Who hasn’t dreamed of being able to double, triple, tenfold their learning capacity?
But it’s been Two thousand four hundred years since you were given the solution! Good old Socrates, who would have thought that he would multiply your memorization skills?
“Know thyself,” Socrates reminds us, alluding to the precept engraved on the temple of Delphi.
Learning becomes much easier if you know yourself well. Each individual has a particular way of acquiring knowledge, and of thinking. However, as human beings, we all share common patterns that can greatly facilitate our quest for knowledge.
The focus of this article is on memorization, which allows us to retain knowledge not only in the short term, but also in the long term. If you did not know it already, you will learn here that we all have more or less developed senses, and especially affinities according to these senses. Memory is aided by the senses. The more you make the knowledge you wish to acquire vivid in your imagination, the easier it will become imprinted in you for a long time.
How to learn when you have a visual memory? How to learn with an auditory memory? We give you all the tips!
Are you visual or auditory?
To learn, several senses are put to the contribution. The two types that interest us the most to learn a course is
- visual memory
- auditory memory
The other senses are, of course, important, especially the tactile memory, the memory of gestures (this is what allows you to remember how to ride a bike, how to tap with a hammer, etc.). But they will not be that useful for remembering a lesson.
It turns out that some people are much more sensitive to visual memory than auditory, or conversely to auditory memory rather than visual. Of course, we all have capacities for both, but there is sometimes a clear separation between those who learn best by visual representation, and those who learn best by sound.
To find out if you are a visual or auditory learner, you can test yourself in many ways.
The dictionary test:
For example, when you learn a new word in the dictionary. Find a new word in the dictionary, say it. Close the dictionary. Wait half a minute, close your eyes. And try to remember that word. Here it is a matter of analyzing very subtly how you remember this word. Do you hear yourself saying the word inside, do you hear your voice whispering in your mind? Or do you have the image of the word written in full, the colors, the formatting – red for example or bold – and the definition that follows, the block that you saw? In the first case, you are more sensitive to the auditory, in the other, to the visual.
The topical test:
This morning, before going to class, you took the subway, the streetcar, or the car. You may have listened to the radio, or read a daily newspaper, whether local or national. What news do you remember best? The little boxes in the newspaper for 20 minutes, with its blue headlines, its neat Times New Roman font? Or the voice of the hurried journalist, who lists the news, and who just after the “weather” jingle tells you the temperature? You are auditory.
Ask yourself these questions a few minutes later, and if you have trouble getting a clear picture, let a little more time pass, it may help. For example, ask yourself in the evening, or even the next day: what do you remember from this morning, or yesterday?
The course test:
What could be better than putting yourself in the conditions of the test, as usual? It is very simple, the teacher told you to put all your things away, take out only a sheet of paper and a pencil, and start the written test. But you only read the course briefly just before, you did not even expect the test, he was not warned. So you try to find the few pieces of knowledge that would stick in your mind. What strategy do you instinctively adopt? You have to be very careful how you proceed.
Without thinking about it, when you look for your knowledge, do you remember the teacher who was speaking yesterday? Do you hear your teacher’s voice explaining a concept? Do you hear the high-pitched voice of your math teacher, almost shouting to speak, or do you hear the low-pitched tone of your teacher, addressing the class? If so, then you are more sensitive to auditory memory!
Or, in your quest to find the few pieces of knowledge you could use in your paper, do you picture in your mind the sheet of paper with the blue-gray lines and the color of the ink on it? Do you see the page in your notebook, with the headings underlined in red, the subheadings in green, for example? And in the paragraphs, those bold words that stand out? Sometimes you can’t even remember what is written, but you remember where it is written on that page! Top left, bottom, right? If this is how you look for your knowledge, then you are more sensitive to visual memory!
Still not sure if you are visual or auditory?
Do not worry, time will help to clarify your ideas, to settle down quietly. Once you are clearer, you will slowly get used to understanding how you try to find your knowledge, how you remember. It will be enough, as the days go by, to tame yourself. One moment, you will have to remember something. Quite naturally, you will draw from your memories. And then you will think back to this article, you may even surprise yourself by using your memory, and you will see clearly which path led you to find your knowledge.
For some people, you may not even be able to find one method more advantageous than another, for the simple reason that you are already using both methods! That you are both visual and auditory, or at least at levels close enough that it is difficult to distinguish one particular way of remembering.
Generally, both men and women are on average more sensitive to the visual method. This may be because we are more used to using our eyes, or for other reasons.
However, it is always beneficial to develop BOTH senses! Even if you will find it easier to use one method, and you will get better results, faster, hence the purpose of this article, it can only be beneficial for you to develop the other sense in parallel. It is all about training.
How to Learn With Auditory Memory
For you, the golden rule is listen in class! Don’t waste the time when the teacher is talking to concentrate on another activity, for the simple reason that it will be more difficult for you to learn on your own at home afterwards than by simply listening. Listening to your teacher for 5 minutes will save you the equivalent of maybe 15 minutes at home! The return is worth it.
You can also, when you are learning at home, not only see the pages of your notebook, but recite them to yourself. Say the sentences internally, even out loud, when you are working at home.
Dictaphone, or voice recorder, is also an excellent idea. It is easy to use, and all cell phones nowadays offer this feature. If you are not satisfied with the Dictaphone application natively installed on your smartphone, a quick search on the Apple Store or Play Store will offer you a lot of alternatives. You can, of course, record on the computer as well, as all laptops now have a built-in microphone.
Your mission will then be very simple: give a lecture! This time, you are the teacher! You can take your lesson, all the documents you need, keep everything. And give me a lesson, as if you were explaining to someone else what you need to learn. Then you can even listen to yourself again, and you will learn your lesson naturally.
How to learn with visual memoryGet out
the highlighters! Anything that can visually mark your memory is up for grabs. You can also make diagrams. Diagrams have the advantage of making the information clearer, but more importantly you will remember your lesson better because they will have a particular shape, they will have a specific geometric layout. When you are learning, you can try to “take a picture” of your course with your eyes. This is a bit of a strange exercise, but if you try to freeze what you have in front of you, as if you were taking a picture, with the power of your eyes alone, it will stay better in your mind. You can even play the game by looking deeply at what is written, then blink your eyes and imagine the sound of the camera taking the picture. Mind maps, this more visual way of taking notes, will interest you and help you learn better. These “mind maps” allow you to associate information, to better follow the natural logic of the brain, which also works by associations.
This distinction between visual and auditory memory was even more important for previous generations, since information was not instantly available everywhere. For today’s students, it is still very effective, as they still need to memorize knowledge to give back in proctored exams. But more than that, these explanations should be seen as a small introduction to the much broader and deeper principles that allow you to cement knowledge by regularly strengthening your memory.
For example, you should know that the system of memorization in progressive time intervals gives excellent results, or that your physical condition – sleep, nutrition, etc. – your physical condition – sleep, nutrition, etc. – is a key factor in your learning. But these are new perspectives that we will explore next time, so keep following us.