1. The chunking method is a technique that can be utilized to memorize small chunks of information at a time. The method is best used with studying lists of letters, numbers or syllables. The items are grouped together in some meaningful way to the individual studying them which is why it is effective. The theory behind the method comes from George Miller’s study in which he determined that people are able to effectively memorize 7 items in these chunks.
2. The maintenance rehearsal method is one in which items are memorized through the repetition of the items. This is in contrast to associating meaning to the items as suggested by the chunking method. While the method is not effective for memorizing items which need meaning associated to them it can be effective for memorizing items which require implicit learning such as word association tasks. Maintenance rehearsal theory comes from the study of information processing.
3. The clustering method is similar to the chunking method in that a large list is organized into meaningful clusters in order to memorize them. The method is most effective with memorizing items such as shopping lists. The theory behind the method is that lists are memorized easier if they are broken into smaller groups.
4. Elaborative integration is a method that is most effective when studying higher thinking concepts. The method has the person ask questions to determine the reason behind why the concept exists. The theory behind the method is that it teaches a concept rather than just having individuals memorize concepts without understanding the method.
5. A similar method is piloting in which a student is asked questions to arise to a conclusion. The method is also effective in studying advanced concepts as piloting increases the understanding of the concept. The theory was developed as a learning strategy by Socrates' teaching philosophy as he encouraged people to develop knowledge from within.
6. Mnemonics is another strategy that can be utilized to memorize difficult lists of concepts or items. The purpose of the strategy is to translate these concepts into easily remembered phrases such as Roy G. Biv for remembering the colors of the rainbow. The method is effective for ingraining the concepts into long term memory.
7. Distributed practice is a method in which learning practice is broken up into small chunks over long periods of time. The method is more effective than attempting to cram all the material at one time as the information is retained longer. Ebbinghaus first studied and developed the concept of distributed learning as he determined the method was effective for all types of diverse learners.
8. Summarization is a method of reducing a large amount of information into a concise study guide to be able to study the concepts more effectively. The method is effective when trying to condense a large amount of information. The method can also be effective for studying material that has been taught over a long period of time.
9. Imagery for text is a technique in which mental images are formed regarding the text that is being studied. This method is effective for complicated material that cannot be studied through simple memorization. Being able to visualize the material allows the concepts to be recalled quickly.
10. Practice testing is a method in which an individual tests themselves on possible test questions. Research has demonstrated that this method is the most effective strategy when studying. The method allows students to not only study the material but also practice taking a test.