B2 Information Report

Memory Helper

Among the hardest thing about learning, is to retain the information you have learnt. How do you commit facts to memory? I am sure many of you have struggled with this. I am sure you have experienced trying to remember facts and figures not only to use them during your exams but also to apply your knowledge in your daily lives.

I am guessing that sometimes you wish there was a way to make memorising easier. How much easier it would be to learn if remembering things was made easier.

There is a technique which I am sure you are going to love! It is called a “mnemonic device”. A mnemonic (pronounced ni-mon-ik) is also known as a memory helper. It is a tool that helps you remember an idea or phrase with a pattern of letters, numbers, or relatable words and pictures.

Mnemonic devices include special rhymes and poems, acronyms, images, songs, and outlines. Mnemonic is derived from the Greek phrase mimnēskesthai meaning “to remember.”

Using this method, students can recall larger pieces of information in the form of lists like characteristics, steps, stages or parts. Mnemonic devices usually use rhymes, such as this one about how many days there are in each month:

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November,
all the rest have thirty-one.
February has twenty-eight,
but leap year coming one in four
February then has one day more

Some use an acrostic phrase where the first letter of each word stands for another word, such as “Practically Every Old Man Plays Poker Regularly,” to remember the geologic ages of Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Recent.

And, “My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Noodles” is used to remember the order of the planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.

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retain – keep (in one’s memory)
derive – feeling or showing envy/ jealousy


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