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UCQ

Exams and Study Skills

Test taking strategies

Memory Palace

A “memory palace” is a technique (mnemonic) used by the ancient Greek poets to memorize speeches. For this method, you visualize a familiar place (i.e., your home, the mall, a street, etc.) or even an imaginary place. Once you have your place in mind, you visualize things that you want to remember stored there.
For example, in your home, you have different rooms to store things you want to remember. You also have shelves, furniture, and other places to place things. You can add information and stories to the things you want to remember. You can even imagine other people in you mind palace, perhaps telling you information you need to remember.

Steps

  1.  Choose a place that you know well, like your home or office.
  2. Plan out the whole route -- for example: front door, shoe rack, bathroom, kitchen, living room, etc. Some people find that going clockwise is helpful, but it isn't necessary.  You can always change or revise your memory palace after you test it a few times. It does not have to be perfect.
  3. Make a list of what you want to memorize.
  4. Take one or two things at a time and place a mental image of them in each place in your memory palace. Try to exaggerate the images of the items and have them interact with the location. For example, if the first item is "carrots" and the first place in your memory palace is the front door, picture some giant carrots opening up your front door.
  5. Make the images come alive with your senses. Exaggeration of the images and humor can help.

Resources

FitNurse Ty explains how to use the technique in this YouTube video, "How to Study in Nursing."  The full length video and other videos are at our Instructional Videos tab: click here.