High School students at USA Memory Championship

I noticed something concerning the many High School students at the USA Memory Championship. They really ruled both the Names & Faces event and the Poetry event, with 8 of the top 10 scores and 9 of the top ten scores, respectively. Contrast this with speed cards and speed numbers, where they placed just 3 in the top ten in each of those events. Why do you think this is? Do their high school programs practice the Names & Faces and Poetry more, or is it the fact that the numbers and cards require more practice due to having to use a system that must be learned, then practiced a lot? Or is it some other factor altogether?

Interesting question. Maybe one of the competitors is here in the forum and could answer.

I’m not exactly sure, but I do think that they spend more time on N&F and Poetry than on Cards and Numbers. Also, if you think about it, you don’t really need to know a whole lot of mnemonic techniques to be good at N&F and Poetry. One guy who held the Poetry record for a while didn’t use any technique at all and just did repetition. It takes a relatively long time to get good at Cards and Numbers, but improving at N&F and Poetry goes a lot quicker. When I prepared for the 2015 USAMC, I think I practiced Poetry <5 times and still ended up with 178 at the competition.