Memory Remembering Numbers

## Remembering Numbers

### Remembering Numbers

Numbers can be hard to remember because they’re abstract concepts, but there are several techniques that will make a big difference.

#### Chunking

Simple but effective. If you have a long number to remember, break it down into manageable pieces, no more than 2-4 digits long. So 3361986010 might become 336 1986 010 To make things even more memorable, look for patterns or associations within each chunk. Eg. 336 makes sense because 3+3=6. 1986 is a date, what happened then that you remember? And 010 is nicely balanced. Or you could even make a % sign out of it.

#### Rhymes

Radio stations and adverts often use this technique to drill their frequencies or phone numbers into your head. Create a catchy song or rhyme that involves the number you need. Here’s a well known one: ‘In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.’

#### The Peg System

This technique takes a little bit of work to begin with, but is a much more powerful technique. It involves combining numbers with images. Here’s how to do it:

##### Step One

Decide on an image you’re going to use for each number from 0 to 9. These images are based on the shape of the number – so there’s a visual clue to help you remember them. Here are some examples you could use:

1 = a pencil, or a sentry, or a magic wand
2 = a swan
3 = a fork
4 = a yacht
5 = a hook
6 = an elephant’s trunk
7 = a cliff
8 = a snowman
9 = a balloon on a string

##### Step Two

Take a few minutes to get the images lodged in your mind.

##### Step Three

Now, each time you have to remember a number, invent a story using the respective images. Say you want to remember the number 4489. You could dream up a story which starts with two yachts (44) … then a huge snowman (8) comes along and jumps on them, blows up a balloon on a string (9) and floats off up to the skies. The more surreal the better – just make sure it all happens in the right sequence.

Use this one for:

• Remembering dates
• Memorising PIN numbers
• Remembering important phone numbers

#### Want to take this to the next level?

If you’re really serious about becoming a memory genius, invest a few hours in mastering an even more advance memory system that involves substituting numbers for letters, that then go together to form skeleton words … Sounds complicated? Sounds spooky? Not really – read more about this here.

## What is Brainsmart?

There are several ways to memorise numbers. Look for patterns, turn them into rhymes, or use your imagination to turn them into colourful images and stories. Watch the animation and learn the basics.

### More from the BBC

#### BBC Learning

Resources for learners of all ages, including video clips

#### Science & Nature - Memory

Try these fun challenges designed by experts.