Archive for the 'Memory Skills' Category

Four Memory Tricks

Four Memory Tricks
Nothing helps you get ahead quicker than a good memory. Whether you’re trying to remember the name of the guy you just met, a state capital, or complex sets of business data, these simple tricks can help you improve your memory skills.

1. Start by chunking. According to psychologists, it’s especially hard to make your brain recall long lists of separate pieces of information. To make it easier to remember a long list of almost anything, break the list into small and manageable groups, or “chunks.”

For example, you might find it hard to remember all of the original 13 British colonies in the United States. But if you break them into small groups based on common traits, such as the region each colony belongs in, it’s much easier. First, just concentrate on learning which colonies belong in which region. When you know each region, you know the whole set of 13.


1.       Delaware
2.       New York
3.       New Jersey
4.       Pennsylvania

1.       Maryland
2.       Virginia
3.       North Carolina
4.       South Carolina
5.       Georgia
New England

1.       Connecticut
2.       Rhode Island
3.       Massachusetts
4.       New Hampshire
2. Use mnemonic devices. These are memory improvement techniques, and are sometimes quite elaborate. One common device uses words or abbreviations to compress lists of information into shorter bits that are easier to remember. Here are some common examples:

Names of the Great Lakes

H-O-M-E-S;  Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior

Colors of the spectrum

R-o-y G. B-i-v; Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet

Order of operations in mathematics

Please Explain My Dull, Awful Subjects; Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division,Addition/Subtraction

Planets in the solar system

Many Vocal Enemies Make Jokes Squealing Under Nervous Pressure; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars,Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

Biology taxonomy

Kings Play Chess On Funny Green Squares; Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species

Musical scale

Every Good Boy Does Fine; E, G, B, D, F

3. Link information to visual cues. Often it’s easier to remember a place or an image and its characteristics, than it is to recall a set of unfamiliar pieces of information. To memorize the information, you can try taking an item from the list and associating it in your mind with a picture or place that you know well.
For example, let’s say you need to memorize the presidents of the United States since World War II. You could associate each of the presidents with a place you know well, such as your front porch:

Sitting on the steps
Knocking at the front door
Swinging on a porch swing
Standing at the mailbox
Ringing the doorbell
Sitting in a wicker chair
Standing under the porch light
Bush (1st)
Standing on the right
Sitting at a table
Bush (2nd)
Standing on the left

To reinforce this, you could draw a sketch of your porch, and note on it the location of each president. This technique is so powerful that you might find yourself thinking of the presidents the next time you go to your porch.

4. Read with a purpose. Many psychologists think that the best way to remember what you read is to follow the PQ4R method. PQ4R is a mnemonic device for Preview, Question, and four R’s: Read, Reflect, Recite, Review.

If you are reading a chapter in your biology book, for example, you should start by skimming the whole chapter for an overview. Then create some questions to concentrate on while you study, such as “How does photosynthesis work?” Then read the chapter.

After you’ve finished, reflect–think about how the chapter has answered your questions. Recite the answers back to yourself, explaining the information in your own words. Finally, go back through the book, skimming again for the main points.

Sound like a lot of work? It may take longer than a quick skim, but it’s also a great way to make sure you retain what you are reading, rather than just sitting in front of the book and turning pages.

Quick Riddle: What is the Total?

1000 What is the Total

Don’t take notes on your laptop or tablet

I know some people think I am “old school” when it comes to taking notes with pen and paper, after all, it’s 2015…

But all I care about is – RESULTS.

A recent article extols the benefits of taking notes with pen and paper and NOT on your laptop or tablet.

I admit, I am biased. I have 5 university degrees, all completed in record time. I am a speed reader. All I care about is learning quickly and remembering as much as I can.

I am a HUGE fan of technology (I have been using Macs/Apples before they became trendy 25 years ago). I do “everything” on my beloved MacBook Air and 27″ iMac Desktop… Except take notes when it’s important and I want to learn something new.

I do that on paper and with a pen – using MindMapping principles.

If you are a Millenial or younger, I can already hear the sighs of disagreement. All I can say is – SEE FOR YOURSELF.

Take one subject and take ALL your notes on your laptop and take another SIMILAR subject and take all your notes with pen and paper.

YOU decide which one produces better results:

  • Which one is quicker, easier?
  • Creates better retention/memory/recall?
  • Produces the best grades – with the least amount of effort.

Then stick to what works for YOU.

Chances are, it’s going to be pen and paper – you’ll have to accept that, or live with lower grades. Hmmm…..



Note Taking – how important is it?

The weakest ink is stronger that the strongest memory.

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I present to audiences around the world. I reveal the most powerful and valuable insights for people who want to achieve extra-ordinary results. People pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to hear me speak and deliver my content. Content I have gathered and collected over the past 20+ years, information extracted from more than 1,000 books and 3,000 academic articles. Knowledge acquired via 5 university degrees…

And the thing that surprises me the most is that the vast majority of attendees do not take notes – the EXPECT to remember what I have said.

I can make a list of the 4 Keys To Success and within 10 minutes ask the audience to repeat them to me and THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN are the ones who took notes. How do the others ever expect to remember it the day after or a week later?

It baffles me.

Students of course take notes in class – BECAUSE they want to know what will be on the exam, but they usually don’t take them effectively – that’s why if you want to take the BEST notes possible, you need to switch to MindMapping To Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort.

Note Taking, Student Notes, Class Notes, Lecture Notes

Thank you to John Weiss of Keymetric Business Solutions for mentioning this quote during my Blogging For Small Business Workshop, in Corona, California. An event sponsored by Allegra Corona and attended by VIP Mastermind Club Members.

Meditate to get better grades

child-meditatingI have blogged about using a floatation tank to improve your grades

A recent study further supports the view that meditation can improve your grades. If this is all too zen for you, that’s OK, enjoy the stress and strain of doing it ‘your way’ and let me know how that works out for you!

Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours sent me this link – knowing that getting good grades leads to a much better career.

Listen to music to get better grades

Brain Activity - MusicChelsea Wilson, the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s Online LLM program, informed me that @WashULaw recently created a new study aid in the form of a Spotify Playlist composed of late baroque era classical music. The playlist was created based on a Stanford study that discovered music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory. Due to the phenomena, it is believed students and professionals alike would be well served to find ways to incorporate music into their lives, careers, and studies.

The playlist includes works by Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven and Handel, among others (the style of music used in many studies). You click on the hyperlink to determine how you can listen to music to improve your grades. Click on this hyperlink for the Spotify playlist to improve your grades.



Speed Reading A Must For Students Of All Ages

I have blogged about Speed Reading countless times on this blog as well as reinforced how my Speed Reading Video Program works.

Today is a little different because I was interviewed about Speed Reading and Accelerated Learning Techniques on a very well respected blog.

Click on the hyperlink to read the interview on how to leverage accelerated learning techniques and speed reading to get better grades.

As you well know by now, I don’t endorse many products, but this one’s different because it’s software that helps you track your progress and adjusts the strategies to suit your particular areas of improvement.

I highly recommend it in addition to my Speed Learning Video Program, in fact there is a special limited time offer on right now that you should seriously consider. Click on the hyperlink to read all about it!

Study Book gets feature product coverage on ClickBank

You might not know that Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort is a top selling product on ClickBank, where billions of dollars of information and educational products are sold. Clickbank and its millions of affiliates make sure that great products get promoted and distributed worldwide. For example, my study book, speed reading and accelerated learning programs have been sold in more than 30 countries, with translations in 4 languages including English, French, Chinese and Romanian.

Thousands of students like you have used these strategies to get better grades with less effort. Why are you still struggling with exam stress, note taking or basic study habits when proven solutions exist and have been documented for your benefit?

Study Guide, How To Study, Study Tips, College Study Tips


Flash Cards For Students

I don’t know if you’ve ever used flash cards to learn something new, but they are a quick and easy way to test your memory. Now with the Internet, there are dozens of Flash Card sites,, but this one seems like a good place to start. It’s called Quiznet.

Have a look and remember – getting better grades is not about studying more or harder, it’s about studying better, smarter.

That’s what this blog is all about.

When you come across any tools like this, please let me know so I can share it with our readers and subscribers.

How to remember more – don’t walk through doors!

Memory, Cramming For Exams, Exam Prep, Exam Preparation, How To Remember MoreI previously blogged about Exam-Taking Tips with the second suggestion highlighting  the encoding specificity principle when studying for an important exam.

In a recent Scientific American article, they explain why walking through a doorway makes you forget.

As a student preparing for an important exam or test, you can use this to either NOT forget or TO forget… Let me explain.

Study Tip #1: Interrupt your pattern when you’re stuck on something

If you are struggling with a topic, problem or even writing your term paper or essay, you might want to get up and walk out the door and come back in – to interrupt your pattern and use the encoding specificity principle to trigger the needed interruption and re-setting of your memory.

Study Tip #2: Stay seated until you’re finished studying or writing your essay

There is a lot to be said about full immersion and concentration of focus. The Scientific American article explains in detail why, when you’re “in the zone” – you should say put (seated) and NOT get up and walk through a doorway – literally.

Even though this may sound superstitious, it’s not.

I know anecdotally these study tips work. I would study, compile research, read and write for hours and when I wrote my MBA and Ph.D. theses without interruption. Often, I would be at my desk for several hours without getting up – BECAUSE I had momentum, focus and total concentration.

If you want to get better grades with the least amount of effort – you want to use these study tips and make them work FOR you rather than AGAINST you.

Try them out and let us know how they work for you!

By the way, the Scientific American article was sent to me by Bree Robbins of Paddington PupsQueensland’s #1 Doggy Day Care and Grooming Facility.

Thanks Bree for sharing, I won’t forget it!

Get Better Grades Now

If you’ve been reading or have subscribed to this blog, then I am sure you’ve enjoyed the study tips I’ve revealed here – imagine getting the behind-the-scenes content… Hmmm…. Have a look at this 1-minute video that I just published…

College Study Tips

Click on the hypelink to get your hands on
How To Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort

Doodle Your Way To Better Grades

If you thought doodling was a waste of time – think again. This short 5-minute video reveals the creativity that lies hidden in all of us and how it can help you get better grades.

If you want to learn the ultimate in note taking skills – try MindMapping!

Doodling Can Help You Get Better Grades!

Having trouble focusing while studying?

If you’re trying to cram for an exam or otherwise trying to get a lot of studying done or reviewing a lot of notes in a short period of time and losing focus, you might want to stare out the window – or even better, take a walk outside.

Seriously, if there are trees out there, it might just help.

According to Attention Restoration Theory (ART) people can concentrate better after spending time in nature, or even looking at scenes of nature. Natural environments abound with “soft fascinations” which a person can reflect upon in “effortless attention”, such as clouds moving across the sky, leaves rustling in a breeze or water bubbling over rocks in a stream. The theory was developed by Rachel and Stephen Kaplan in the 1980s in their book The experience of nature: A psychological perspective and has since been found by others to hold true in medical outcomes as well as intellectual task attention.

If you don’t have direct access to nature, researchers seem to agree that WATCHING VIDEOS might be the next best thing.

I did a quick YouTube search and found this video – I am sure some of you can find a better one that we can share… Please post the YouTube URL as a comment and I’ll publish the best ones!

The key is to envelop your visual sense in the experience…

You only need a few minutes of involuntary ‘effortless’ attention to then return to your task and have full concentration and focus.

Hard To Read = Easier To Remember!

A PARADOX of education is that presenting information in a way that looks easy to learn often has the opposite effect.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that when people are forced to think hard about what they are shown they remember it better, so it is worth looking at ways this can be done.

A piece of research about to be published in Cognition, by Daniel Oppenheimer, a psychologist at Princeton University and his colleagues, suggests a simple one: make the text conveying the information harder to read.

Speed Reading, Get Better GradesDr Oppenheimer recruited 28 volunteers aged between 18 and 40 and asked them to learn, from written descriptions, about three “species” of extraterrestrial alien, each of which had seven features. This task was meant to be similar to learning about animal species in a biology lesson. It used aliens in place of actual species to be certain that the participants could not draw on prior knowledge.

Half of the volunteers were presented with the information in difficult-to-read fonts (12-point Comic Sans MS 75% greyscale and 12-point Bodoni MT 75% greyscale). The other half saw it in 16-point Arial pure-black font, which tests have shown is one of the easiest to read.

Participants were given 90 seconds to memorise the information in the lists. They were then distracted with unrelated tasks for a quarter of an hour or so, before being asked questions about the aliens, such as “What is the diet of the Pangerish?” and “What colour eyes does the Norgletti have?” The upshot was that those reading the Arial font got the answers right 72.8% of the time, on average. Those forced to read the more difficult fonts answered correctly 86.5% of the time.

The question was, would this result translate from the controlled circumstances of the laboratory to the unruly environment of the classroom?

It did.

When the researchers asked teachers to use the technique in high-school lessons on chemistry, physics, English and history, they got similar results. The lesson, then, is to make text books harder to read, not easier.

Why my study tips work

I think you should watch this video, it’s only 3 minutes long and explains…

How and why my study techniques work

Learning Paradigms Video

This incredible video was sent to me by Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours in Melbourne, Australia. What amazes me about it is how so much information can be captured in such a short period of time in such a compelling and dynamic way – its’ absolutely mesmerising don’t you think? It’s why my MindMapping course is so popular with students who want to cram for exams at the last minute.

Note Taking Examples

Peter sent me these… What do YOU think of them?

I’ll give my feedback once I get yours first

Give us your feedback by leaving a comment below.

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #1 - Chapter 1 Summary

How do your class notes look compared to these?

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #2 - MindMap Diagram

What suggestions do you have for Peter to improve his note taking?

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #3 - Use Of Colour

Sleep Reading Take 2

I recently posted a funny blog post on sleep reading. This is a follow up to that… I couldn’t resist.

I don’t want this blog to just be serious, I want you to have fun improving your grades, otherwise what’s the point?!?!

Floatation Tank Helps Improve Grades

If you’re really keen to tap into the limitless potential of your unconscious mind, you’re going to want to have session in a floatation tank. In this day and age of constant interruptions, time slicing and multi-tasking, research reflects it’s having an effect on our ability for deep thinking.

The changing nature of work, study and leisure is rewiring the human brain in such a way that deep reading the concentrated pursuit of linear stories and thought – is being trained out of us.

A University Of California (San Diego) study found that the amount of information the average American processed in 2008 was triple what it was in 1960. This has turned many into pancake people – spread wide and thin.

A series of psychological studies over the past 20 years have shown that after spending time in a quiet rural setting, close to nature, people exhibit greater attentiveness, stronger memory and improved cognition (learning). Their brains become calmer and sharper.

Underwater Reading

Floatation Tank Improves Your Grades

Now it may not be quick and easy to head out to the country, but a 1-hour session in a floatation tank can do you and your grades – real wonders.

It’s inexpensive and easy to do. The feelings of weightlessness have to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

You should test various approaches to using a floatation tank as a study aid:

  • Try to study before, using the floatation tank to resolve problems, or just do a mental review of what you just studied.
  • Try to start studying before, float and then attack your hardest assignments or problems, reverse the process and see which combination works best for you.

Using a floatation tank as a pattern interrupt will stimulate your creativity and innovative thinking by tapping into the subconscious part of your brain, unleashing the Exponential Potential™ that resides within in.

All you need to do is trust the process and “release yourself from the expectation of the outcome” as Dr Deepak Chopra extols. This is not something you can force. You need to ‘let it happen’ and then marvel in its quasi-magical powers as you become the genius you always knew you could be!

Why most students struggle in school

Simply stated, most students struggle in school because they don’t know how they learn, In Chapter 1 of my worldwide bestselling study book, I explain step-by-step how you can determine what learning style you have so you can stop wasting countless hours staring at your books, frustrated because nothing’s making sense and you can’t remember anything you tried to memorise the previous day.

If you don’t know HOW you learn, you’ll keep struggling in school. Knowing your learning style can be a life-changing revelation.

Let me put it this way – if you’re one of these styles and you don’t know it, chances are, if you’ve just started high school, you probably won’t make it to college.

If you do get to college, you’ll get kicked out within the first year.

Not because you’re dumb, but because you weren’t smart enough to learn HOW you learn.

I know how harsh this sounds, but it’s better that I tell you the truth NOW when you have a chance to fix the problem once and for all.