These 3 Scientifically Backed Methods Will Help You Learn Things Quicker

A beginner’s guide to chunking, pomodoros, and active recall

Eashan Kotha


Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

When it comes down to it, our short term memories are rather feeble.

If I were to give you a number to remember without letting you write it down or record it like 2039383942 and later ask you for the number–it might be extremely difficult to accurately spout them back to me.

This is because your short term memory can only hold a limited amount of information in it and you likely didn’t have much time to commit the number to your long term memory either.

Method 1: Chunking

Now what happens if I tell you that this was a phone number? 203–938–3942. Your short term memory can better handle 3–4 digits at a time so splitting apart the number and “chunking” it makes it a lot more easily recallable (Baddeley, 2009).

You might think back to an annoying jingle on the radio or that you saw on TV, where the chunked up digits of a company/service phone number is set to an infectious melody, further making the number more memorable. As we can see, creating chunks can be a helpful method to storing information in our long term memory.

Those chunks can become larger and larger as you become more and more practiced with using them and you’ll eventually not have to consciously consider the chunks at all. This is because your neural pathways have been accustomed to seeing the connections between them and you can adeptly navigate the pathway to see how they relate through practice.

These chunks are like the bricks in a wall of your wall of understanding.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

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Eashan Kotha

Neurobiology and film enthusiast. Aspiring physician. I love poetry too. Buy my book of haiku: