Remembering quotes, definitions or passages from a book, article or notes can be very valuable for an exam or presentation, but getting these words to stick in your memory can be tricky, and only gets more difficult the longer they get, and the more of them you need to remember.
Here we are going to present some tips that will help you to remember quotes to make your exams easier and more successful.
Top Tips for remembering quotes:
- First you need to make sure that you are familiar with the section you are trying to remember. Read through it carefully to understand the meaning and the overall point of the passage.
- Break the quote down into sections and make sure that you are only focusing on the key parts - there isn't value in trying to remember parts of it that aren't worthwhile.
- Once you have got the key parts of the passage you then need to break it down into keywords that represent the overall quote you are trying to remember.
- When you have broken down the quote you can start to use the keywords within the other techniques that we have covered.
- The less significant words (such as 'and', 'the', 'of') that are part of the quote can be ignored, you should find that when you have the keywords the rest will easily fall into place.
- Quotes are tricky to remember, and take quite a bit of time and study to get right. So, don't try to remember more quotes than you need to; this will help ensure that you are using your study time effectively.
- If you are going into an open book exam, or a presentation, where you can take notes then don't worry about memorising quotes! It's always easier to simply have them written down to quickly refer to. In an open book exam, though, the examiner will be less impressed to see you using quotes (since you don't have to memorise them) so you may want to use them less and focus on original analysis instead.
Using the memory techniques:
Trying to remember quotes works well with the memory techniques we have covered earlier. The association technique can be used to associate keywords or parts of a quote to a more memorable mental image. Try imagining an interesting and unusual situation that the person was in when they said or wrote the quote. Remember that silly and strange situations are often the most effective to make images stay in your memory - so don't worry about imaging unrealistic situations to put the author/speaker into, even if it's a quote about a very serious subject. You can use keywords to link together different parts of a longer section so that you can remember the order that the parts occur in. The linking and journey techniques can be used to chain the keywords together in the right order.
As a final tip, don't worry about making slight mistakes if you are writing out a quote in your exam. Examiners know that it is difficult to memorise everything that you need to know, and so they will be very impressed to see that you are trying to include accurate quotes. Also, using the techniques and advice here, you will be far better than average at remembering these quotes. So, even if you make a few mistakes you will still impress the examiner with the amount of study you have done!