We all have those days while preparing for the TOEFL where we just crumble under the pressure of memorizing hundreds, or maybe even thousands of words!
Now why is it that some people can do it but others can’t? We all are made up of the same carbon molecules! 🙂
In this blog I will give you tricks to memorize and commit words to memory better. They might be old or new, but in the face of the examination , it all goes down the drain if you don’t use the right methodology to learn!
Mugging Up Versus Understanding
The human brain functions exactly like a computer does! The computer cannot save anything till you press SAVE, or you COMMIT to memory. It then goes on to convert these words into a machine language. The human brain functions in the same flow. But instead of machine language, it commits using picture memory. Often times we notice that when the works of William Shakespeare were taught using plays, students retained it better! Why? Because it formed a picture in their minds. This is the easiest, fastest, and most harmonious way to trigger the brain’s COMMIT system.
Now lets talk in the language of computers again.
If we just start typing stuff and never commit, then the computer will not be able to understand what we write because it understands a language of its own. In the same way , if we just start learning words without understanding what they mean, our brain will process it as gibberish. It is like filling a goblet with the most expensive wine and not stopping, making the wine overflow! Thus, often times, we need a starting word to remember a paragraph or a poem. See, even here the brain associates the paragraph with a word.
This is a very powerful weapon. Now why I discussed it in detail is, because this is a tried and tested theory. I have been applying it all these years.
How to Understand! Really Understand!
This section will give you a few simple steps that I follow, to commit words to my memory:
1. Study only when you have a light mind, free from distractions. You could even do this on the way to some place to fill up the voids in your day!
2. I use the Magoosh Vocabulary Decks. This is a great place to get started because you can use it on any mobile device and it is easily downloadable from app stores! 🙂 Reading the newspaper is also a very good option if you don’t have access to the above. It is less intimidating than using a dictionary all the time.
3. Associate each word with a picture. For example the word “magnanimous” meaning “generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person.” I would associate Abraham Lincoln or The Dalai Lama with the word. Now I have my picture ready.
4. Use the words that you studied at least once or twice a day in your conversations. For example I would use the word above as follows : “Brother, please don’t try to be magnanimous to everyone!” 😀
5. Repeat step 4 by using the words in 2 to 3 different instances. In different sentences.
6. Build up on your “word pushups”. 🙂 When you learn new words, don’t forget to continue practising the older ones as described above!
Finally Practise! Practise! Practise!
If you stop exercising and then suddenly start again, your body will not cooperate! Same goes with the mind. If you stop abruptly, and then one fine day you wake up and learn a hundred words, it won’t do the trick. Divide your words into days. Make it a habit to learn 10 new words a day from whatever source possible.
Keep a diary of all the words you have learnt and call it “My Word Book” or “My Word Bank”. Preferably in alphabetical order!
Check out the next post where I will continue on how to GET COZIER WITH ENGISH! 🙂
Food For Thought: Season 1 Episode 4:
“Only a silent mind can harness its true power”