Your Memory Techniques?

CertifiedMonkeyCertifiedMonkey Member Posts: 172 ■■□□□□□□□□
Apologies if there is a thread about this already.

What memory techniques are you guys using while you study? Also, can you provide some examples of how you implement those techniques? I'm trying out a lot of them while I study the "easy" stuff (A+, Network+, etc) in hopes that I will find something useful before I tackle harder material (CCNP, CCIE, etc). So far, I've tried the following:

1. Question generation: Helps me think about the questions an interviewer/test would ask. Ex: What is x, when would we use it, why would we use it over y, how is it implemented?

2. Mind Map: Stops me from copying notes word for word. Also helps me think about how to group ideas together. Example: Power (Main Idea), Power Supply (Topic), Voltages (Sub topic), 3.3V, 5V, 12V (Details). Before I used to write down sentences/paragraphs and I'd be spending a HUGE amount of time on notes. Now I just pick out keywords and my mind "fills in the blanks". I have only used Xmind (free version).

3. Spaced Repetition: Heard a lot of good things about it and I have tried to implement it, but I haven't used it as much as to give a fair opinion about it. I have tried to use it with Quizlet plus and Anki. I'm currently in the process of importing all my questions into quizlet to give spaced repetition a real shot.

4. Method of Loci: Also known as "memory palace". I can definitely see the benefits of it. I still remember a grocery list that was used as an example in a video I watched 2 weeks ago. Paper, onion, carrot, hamburger, ice cream (lol). Problem is trying to figure out how to use it for technology. If anyone uses this method and can provide an example, I'd appreciate it!

5. Mnemonics: Helped me remember OSI, TIA 568A and B pinouts. For T568B I just remember "BOW" because the first wire in 568B is Orange White (OW). So B + OW = BOW.

6. Teaching: Really effective. When I was in college, I was always helping out my classmates and teaching whatever I had just learned to people who didn't grasp it yet. It was also beneficial to help classmates troubleshoot problems when they couldn't get something to work. Helped make a lot of things stick, but unfortunately I can't do that at WGU. I do have a whiteboard and sometimes give "pretend lectures", but its not as effective as it was in a classroom environment.

7. Labbing

8. Promodoro: The concept of promodoro revolves around 30 minute study intervals. 25 minutes of study, 5 minutes of break time is the standard. Some people recommend 20 minutes study, 5 minutes review, 5 minute break.

9. Multiple Resources: No one source has all the information. Brian McGahan of INE says he remembers CCIE-level material better when he gets the information from multiple sources.

10. Practice Tests: To figure out what you DON'T remember.

What memory techniques do you use? Please give some examples if you can.

Comments

  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Very good topic.

    Question generation and spaced repetition over a course of around 30-40 days work very well for me, others not so much. I admit that teaching is very effective as well but it's rarely applicable.

    A less obvious trick is constant thinking. All the time, when I'm standing in a line, when I drive, when I sit on a meeting, when I'm in a restroom or about to fall asleep -- I'm thinking and traveling through the mindmap, through all the steps of all the processes and adjacent things, answering questions from a virtual interviewer and giving speeches to a virtual class. Do that all the time and it's extremely helpful, but I find that for many people it's really hard to get used to it as they fall to daydreaming and/or enjoying doing nothing whenever they have a chance.
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 971 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Usually I will read a book and take notes. Sometimes I'll just review my notes, other times I will make flash cards out of my notes using Brainscape. I don't use the flashcards to heavily, but I do think the process of creating my own flash cards helps me to absorb the material.

    I will also take practice exams since most of the books I buy are from Pearson and they have practice exams. I try to take all of the practice exams. I mark all of the questions that I'm not 100 percent of the answer(usually a lot of them), then once I'm done I'll read through the explanation of the questions I marked regardless if I got it right or wrong. I want to see where I went wrong in my reasoning or where I was right with my reasoning. Getting a question right by guessing on a practice exam does nothing for you, if you don't go back and look at the explanation of why it's right.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,852 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Read a chapter, take end of chapter quiz, watch video or listen to mp3's on that chapter, take notes. Repeat until exam day.
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, and more.

    2021 goals: AZ-303, AZ-304, maybe TOGAF and more ISACA

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,772 Mod
    I forget. Kidding. Being dyslexic, I take notes of the things I miss on a practice exam. I buy a lab and lab the heck out of it.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    For methodologies and steps, I'll always try to make a sentence out of it. For the OSI model for example I have: All People Seem To Need Data Protection.

    I've used the Method of Loci before. I imagined the house I grew up in and in drawers, mirrors, cabinets, etc. is where I'd place whatever it was I was trying to remember.
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    I've fine-tuned my method over the years. I've passed a lot of exams - failed a good amount as well.

    My method has been to read the book (either MS press, mastering vsphere - whatever the topic) and dog-ear pages that stand out. I also mark the crap out of the book, underlining key topics i feel will be on the exam and making notes of my own. I then go through after reading the book and review the pages I made notes on. I then use the exam outline provided by the vendor an make my own study guide based off that.

    From this point forward I review every night and read through my review. I lab as well during that time.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,624 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Everytime I go to the flashcards good things happen.
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,511 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Time based. I study at 20 minute increments. Stop review what I have read. Quiz myself. If comfortable with the material I move on. If not I will review it for another 20 minutes and try again. If I am still stuck, I'll come back to it the next day until I have mastered the material.

    After memorizing the theory I like to practice at least explaining the concepts to an imaginary class or my wife and occasionally one of the parrots. The birds are fanatically supportive of these efforts. The end result is that teaching the theoretical to practical skill to another forces you to really work through your stumbling blocks.

    Short term memory is 20 minutes. Long term is nearly infinite but we tend to forget seemingly unnecessary memories. This becomes more pronounced as we age. Oh the shame. LOL

    - b/eads
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    Beads that is awesome, I do the same with explaining. I explain to my wife and while she isn't in IT it helps me verbalize and conceptualize the topics.
  • CertifiedMonkeyCertifiedMonkey Member Posts: 172 ■■□□□□□□□□
    beads wrote: »
    Time based. I study at 20 minute increments. Stop review what I have read. Quiz myself. If comfortable with the material I move on. If not I will review it for another 20 minutes and try again. If I am still stuck, I'll come back to it the next day until I have mastered the material.

    After memorizing the theory I like to practice at least explaining the concepts to an imaginary class or my wife and occasionally one of the parrots. The birds are fanatically supportive of these efforts. The end result is that teaching the theoretical to practical skill to another forces you to really work through your stumbling blocks.

    Short term memory is 20 minutes. Long term is nearly infinite but we tend to forget seemingly unnecessary memories. This becomes more pronounced as we age. Oh the shame. LOL

    - b/eads

    I use something similar to that 20 minute technique as well. The technique is called promodoro. Promodoro uses 25 minute study intervals with 5 minute breaks. However, most of the time the 5 minute break turns into longer breaks.

    Also, is your parrot a talking parrot? That would be pretty cool if it just repeated a whole bunch of stuff that you taught it. icon_lol.gif
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I like beads' method. Might have to try that out.

    But for now I'll just stick with practicing photographic memory and glance at something a couple times and hope it sticks. icon_thumright.gif
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    More examples of Loci method? "Moonwalking with Einstein" should provide some more... memorable.
    Drawing. It really helps. When faced with multiple options that need to be memorized, grouping them.
    Luckily, the line of exams I am preparing for is performance-based so dry memorization isn't required.
    Photographic memory should really be called maze-based memory...
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,511 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Depends on which parrot. I live with a dozen. Even recruiters have given me parrots. No, not kidding. Yes, 'Marlowe' (I didn't name this one) is about 45 and uses roughly 3500 words which makes her fluent. Makes up her own words like 'fire-car' (fire engine), 'flying-car' (airplane). Tells me coyotes are coming before I can hear them, trains in the distance and people 'You... can go now!" if she doesn't like someone. Its weird but it keeps me from talking strictly to myself. This way I have an excuse to work through problem sets. Others range from "Hi" to very limited. Mar is just... extraordinary in that regard. Even parrot people are skeptical until...

    The Pomodoro technique sounds exactly the same but formally thought out. I just know that following this method I am: A.) More likely to study in the first place; B.) who can't fit 20-25 minutes into their day? OK there have been nights like last night - wasn't gonna happen. But generally I can get a couple of sessions in and keep going every night when I want. So it works. Nothing like getting home tired, hungry, everyone wants your attention right away. I can squeeze 25 minutes in and still take care of the house.

    This is why I talk to a talking bird. icon_lol.gif

    - b/eads
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    I blog and podcast (teaching) and I have an ability to memorize most of what I read.

    As for timing, I look for rhythms. Rather then following the pomodoro technique or any of the 50 on 20 off things. I just go until my brain gets tired, then I workout or call it a day.

    -Phil
  • Kuvuli21Kuvuli21 Member Posts: 50 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am a hands on learner at best. Labs help but I actually find a way to get myself into the sort of environment that I will be testing on. Granted I work in the field and have been for a good amount of years now. I am pursuing the 70-680 and 70-686. But how I am conquering this *beast* is by reading, watching CBT nuggets (trying to not bore myself to death with that guys voice on there) and then I use practice exams...I mean I USE PRACTICE EXAMS until I find Key things I tend to keep misunderstanding, I segregate those topics out and drive it until I can fully regurgitate and explain the entire process from beginning to end to anyone. This works well for me, we are all unique individuals and have different learning methods that suit our own needs best. Flash cards help, but I feel like i'm being fact checked. and I realize CompTia exams are more of that in nature. These damn Microsoft exams are more of How it got there?, why is it that way? and what is the Microsoft way of doing this?
    Currently studying: 70-680 Windows 7: Configuring

    2017-2018 goals: 70-685, Server 2012, CWNP, SSCP and/or CCNA.
  • bodokidbodokid Member Posts: 24 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Nice topic, i use loci system or PAO and journey method to remember some key words/facts but repetition is the mother of all knowledge icon_study.gificon_study.gif
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