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Mental Hacks to Make You a Better Learner [Infographic]

Mental Hacks to Make You a Better Learner [Infographic]

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Whether you’re hitting the books for school or just working on your memorization skills, here are 10 ways to get information to stick and stay stuck.

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Make It Weird

It’s human nature to recognize the unusual in our environment. It’s part of our survival instinct. Try making a bizarre mental image of a fact or making an abnormal gesture when you think of it. Weird works. (1)

Our attention to information that stands out in our surroundings is called evolutionary survival advantage.(2)

Stimulate Multiple Senses

Your brain remembers facts more easily when it is taken in by multiple senses. Try to taste, touch AND smell something to help you remember a bit of info. (1)

Teach It

Teaching something to someone else not only shows that you know the topic inside and out, but that you can explain it in a simple, understandable way. (1)


Percentage of what students remember when they teach their peers (3)

Use Patterns

From numbers and shapes to rhymes and rhythms: brains love patterns. Making up a song or perhaps creating an acronym or rhyme for your information will make it stick. (1)

Mold It Into Many Formats

Taking in information in multiple forms can help you remember it more easily. Instead of just reading, try finding the topic in video or art form, or perhaps as an audiobook. (1)

Humanize It

Information that touches our emotions always sticks to us. Empathy is the strongest foundation for memory that we possess. Try reading a case study or story involving your fact. You’ll connect to it in a much more human way. (1)

The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for emotional memory and, unfortunately, most active during negative events. (4)

Start With What’s Familiar

No matter what you’re learning, everything can be linked to old knowledge. You may have to dig, but try to connect the new info with everyday knowledge you already possess. (1)

Divide and Conquer

Our brain processes information more easily in small chunks. No matter how many hacks you use, dumping everything on your brain at once will lead to gaps. Space out your reading, and try to organize projects or facts into groups of three. (1)


The number of informational items a brain can handle in its short term memory. This is why phone numbers are typically 7 digits long! (5)

Act It Out

Just like teaching and unusual body movements help you retain information more easily, so does getting a little dramatic. This works especially well for trying to remember history lessons. (1)


Percentage of what students remember when they engage in hands-on learning (3)

Seal It With Some Sleep

Long-term memory is created while you are resting. So while you shouldn’t try to cram if you’re tired, sleeping after studying may actually benefit you. Just make sure you’ve been as alert and awake as possible while learning! (1)

The hippocampus is the part of our brains responsible for converting short-term memories into long-term memories. (5)


1. http://pakwired.com
2. http://www.human-memory.net
3. http://www.collegeatlas.org
4. http://www.memory-key.com
5. http://psychology.about.com