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Why Acronyms, Mnemonics, Flashcards are the coolest learning methods!

When the teacher writes E=mc2 on the chalkboard or explains the process of digestion, it all seems quite easy to remember, isn’t it? That is because the way your teacher puts it across on the board: by using diagrams, short forms, abbreviations, and formulas. Learning is easy and simple when you find shortcuts and fun ways to memorise little devils like dates and formulas. These little pranksters can make studying difficult for you. But a few tricks can make learning fun.

Acronyms

An acronym is an abbreviation pronounced as a word. Sometimes, if the abbreviation is too short, it is not pronounced as a word. Here are some acronyms you might have come across while studying:

 

POW

Prisoner of War

MIA

Missing in Action

CIA

Central Intelligence Agency

FDA

Federal Drug Administration

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

ABS

Anti-lock Braking System

SD card

Secure Data card

SAARC

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

 Mnemonics

Mnemonics are memory devices which help in breaking down larger parts of information into easily retainable pieces.  When you use a mnemonic, you associate the original information with something more interesting, which triggers the brain to remember the original content easily. Take a look at how you can remember the speed of light easily.

What is the speed of light in vacuum?

299,792,458 meters/sec

 

Count the letters in each word of the sentence ‘We guarantee certainly, clearly referring to this light fizzling’ and you will remember in an instant what the speed of light is.  

Never Lick Tilly's Popsicle, Mother Might Come Home. No, this isn’t some kind of rambling. It is a mnemonic to help you remember the eight small bones in the wrist: Navicular, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform, Multongular (Greater), Multongular (Lesser), Capitate, Hamate.

How about remembering the exact value of Pi?

To remember the eight digits of Pi (π), take help from coffee.

3.1415926 can be remembered with May I Have a Large Container of Coffee.

Flashcards

 

Using a set of cards, write each date you need to memorise along with significance of that date. You can also write formulas in the same way. Quiz yourself by shuffling the cards, looking at the date/formula on each one. Test yourself if you can remember the answers correctly. Have a look at the flashcards of formulas and a historical event here for reference. 

Invent a funny story!

Two yaks named y1and y2 can help you determine the slope of a line given two points. Let’s see how. 

 

 Two yaks (y1, y2) were travelling on a slope with two Xmas trees (x1, x2) on their backs. Suddenly they skid and the second yak fell on the first yak (y2 – y1). The Xmas trees also fell off their backs (x2 – x1). The funnier the story is the easier you memorise!

No matter how cryptic a date or a formula appears to be, if learning is combined with fun, studying becomes an enjoyable activity. The more fun you have while learning, the more knowledge your mind will absorb.  

 

With inputs from Snehal Naik.

POW

Prisoner of War

MIA

Missing in Action

CIA

Central Intelligence Agency

FDA

Federal Drug Administration

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

ABS

Anti-lock Braking System

SD card

Secure Data card

SAARC

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

POW

Prisoner of War

MIA

Missing in Action

CIA

Central Intelligence Agency

FDA

Federal Drug Administration

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

ABS

Anti-lock Braking System

SD card

Secure Data card

SAARC

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

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