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Four Mnemonic Devices to Help You Remember Facts

written by: Barbara • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 2/4/2013

Mnemonic devices are tricks that help you remember concepts and facts in order to successfully complete a test. Learn how to increase your study skills using mnemonics. Four common and easy methods are listed here.

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    Tricks For Remembering

    You have a math test on writing and solving percent equations first Period on Monday, but you can’t even remember the equation your teacher wrote on the board two days ago. Why? You didn’t write it down because getting directions to Jocie’s party on Friday night was the talk of the classroom.

    You need some study strategies to get prepared and you need them now. Mnemonic devices can provide those strategies in helping you remember and ace your math test. Look at the list of mnemonic devices and see which ones you could have easily done on Friday during your math class:

    Note-taking - if the teacher writes something on the board, and then the student writes it down in a notebook delegated for math notes. When you write down information, you are actively creating a memory device. In a math class, when you write down the formula and solve a problem using that formula, you are actively creating an application of the learning.

    Notecards - when you’re studying for any exam, break the concepts down into smaller learning chunks of information. Put each chunk on a cue card and take five-minute time periods during your day and quiz yourself; have someone else quiz you on what you know and what you still need to learn.

    Visualization - use the power of visual imagery to increase actual retention. If you can visualize a concept in real-life application, you can remember it.

    Acronyms - use the first letter of the math equation and write down a term that you will remember. For example in solving percent equations, the formula is “Whole x Percentage = Part," so the acronym could be “What Phone Peter?"

    Keep reading for an example on using note taking to increase your test score.

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    How to Apply Note-taking in Solving for Percent Equations

    Test Objective: Solving and writing percent equations.

    Mnemonic Device Used - Note-taking.

    Note Taking – the teacher writes on the board the formula: Whole x Percentage = Part. The student writes the formula down in his/her math notebook and puts a heading and definition on the formula: Percent Problems – solving percent problems.

    • Students should always put a sample problem in to solve - In a school survey for the new lunch menu, 42% of the students said that they wanted the traditional menu that included more meat and less vegetables. If 546 students took the survey, how many of them wanted the traditional menu?
    • Formula - Whole x Percentage = Part, so Whole = # of people surveyed; Percentage = percent of people taking the survey and Part = the unknown being solved for in the problem.
    • Problem solve by putting the knowns into the equation: Whole =546 x Percentage = 42% = Part = x. Solving the problem would look like the following: 546 x 0.42 (42% x 1/100%) = part or x. The answer is 229.32 or 229 people who wanted the traditional menu.

    An effective study strategy will increase your chances of learning new concepts and being able to apply the knowledge that you've learned in any assessment. Remember when you write things down and provide a problem that shows how to solve a concept, you are halfway to acing your exam. The other half of the way to success involves putting in the time in class to take notes and studying those notes daily in learning new concepts and applying them.