Tips for Memorizing Vocabulary Lists
You have a long list of vocabulary words to memorize that may as well be written in a foreign language. Help! What can you do to make memorization easier? Here are some tips.
Two Heads are Better Than One
Study with a friend. Although some people find studying on their own more productive, most students find that it’s easiest to motivate themselves to memorize vocabulary words while studying with a friend. Having a friend over also opens up new options, such as competing against each other to learn the words, testing each other, and making the process fun.
Come up with visual hints. For example, if you have to memorize the meaning of the word antagonism, come up with a story of an angry ant who yells at everyone who comes near him. Visualize the angry ant in your head, and talk to your friend about how antagonistic the ant is. If you enjoy drawing, create an image of the antagonistic ant.
Use humor. For example, if you are memorizing the meaning of the word rebuke, pronounce it like re-PUKE and imagine someone being told off for puking all over the teacher’s desk. Have fun with the words, because the more you enjoy learning them, the more they’ll stick in your head!
Make it Memorable
Make up songs using the words. If you enjoy music, this technique can be a lifesaver. Put the vocabulary words and their definitions to a catchy tune, and sing them over and over again with your study partner. If it helps, record yourselves singing them and play the recording over and over again.
Don’t memorize too many words too quickly. Try memorizing three or four words, and then test each other on just those words. Then add a couple more and test each other on all of the words you’ve learned so far. When you’re finished, the first words you learned will seem so easy, you’ll be surprised you didn’t know them to begin with!
Get up & Move!
For many kids, combining physical activity with memorization can make vocabulary words stick in their heads more easily. You may try to pass a ball back and forth while you’re testing each other on vocabulary words. Alternatively, try studying on the basketball court and shooting a hoop each time you get a definition correct.
When taking the test, try not to be too stressed. If you’ve prepared ahead of time you have nothing to worry about. If you’re stuck on a particular problem try skipping it and coming back to it later. You may find the answer immediately comes to you as soon as you clear your head and focus on something else.
This post is part of the series: Memorization Tips for Students
- Develop Test Amnesia? Forget No More
- Helping Your Child Memorize the Multiplication Tables: Techniques and Tricks
- Memorization Tips for Students: Learning Vocabulary Words the Fun Way!