There are a lot of things that we are often required to remember as students. Whether it is facts, numbers or equations, the list is endless. How do we manage to memorize everything when there is just so much? Often, we pick up or develop simple tricks to help us remember things. A mnemonic is an example of one of them.
A mnemonic is any learning device that helps in the memorization of information. They come in many different forms. For example, there are rhymes, acronyms and also phrases that help with the memorization of lists, spelling and numbers. As a student, you have probably heard of many different mnemonics through your school years.
Acronym mnemonics is the most common type used. With this type, you try and create a phrase or saying from the first letter of words. There are many examples of this type of mnemonic. To help remember the order of taxonomy in biology (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species); a common phrase used is “King Philip Came Over From Great Spain”. The first letters of each taxonomic group is used to make an easier phrase to remember. Another example is the phrase, “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge”, when trying to remember the notes on the lines of the treble clef (E, G, B, D, F – bottom up).
Rhymes and phrases are another example of mnemonics. This time, the first letters do not mean anything, unlike the acronym mnemonics. A common rhyme, “I before E, except after C”, is often used to help remember how to spell words with “ie” in them. However, there are exceptions to this rule, like ‘science’, ‘weird’, and many others. Nevertheless, this rhyme/phrase is helpful in remembering the rule for most words.
Using mnemonic devices to remember information can help you retain it even longer. I haven’t taken music since grade 8 and still remember that ‘every good boy deserves fudge’! By developing your own neat tricks, you can make something that’s a pain to memorize into something fun and easy.
This article was written for you by Samantha, one of the tutors with SchoolTutoring Academy.