4 Simple Ways To Sharpen Your Memory

"Sorry, what's your name again?"

Have you ever been shaking someone's hand when you meet them for the first time only to realize you've already forgotten their name? Or taken an exam and suddenly been unable to remember the simplest answer, even though you spent hours studying?  

We've all had moments when our memories fail us, whether it's an inability to recall something we just heard or something we've seen over and over again.

Fortunately, there are ways to hack our memories to retain information easier: mnemonic devices.


A mnemonic device is a trick that allows us to remember something by putting it in the context of something unrelated. This could be a silly phrase, like Super Man Helps Every One to remember the order of the Great Lakes from west to east (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario). 

Another good way to remember something is to set it to music. If you know the tune of Pop Goes The Weasel, you can easily recall the quadratic formula by singing "x equals opposite b, plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac, all over 2a."

It might seem like a waste of time to remember a lot of information that has nothing to do with the thing you actually care about, but SciShow explains how these little tricks actually improve memory compared to rote memorization alone. Not only that, but we learn four ways to hack our brains and make it easier than ever to remember.

Learn how to make the most of your memories here:

What are some of your favorite mnemonics?

Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon.

Cover image: Shutterstock


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.