Go old-school when studying for exams



Finish this song, if you can: A B C D E F G H I J K L – M – N – O – P…? Is the melody now stuck in your head?

How about this poem: I before e except after c or when sounding like a in ________ and _____. How old were you when you learned this gem?

The mind loves to learn songs, poems and all sorts of quirky expressions – and they can stay with you a lifetime. These old-school cheats are “mnemonics,” or memory aids, and we highly recommend using them when studying for exams.

For example, the order of operations for math is: parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add and subtract, made easier to remember when you substitute: Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally.

When you are learning to type on a computer keyboard, you can make sure you practice hitting every letter by typing the sentence: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. (Graphic designers can also use that one to test for font readability.)

This trick is for those who have to remember the order of color coding on electronic resistors: black, blue, red, orange, yellow, green, brown, violet, gray, white, silver and gold, or: Bad beer rots our young guts but vodka goes well (in) silver goblets.

OK, that last one may be a bit too quirky. The best part is that you can make up your own expressions, rhymes or ditties – ones that will be even easier for you to remember because you created them. Time to bust out those mad rap skills!