Study "sense-ably"


You have five senses- sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch (which includes movement). You can easily use at least three of these to help you study.

  • Let's start with sight. There are many ways to see the information you need to study and memorize. Make flashcards. Study them whenever you have a spare moment. Make charts and graphs. Highlight information in different colors. Read, read, read!
  • When memorizing, try to visualize pictures in your head. Make them as weird as possible. For example, let's say you are trying to  remember Pickett's Charge took place in 1863. A picket is a fence post. Imagine one thousand, eight hundred sixty-three fence posts "charging" across a field. Remember- the weirder, the better!

  • Let's move on to sound. There are lots of ways to use your sense of hearing to help you study. Talk out loud. Use rhyme. Sing or rap the information aloud. Make audiotapes of the information. Listen to them whenever you have a spare moment. Quiz yourself out loud, or have a friend quiz you. Talk aloud as you "teach" the information to your dog or your baby brother. The more you hear it, the easier you will remember it.

  • Touch and movement can help you remember things, also. If you are studying spelling words, trace them in big letters, using your finger on the table top. Writing and highlighting information also give a sense of movement. Act things out. Pace back and forth as you study. Draw pictures, cartoons, and diagrams of the information you need to remember.

Good students use all three of these senses together as they study.

  • Let's look at a simple example. You have ten spelling words to memorize for the test this week. Use all your senses as you study them. The first word is "bargain." Break it into parts in your head- "bar, gain." Visualize yourself lifting weights. You put weights on the "bar" to make it "gain" weight. Trace the letters BARGAIN with your finger on the table top while you say them aloud. This is a simple example. You can get much more creative! And remember- the sillier, the better.

  • Okay, so where do your senses of smell and taste come into play? Some information might conjure up familiar smells. If you are trying to remember that Kona, Hawaii, exports coffee, try to smell freshly brewed coffee in your mind. Hey, it's worth a try!

  • As for taste, some experts say that certain tastes "wake up"  brain. Peppermint and lemon are two of them. Try eating hard candy while you study. If possible, eat these flavored candies while you are taking the test. But remember, this is NOT a substitute for studying!

Be "sense-able."