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# Effective ways of memorizing?

I get that some form of memorizing is required, especially the formulae. I'm reading through the material but nothing is really registering in my brain?

What strategies do you use to memorize all the material in a effective and accurate manner?
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• On the movePosts: 632 Sr Portfolio Manager
I write things down, and if I can, scribble on the books themselves. The act of scribbling seem to help my memory retention a lot.
• Memory palace. Cicero.
• @diya are you one of those that can memorise decks and decks of cards? (in which case you'll be killing the CFA exams!)
• mnemonics helps, in certain key areas. With formulas I try and understand the reasoning behind the formula (i.e. sort of go through the first principle derivation). if I understand it it's usually much easier to recall as you would be able to recall the basic concept and rationale of the formula.

Just read back what I typed and realised it's a rambling mess. But hope it makes sense, let me know if it doesn't
• @fabian lol no. Though I do like memorizing quotes and other very random and useless information. @jimmyg understanding helps remember but I usually don't understand everything in the first (or even second) go. So I memorize the formula so I can ponder it and figure out what it means and how it fits in the grander scheme of things.
For level I I all the formula's I have having trouble with, I stuck on my wall and I memorized them and the order I wrote them in (and drew arrows to indicate how some formulas were related). So for the exam I recalled the mindmap on my wall. (It was colourful so it was a very visual representation and easy to memorize).
• LA, USPosts: 203 Jr Portfolio Manager
Man, that would be one giant spiderweb of formulae @diya. I just summarise bits of info on A4's , its my last minute revision notes (no time to flip the books then)!
• @Maroon5 did you study right up till the end? I stopped studying about two days before the exam and even then I couldn't sleep the night before.
• LA, USPosts: 203 Jr Portfolio Manager
@Diya I plan to stop a week or two before. Those are for practice papers and notes review. in fact the last 2 days ideally I'd take it like holidays, no more reading. I'm convinced they seem to erase more info from my head!
• For Level 2 I wrote down every formula on a cue card, and then read them on the underground each day to/from work. Once I knew it I then left that card at home so the deck only contained the ones I struggled with. I then went back through the whole deck again every few days.

It worked for me, and helped that a lot of the equations were linked (I.e. valuing futures/forwards across different structures and asset classes uses very similar formulas with slight tweaks).

I know some people say that memorising formulas is not great for them, buy I am of the opinion that some of the multiple choice questions will require a specific formula, and if you don't know it you are down to guessing...and I ended up passing so it helped me!
• On the movePosts: 632 Sr Portfolio Manager
Last minute memorization is not a good tool to rely on, but you should definitely do it anyway to squeeze in the last few bits, especially ones that you just can't get.
• Awesome, lots of excellent ideas here guys, thanks a lot!
• LA, USPosts: 203 Jr Portfolio Manager
Mnemonics? Or just sing your formulae to LMFAO tunes?
• Maroon5 said:

Mnemonics? Or just sing your formulae to LMFAO tunes?

Now you've done it..... I probably can't stop doing that now.
• God @Maroon5 that's genius!