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Memorizing Tips

By Elizabeth Sanborn
I haven't taken a survey of the various memorizing habits of various quizzers, but my guess is that most people tend to have the same form for memorizing—take a section, repeat several times, move on to the next section, etc.  While this can and is very useful, there are some other methods that I've found helpful in my years as a quizzer.  Take what you can and suit it to your needs...learn how you memorize best!


Memory tricks
When memorizing lists, find the acronym. This one is best explained by example. Take, for instance, 
Colossians 3:8, "But now, you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips." Notice…
[and filthy language]

(So, according to that verse, get rid of your ARMS and lips.)

Another example is Philippians 2…in the latter part of that chapter, Paul talks a lot about sending Timothy to Philippi. He pretty much says the same thing over and over but in different ways. Confusing to be sure, but you can remember verse 23, "I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me." "Me" rhymes with 23, so you know those two are linked together.


Take the acronyms and make them into words that aren't words.  For example, Luke 6:14 says SPeAJaJoPB--"Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew."  SPeAJaJoPB isn't a word, but if it helps your remember the list, it is.

While you Shower
This tip, given to me by Juliann Itter, has been invaluable. Print out the passage or verses you are working on, laminate it (either with contact paper or the sticky 8 ½ x 11 sheets you can buy), and stick it on the shower wall. Presto! Memorizing while you clean yourself. It's a good way to use your shower time, though I will warn you that your showers may start to get longer and longer…

Connect the words with motions—start acting out the verse if need be to jog your mind.  Especially for visual learners, it can help to see the the verse as you try to remember it.  For example, Luke 1:51-55 contains several short verses all stating what God has done.  Act it out!  When it says "he has scattered," scatter.  When it says "filled the hungry," act like you're filling the hungry.


Also, I've found that simply walking while I memorize makes a big difference in my concentration.  I've known several quizzers who just can't sit still when memorizing or reviewing.

Sing the verses as you go.  For some reason, people remember things better when they are set to music.  Either take a tune you know and put a verse to it, or make up an entirely new one.


This is one of the most common things I've seen quizzers do—print out each verse on a flashcard and carry it with you everywhere.  Big advantages to this are that you always have your verses (so use the little minutes in your day while you're waiting for the bus, in line at a restaurant, etc.) and that you can review them out of order, which is a big help when it comes to quizzing.


There's a lot of different ways to memorize; I just highlighted a few that I've either used or seen others use.  As I said at the beginning, learn how you memorize (and review) best so you can work at quizzing with all your heart (Col. 3:23).
Elizabeth is a Quizzing Alumnus, who memorized over 2500 verses over the course of her quizzing career.  She still memorizes, and her life goal is to know all of the Apostle Paul's books so well, that she can quote any verse at any time.  Read her blog at