A smart learner is a savvy memorizer. We provide free resources exploring memory techniques as learning tools.
Memory techniques are about much more than simply recalling facts. They allow you to organize, access, and connect the concepts you've learned in a way that capitalizes on your natural memory’s strengths. Knowing how to learn is one of the most important tools at any stage of life. Mullen Memory is a nonprofit that provides free resources exploring a simple question: What's the best way to employ memory techniques to effectively learn new things, to improve not merely memorization but long-term understanding?
As medical students, we understand the importance of long-term recall in building vital connections for learning.
Plenty of tutorials out there will tell you what a memory palace is, but we explore how to actually put them into practice as sustainable learning tools. We use memory techniques to learn exam material (e.g. for medical school), languages, presentations and speeches, names of people we meet, and more. The techniques are not a panacea for learning; using them still requires hard work, creativity, and critical thinking. That said, when used appropriately, we believe they can be powerful assets to a balanced learning strategy.
The Memory Palace
“Memory technique” refers to any tool that improves your ability to learn and recall a piece of information. For us, this often means: (1) visualizing information as an image, and (2) storing that image in a “memory palace.” Memory palaces are physical locations, real or invented, which you can see in your mind’s eye. You mentally “walk” through this location to recall the information. This basic technique springs from humans’ natural strengths for remembering images and locations (rather than abstract things like names and numbers).
You can find more practical examples–from pharmacology to biochemistry to Chinese vocabulary–in Learning Examples.
Using memory techniques effectively and sustainably can be challenging without the right approach. Our aim is to find the strategies and tweaks that can make memory techniques an effective piece of anyone's learning toolkit. Check out Tips for our solutions to common issues.
We're Alex and Cathy, a husband-wife medical student team passionate about helping others apply memory techniques to learning. Alex is the current and 2x world memory champion, the No. 1 ranked memory athlete in the world, and a 3x Guinness world record holder.
Together, we've modified the memory techniques Alex uses in competitions to enhance our learning and retention. We aim to combat the "ace-test-and-forget" methods that do little for long-term recall.