Memory
Much mathematics is a matter of practicing procedures until they are understood, rather than memorized.
However, the learning of mathematics does require some memorization of formulas, defintions and theorems, much like learning a foreign language.
Memory involves:
 registration: inputing the information into your mind
 retention: keeping the information in your mind
 recall: accessing the information previously stored
Pay attention to all of these aspects of memory as you try to improve in this area.


Here are some suggestions for memorizing your math:
 Decide that you want to memorize something. Your intention and attention to what needs to be memorized is critical your ability to do so.
 Study math every day. Memory requires repetition spread out over a long period of time. Studying math only once or twice a week is usually not sufficient to remember much.
 Make lists: vocabulary, formulas, properties, theorems. Look at these lists every day. Add to each list as you read through your textbook.
 Organize your lecture notes, examples, homework and other course materials. Sorting, classifying and organzing information is important to memorization and academic success in general.
 Make flash cards to carry around with important information that needs memorization. Look at the flashcards frequently throughout the day.
 To memorize a fact, test yourself:
 Ask your self the question. For example, "The area of a circle is...?"
 Then write out the answer, and speak the answer aloud as you write.
 If your answer is incorrect or if you don't remember, then write out the correct answer 10 times, speaking it aloud as you write.
 Repeat this process a few times per day until you always get the correct answer. Then practice less frequently.
 If you are a kinesthetic learner, then walk around or dance while studying your math.
 This technique engages your eyes, ears, hands, mouth and body. The more that you use all of your senses, the more your mind will remember.
 Be aware of what things you know and what you things you don't know.
 Pay attention to detail. Write your symbols and words carefully and precisely.
 As you work through the math course, look for patterns. The more patterns you recognize, the less you need to memorize.
 Make connections between new concepts and processes and properties that you have already learned. Synthezing information and seeing the "big picture" will help you to remember.
 Explain ideas to other people. Your memory is strengthened when you have to teach someone else.
 Practice! Practice! Practice!
More memory strategies can be found at these websites:
Some scientific information about how memory works can be found here.
