Lists in chemistry

Hello! What memory systems do you use to learn lists such as this one?

I have about 4 months before my exam, so do you think it’s feasible for me to get comfortable enough learning material in a new way? I have very little experience
in using memory systems (I use the peg method infrequently for small things).I’m sorry if this question is common, but I can’t really research much at this time. Thanks!

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If the letters appear like that a lot, you could use a Alphabet Peg list for the letters and an extra image for the digit, for the physical state and color, more pictures. Just visualize an story with each relevant peace of information, the storage within a mental location. Techniques: linking system, method of loci, pegging systems.


My first advice would be to check what will be on the exam so you don’t accidentally memorize too much.

For the specific example here, I would try to understand why the information is true as much as possible, because then you don’t need any memory methods. For example ClFx is always a colourless gas, except for x = 5 when the molecule is bigger so it becomes a liquid. Iodine compounds are never gasses except for IF5 and IF7.

For anything that is just too big, then you can use standard systems of memory palaces (ordered data) and spaced repetition (associative data) as described on here. Maybe someone has tried something similar and can tell you what worked or didn’t work.


Hey, I concur with the point that we first need to identify what needs to be memorised and more importantly why.
While memory palaces are great, I often find it difficult to maintain and feel it’s more long term solution.

For an exam in next 4-8 months, won’t a pegged list system be better? But the problem here is that we will quickly have too many pegged lists of things. Then the challenge becomes how to associate a list to a topic?


I’m planning to learn 100+ equations in inorganic chemistry. I’m thinking about associating small compounds (Like NH3, NO2-, NO2+, etc) with an object and then having them interacting and stuff to make small stories. But I’ll need to associate objects to these compounds first. So is there a list of some striking objects which I could use to associate with these compounds? Also please give suggestions, if any. Thanks !


I’ve made images for the elements on this list. chlorine -> the swimming pool near my home, fluorine-> a giant F which falls on things, bromine -> two teenagers fighting over something. But I can’t think of a good image for iodine. I tried using Odin (given in tarnations chemistry list on this site) but I couldn’t form any good stories with it. Can you help me with stories for all the compounds with iodine in them except for IF and ICl ?

Like for IF I just drop the giant F into the pool and the water rises high up. When we look from a distance, it looks like a colorless gas rising up. For IF3, it is identical except that i drop 3 giant F’s into the water, which rises even higher this time. For IF5, the watee rises so high that it forms a cloud and comes down as liquid rain which appears colorless to us. Any suggestions are appreciated. (sorry for the second post but it appears that I can’t edit posts)

I managed to make a story with Odin, so that worked out. However, I’ve got to learn the temperatures at which the compounds form, too. For instance, the reaction to form ClF3 takes place at 350 Celcius. So should I have an object for each digit and tie that into my story, or something else? Please give suggestions

I recommend to find an image designation for each element, as you did with the numbers. And so are some substances that are easy to visualize. To memorize the same holistic list of chemical data, I use memory palace and the story method.

How do I learn this list ? :frowning:

Start by seeing what is similar and what is different between those three lines.

Hint, they all have the same Chromium, Water and Chlorine, but arranged differently. Then think of some Chemistry reasons for this. Your Chemistry is probably better than mine, but maybe it’s something to do with Chromium being Group VI? And uneven charge distribution means that it can hold onto three other molecules that have a dipole, like water or Chlorine?

Then you can maybe remember that the greenest one is where there is as much Chlorine as possible in the compound. And on the other end of the scale, you get violet?

I don’t know the best way, but the more you understand the Chemistry, the less brute memorization that you need to do with flashcards, memory palaces etc. Maybe here it’s enough to memorize the green and violet?

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I saw your post and have to register an account to share my 2 cents with you.
My question to you is - Is this specific subject going to be heavily tested in your exam?
If it is a Chemistry exam, I believe there are so much more to be remembered and tested. Therefore, I would advise you to remember something that is going to be heavily test instead.
In order to do good in an exam, you have to learn how to be exam smart and study selectively.
Good Luck!

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It’s the JEE, they can ask anything

Iodine- lazily sitting in a corner and moves only when really required.

In such cases, the multiphase imaging method will be very effective in order to compress this information. You need to remember 14 and their characteristics. You can reduce the number of loci to 7. Think of any sequence of 14 images, memorize them 2 per loci. Then highlight on each of the details. Increase the details and link the name of the element and their characteristics to them.

For example, the first image is a car. I highlight in it the bumper, hood, cab, trunk. We increase the bumper. Chlorine reminds me of detergents, and Fluorine is a poisonous gas. As a result, on this huge bumper there is a toxin rebel from the game Generals who is trying to wash it with detergent. Then I open the hood and an almost colorless ghost flies out of it (my association with colorless gas).

Then I move on to another image. Let it be a barrier. I also highlight the details on it and store the BrF data on them. This method, invented by Vladimir Kozarenko in the 90s, remains the most perfect system for memorizing large volumes of educational information.

I also strongly recommend remembering the entire periodic table and have steel images for each element, as we do with numbers. Because memorizing the details of the image already requires more stress on the imagination and more time.