Here is a short presentation of the Super Clever Advanced Learning Method(SCALM).
By following a series of clear steps and simple rules for memorizing different types of information, the SCALM method brings a systematic approach to a task that seems difficult for all of us: memorizing hundreds of pages of horribly abstract ,unattractive and unrelated information.
I created this method after many years in which I had to learn a lot of abstract and highly diversified information. At one point, I asked myself the question: " How could I approach in a unitary way the memorization of any kind of information, whether it is a biology essay or a philosophy book? What are the universal steps of any learning process and how can I adapt them to any type of material that I have to learn?"
The answer came when I began to study and practice the memory techniques. I discovered that, by combining these techniques, not only did the learning process become faster, but at the same time the learned information remained much longer stored in my memory.
Over time, I became a proactive learner and I synthesized a series of steps that transformed my learning into a pleasant and extremely effective experience.
The essence of the method consists in the deconstruction, organization and then reconstruction of the material, so that it is brought into a memorable form for you. For this purpose, it contains 5 steps and “SCALM” is an acronym for these steps, which are: Structure-Chunk-Associate-Locate-Memorize.
1. The first step of the method is to Structure the information . This stage aims to create an overview of the material to be memorized, that will help us to organize the memorization process. In short, at this stage we create a general map of what we have to do.There are cases where the material is already organized by the author in the form of tables, charts, lists or tables of contents. We can use these as an overview of the information, but only if they are organized in a visual form. Unfortunately, these cases are quite rare, so we need a universal instrument that can be applied to any type of material. For this purpose,the SCALM technique often uses MIND MAPS, a very efficient tool used by millions of people around the world to organize their ideas and to think more creatively.
2. The second stage of the SCALM method is Chunking - a process by which the material is broken down into organized and meaningful pieces of information.
You have probably heard the saying that you eat an elephant one bite at a time and this is the principle on which any complex human activity is based. The same principle applies in learning.Basically, at this stage we break down the material into smaller pieces, which will be easier to associate and manipulate in our mind.
3. The next step is Association
This is the core of the mental process of memorization. Association is the central element of any memory technique and it means creating a mental connection between the abstract information you have to remember and a concrete image as a person, an object or an animal . This easy-to-memorize image will act as a trigger to bring the abstract concept to light, from the depths of your memory. It works like a shortcut that launches an application from your computer.
The chunks of information take a concrete shape and, at the end of this stage, we will have a list of simple and concrete pictures (like a horse,a lion or a king), which we will have to memorize in the next stage.
To transform the abstract concepts into memorable images, the SCALM method uses (and sometimes combines) several simple memory techniques:
Acronyms and The Sentence Method (for small lists- up to 7-8 items)
The Story Method (for longer lists)
The Sound-Alike Technique( for difficult words and names)
Rhymes and Jingles ( for audiory learners can be useful)
The Names Association Technique (for names)
The Major System (for numbers and dates)
Here are some simple examples on how to use these tools:
a) This biology list containing the 5 types of living structures: “ *Cells,Tissues,Organs,Organ Systems and Organisms,” * can be memorized with the Sentence Method: “Complicated Tests Obtain Obese Oranges”;
b) To memorize the atomic number of the chemical element Krypton (36), you can combine The Sound Alike Technique and The Major System. For Krypton, you can use the sound-alike “Kryptonite”, while 36, in the Major System, is M-Ch, or Mach. Here is the mnemonic image that you can use :“ Superman flying at Mach speed and searching for kryptonite”
c) To memorize this history text : “ Risings of the peasantry took place in various parts of Germany, notably in Swabia, Thuringia, the Rhine Provinces, and Saxony (1524).” , you can combine the Sentence Method( Swabia, Thuringia, the Rhine Provinces, and Saxony= “Sad Tiger Releases Snakes”) and the Major System( 1524 =TL and NR, which can become the words Towel and Nero -“Emperor Nero burning a towel.”)
Each mnemonic image of this type will be placed along a memory palace in the next stage.
4. The fourth stage is Localization , which is one of the most important aspects of an orderly memorization. You put all the concrete simple images from the previous step in a memory palace, along an imaginary journey that will become an orderly structure for memories.
Imagine you go to work and along your route you meet, in some well-defined places, the images you have to remember (for example, you might meet a lion in front of your house or an elephant in the bus station where you wait in the morning). The more dramatic and wacky the scene, the better you can remember it.
5. The last step of the SCALM technique is the Memorization of the images .
If you applied the method’s previous steps correctly and if you created powerful images and triggers for your memories, this step is very simple. You simply walk again in your mind along your route and all the words will appear in your mind’s eye in the same sequence.
If you want to use the SCALM method for large and different materials, you may consider creating (in advance) your collection of memory palaces, each meant to memorize a certain type of information
Because of the way the SCALM Method is organized, practicing it should help you internalize many memory improvement principles and help you overcome obstacles that prevent you from becoming a super learner. I can tell you for sure is that the SCALM method is a very efficient way to learn large volumes of information accurately and for long periods and I’m sure that it can help you to become more efficient in your studies or in your career.
All the best
Chris M Nemo
Memory Improvement Writer & Blogger