Can you evaluate my process, please?

Hello everyone,

Doing a history exam and I’m trying to develop a method so as to learn everything as quickly as possible.

I’ll give you an example of the things I do to try and learn one piece of information.

Say I want to remember about the Battle of Manzikert. It was fought in 1071 by the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Empire.

The things I want to remember are: “Manzikert” “1071” “Byzantine” “Seljuk”.

Manzikert: I think of a man in a go kart.
1071: there’s this book I found: “The Memory Book” by Lorayne and Lucas. I’m using a peg system developed by them. 10 stands for toes, 71 stands for cot.

I combine the two: a man in a go kart running against a huge toe running a cot with wheels.

Now I remember a battle occurred in 1071, but who fought it?

Byzantin: Bizan is a mountain in Japan. Tin well, I think of a tin. I think of a giant tin that says konnichiwa to the birds who fly over it. They’re terrified and fly away.
Seljuk: I think of Jean-Jacques (juk) Rousseau selling books in the street.

I combine the two: Bizan buys a French dictionary from Rousseau to try to communicate with the birds. The birds were French and now they understand Bizan when he says: “Bonjour”. Bizan is happy.

Now I should combine these two stories: Bizan and the birds go watch a race and they cheer for the toe with the cot.

This is just an example of what I go through to remember just 4 pieces of information and tie them together.

The point is: is this viable to you? I really want to hear someone’s opinion about this. I have nobody to discuss these matters with, actually.

Some problems I noticed:

  1. I can’t help myself but to make stories. I can’t distinguish between creating a story and simply tying two pictures together. I always end up making something elaborate instead of keeping things simple.

  2. It’s very difficult to find words that rhyme or remind myself of the words I’m trying to learn. For instance, the example I just gave you a moment ago took me about 3-5 minutes in total and most of the work is to look for words that make sense to me. If there had not been a mountain named Bizan, I honestly have no idea what I would have came up with, for instance. This is especially sad since I’m a bilingual (I speak both Italian and English), so I should have a bigger of pool of meaningful words I can use.

  3. Oftentimes, a concept must be tied to more than just one idea. For example, say I want to learn about Charles V. The book I’m reading says he was helped by a German banker, Jakob Fugger. This is one piece of information. Then, say I want to remember that he divided his empire among his brother, Ferdinand I, and his son, Philip II.

Charles V: in Italian Carlo rhymes with tarlo, which is a woodworm. The peg system in The Memory Book assigns “law” to the number 5. I think of a judge woodworm. I think of a woodworm seated at a courtroom with a wig on his head.
Jakob Fugger: J is the 10th letter in the alphabet. I think of a cub (kob) with human feet instead of paws (again, from the peg system, 10 stands for toes). Fugger remimds of “fuga”, which is “escape” in Italian. This is a bit of a problem as it’s not an object (question: is using concepts instead of physical objects as bad as it seems?). His pride tries to kill the cub, but it manages to escape.
Ferdinand I: fur - dinner. I imagine a wounded sheep without her fur eating a farmer on a plate for dinner. He was trying to shear her, but she refused and attacked him. She wears a tie (according to the book, 1 stands for tie) to disguise herself and pretend she’s a human in case someone looks at her through the window of the farmer’s house.
Philip II: a thirsty hip (bone) drinks a glass full of milk (phil-). This hip is Noah’s assistant (the book assigns “Noah” to the number 2) and is the one who allows Noah to hear what God tells him.

Let’s put all this together now. This is the tricky part, because more images are related to Charles V.

  1. The judge woodworm imprisons the cub’s pride and gives her another chance at life. I imagine these lions trying to escape but being handcuffed by some animal police.
  2. The sheep with the tie ends up in prison anyway for killing the farmer.
  3. The hip was a spy from the devil. He was telling Noah to go in the wrong direction, which would have ended all life form on Earth. It too goes to prison, cursing in some demonic language.

Now guys, it’s your turn. What do you guys think of all this? Where would I improve?

Thanks a ton to whoever will reply back.

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I wouldn’t regard myself as effective using memory techniques as many others on this site, but I’ll try and give as much advice as I can on the matter.

Firstly, you mentioned that when creating stories you would remember something like “a battle occurred in 1071, but who fought it?” At least for me I have found to keep a general event or series of events in a single room in a memory palace. For example, everything about the Battle of Manzikert could be in your bedroom so then you know all of the information is linked together.

Second, you mentioned that you make things more elaborate than simple. The main purpose is making the story memorable so if the story has to be elaborate for you to remember it that is okay. I’m not sure how long you have been using memory techniques but I have noticed the more often I use them the easier it is to create links or associations.

Lastly, you mentioned “if there had not been a mountain named Bizan, I honestly have no idea what I would have came up with.” One tip with this I have comes from solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded. When doing so, people will use letter pairs to create words from so you could possibly think of words that contain either the first and last letters or more. For instance if memorizing DG you would think DOG (I know its simple). The same concept could be applied for Bizan if you take B, Z, and N to form another word. Not sure how well this would work but it might help.

These are just some of my suggestions, if anyone has any better methods please correct me as I know this site has really talented people. Hopefully this has helped in some way. Good luck if you haven’t had the exam yet.

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