers

Another interesting way to remember numbers is to associate them with objects. For example, 0 is a donut, 1 is a board, 2 is a swan’s neck, and so on. Images should be clear and close to you. Next, we return to the Cicero method, according to which objects must be arranged in a room and replaced, or a story can be made from these images. When the technique of associations of numbers and images is perfected, it becomes easier for a person to memorize numbers in the future.

System of phonetic associations

The method of phonetic associations is used in the study of foreign languages. Its essence is in the search for words in native speech that are similar to foreign ones. It is not necessary that they will be similar in meaning. Phonetic association helps to learn a language faster due to the perception of foreign speech as something close.

If you are worried and in contact with a really large number of people, not everyone will be able to remember by sight and by name, for example, when meeting a large number of people in a compressed time (for example, on a forum, when switching to a new job, at a party). In mnemonics, there are ways to remember the name of a person. Let ‘s consider two methods:

  • Association with a famous person – perhaps a new acquaintance resembles some kind of celebrity. Probably, there are some external similarities between them, the manner of speaking, the style of clothing. You can draw an analogy by name.
  • Come up with name modifications – the more there are, the easier it is for you to remember the name of the person.

Remembering a person’s face will help active contact with him when meeting and communicating. Visual memory will have time to fix the image or key facial features, which will be enough to recognize a new acquaintance upon meeting.

Practice shows that features that seem negative or unaesthetic to you are better remembered – very large or close-set eyes, bald patches. Many people use this method. One of its modifications is to name the interlocutor and his peculiarity when meeting. For example, “Vasya, big ears.”

The brain will fix both the name and the distinguishing feature by which, when it meets, it will identify it and compare it with a person. The main thing in such a situation is not to say this secret associative nickname out loud!

Rhymes and rhythms

The rhyming technique is used in the study of foreign languages. The memorization method is familiar to everyone from early childhood, when we learned the first rhymes. Agniya Barto, Korney Chukovsky wrote specifically for kids, so the rhymes “A bull is walking, swinging”, “Fly-Tsokotuha” are remembered precisely by rhythm and simple rhyme. Someone even clapped his hands when pronouncing “Moo-ha went in the right way, mu-ha de-nezh-ku went.”

When teaching mnemonics on your own, you should try this memorization method. Select a rhyme for the necessary information and memorize the words in pairs, they can also be combined with the motive of a song. The number of a car, telephone or intercom can be divided into cycles: “three-four-five”, “eight-five-one”, it’s easier to remember atypical combinations of numbers .

Aivazovsky method

Techniques for memorizing large amounts of information were familiar to our ancestors. Thanks to mnemonics, poets fixed poems and their motives in memory, memorized landscapes in detail and faces with all wrinkles, tones and defects.

The method works quite simply. Look at the object for 3-5 seconds, then close your eyes and try to remember what the object looks like. Try to remember as many details as possible, ask yourself questions about the subject. After a few seconds, open your eyes and look at the object again, fixing your attention on new details that were not previously noted. Repeat the process of reproduction in the imagination.

The Aivazovsky method is used by scouts who have a minimum of time to memorize key data about the enemy. This technique of mnemonics is used in teaching storytelling – the selection of questions to clarify details contributes to the development of speech and the logical sequence of the story.

Consistent self-learning of mnemonics requires perseverance and self-discipline from a person – methods must be repeated regularly, returning to classes again and again. In addition, you need to select mnemonic methods yourself, and there are a lot of them. Fortunately, finding them is not a problem.

When working independently, it is useful to study master classes to help in learning mnemonics – trainers can be viewed online or offline. They will help to structure and organize the knowledge gained independently and make it more effective.

Online group training

As opposed to independent work, there are group programs for teaching mnemonics. Their advantage is the ordering of information and the correct construction of the material during the lessons from simple to complex. Coaches dispense information, stimulate each student to complete tasks, although the student himself, of course, bears personal responsibility for the result, making the necessary amount of effort, time and diligence.

Training in mnemonics in St. Petersburg, Moscow and any other city is possible in two formats:

  • Offline programs are attendance at live meetings and lessons. An indisputable advantage of such classes is close contact with the teacher, which often increases the efficiency of assimilation of new information. The downside is the need to adjust your time to the lesson schedule.
  • Online programs are the most popular way to gain additional knowledge in the 21st century. Lessons can be watched at any time, if necessary, receive feedback from the teacher, be in a chat with like-minded people, while maintaining an incentive to master the information and homework.

An organized training program will give results much faster than self-study and finding the right techniques for your case. Accordingly, if you want to learn the art of mnemonics as soon as possible, join our Mnemonics program. In just 5 weeks, you will learn what your brain and memory are capable of, learn how to remember information for a long time without cramming and writing in a notebook.




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