If you find it difficult to memorize lists of words, try experimenting with different mnemonic methods, tricks that help your brain remember information. The brain doesn't work the same for everyone. Some people find it easier to memorize words using visual cues while other people learn better through repetition. Your personal learning style affects which techniques will work best for you when it comes to memorizing lists of words.

Create an acronym using the first letter of each word in your list. "ROY G BIV" is a classic example. Each letter stands for a visible color in a rainbow: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Create a coherent sentence or phrase that uses the words in the list you're trying to memorize. If you remember the sentence, you'll remember the individual words.

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Group the words by meaning or subject if you don't have to memorize them in a specific order. The Learning Resource Center at the University of Utah's School of Medicine suggests the act of grouping words this way helps you better recall associations between words, and to learn by organizing the information.

Practice visualizing the words. Either try to remember the words in an actual list, or visualize images for each word. For example, if the list contains "apple," "cat" and "computer," envision yourself eating an apple while using your computer as a cat sits on your lap.

Tips

  • If mnemonic tricks don't help, create flashcards and practice drilling the lists. The more you practice, the easier it will become to recall the words.
  • If you learn best by listening, create an audio recording of the words. Listen to it as you go about your day.

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