These are some Fall midterm hacks that are a surefire way to boost your test-taking skills. There are other midterm hacks that’ll get you expelled. We’re going to focus on the ethical ones for this article. Oftentimes, the way most people go about this process is through rote learning. You sit there, pouring through the material, not retaining a word of it: cramming. We’re looking for simple solutions and shortcuts.
The Method Of Loci (Part 1)
This is the memory palace technique. It is said to have come from an ancient Greek man who needed to remember who attended a party after the roof collapsed and maimed everyone beyond recognition. This is a spatial form of learning. You plaster visualizations onto the architecture of the insides of buildings and enclosed areas outside.
Sherlock Holmes has his own mind palace/brain attic. You take somewhere that you’re very familiar with. People generally start out by using where they live. You visualize yourself walking into different rooms, and in those rooms, you’ve placed memory aids.
The Method Of Loci (Part 2)
These memory aids are your attempt to create the silliest, most memorable picture you can conjure. If you play online videogames, visualize an environment that you normally go through. If you’re trying to remember something regarding a math equation, you can turn those equations into colors, words, animals, famous humans.
Like the Twelve Days of Christmas, you have sets of animals and objects that can represent the numbers that you’re supposed to remember.
The Feynman Technique
This technique is pretty simple. Richard Feynman was known as being able to explain things very well. Teaching others the knowledge you have is a great way to solidify said knowledge. This is partly why the person who is helping others in a study group will always (generally) know more than the rest of the group.
Grouping disparate pieces of information together through a common theme. One can paint a story with the information, in an attempt to place them all at the same location.
These generally help whenever you’re required to recall some system or set. Like memorizing the letters to a musical scale. You make a sentence that has a cadence to it.
Wildly Bizarre Images
This is called the Von Restorff effect. You paint the information that you’re learning with a bizarre sensory element. Imagining people naked. Imagining a cow playing two saxophones.
Mnemonic Major System
This system takes a while to learn. You associate letters with numbers, form words from those that have a concrete visual representation, then memorize the order of those items. After doing so, you can translate them back into numbers.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is supposed to aid with retaining what you’ve learned. Sleep is something that we don’t quite understand yet. If you get a good amount of sleep before a test, you’ll at least be calmer.
These are a lifesaver. Reddit and YouTube are amazing reservoirs of information. Whatever subject you’re unsure about, there are answers and explanations on the internet. There is more than one way to do that math problem. There are places like Khan Academy that essentially survey courses.
If you suffer from extreme, collywobbles-like test anxiety, then you might want to ask your doctor about ways to assuage it. Many musicians use these for stage fright.
Many of these can be combined to create a pseudo-photographic memory. Many mnemonic devices exist. If you create a memory palace and place bizarre images in there—with images that represent the information you need to recall—pair that with study partners and the internet, and you’re a walking talking memory juggernaut.