Better storage and recall

Why wait until the end of semester to start preparing for those end of semester exams? Why leave all the work till the last minute? Now is the perfect time to start getting your resources ready for review and concentrating on developing better encoding and recall skills of the information already covered this semester.

If you’re interested in enhancing your encoding and recall strategies then try some of the Mnemonics (techniques to improve your memory) below:

  • Using Rhymes or songs – the memory uses acoustic encoding to recall these making them easier to recall. In the case of rhymes the terminal sounds are similar at the end of each line. For example:

Thirty days has September

April, June and November

All the rest have 31

Save February with 28 days clear

and 29 in a leap year

  • Imagery and diagrams – draw an image or use flowcharts to identify processes rather than words. You can use the image to recall the words stored with each image. Check out the Food pyramid as an example of how to use these.
  • Chunking and Organisation – The memory is limited to approximately 7 pieces of information. Grouping them together in categories or smaller chunks makes them easier to recall. For example break down the facts around arthritis into symptoms, diagnostic criteria and treatment options.
  • Acronyms – use the first letter/s of each word to make an acronym to remember a series or order of events. For example using EGBDF (Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge) to recall the order of music notes.
  • Method of Loci – imagine a place or route that you are familiar with, like the one on your way to university. Now associate each landmark on this journey with a different concept you need to recall for an exam. Make sure you put them in order if that is also important.


These are just a few tips, you can read about some of these in more details here. If you are interested in additional tips check out our Enhancing Cognitive Functioning tipsheet.

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