How Many Times Does It Take to Memorize Something?

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As of 2014, research suggests that repeating something over and over again is not the best way to memorize it. Instead, step-by-step processes, such as saying the phrase out loud and drawing a picture of the phrase, help the mind to memorize.

The suggested order of these steps begins with saying the concept out loud. Then, one should draw a concept map about what is being memorized to ensure it is fully understood. For example, when a person is trying to memorize a long number, the concept map could include breaking the number into sections and then checking for duplicate numbers. Next, one should try to extract personal meaning from what is being memorized. The brain is much more likely to remember something if there is an emotional attachment to it. For example, trying to remember that a car is parked in section 3P of a parking lot may be made easier by remembering that there were three pickles left in the jar at home.