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1) According to my NPLEX prep course professor, in order to best remember large complex diagrams or images, it is best if they are "assaulting to the senses". What he meant was that a perfectly drawn image found in a textbook will be much harder to recall than a poorly drawn sketch of that perfect image that you've drawn yourself. Even if you are a terrible artist, drawing what you need to remember can be extremely helpful, especially because simply the act of re-creating what you need to remember helps to solidify the image/diagram into your memory and when you need to recall it, your image is more likely to pop into your brain than something in a textbook. The uglier, sillier, weirder, and 'assulting' the image, the better!
2) Just last week, I finished up the book Moonwalking with Einstein. Without going into too much detail (this is not supposed to be a book review), the book was about is all about training your memory. The author in the book goes from regular 'ol journalist, to competing in the US Memory Championships in the span of a year. He proves in the book that nobody is born with an amazing memory, which just need to train it to be amazing! Anywho, the concept from his book that I wanted to touch on today is that of Memory Palaces. In short (because you really need to read the book or do some independent research of these palaces to understand them fully; the small snipet of info about them that I can provide here on the blog isn't all that much), you use a memory palace in order to remember something. For example, say you wanted to remember everything about the new neighbor you just met (note: this is my example and I'm improvising based on what I remember from the book; there are much better examples given in the book and around the web!). So, you take a house or building that you know well (e.g. childhood home, current home, favorite restaurant), and you would start placing the things you learned about your new neighbor throughout the house. Your neighbor is named George, is a firefighter, loves puppies, and used to live in Germany. So in your palace, you place a bust of George Washington in the entry way of the palace, then you place a fire hydrant on the coach of the living room, a puppy in the kitchen, and lastly there is a German flag hanging in the hallway. Next time you run into George, you just take a "walk" through your memory palace of George and along this walk, you see all the important "George-objects" sitting around your house, cuing you to remember George's name, occupation, excursion abroad, and love for puppies.