Posts Tagged ‘acronym’

How to Memorize Using the Catch Sentence (Acrostic) Technique

Catch Sentence (Acrostic) Memory Strategy

Catch Sentence (Acrostic) Memory Technique

The Catch Sentence (Acrostic) Technique can be an effective tool to help you memorize many seemingly unrelated items. This memory trick is especially helpful for memorizing items or facts in an exact order.  Like the Catch Words (Acronyms) Technique, this memory trick forces you to remember each item or idea by prompting your recall of the first letter of each key word. Fortunately, you probably have heard a few of the most often used catch sentences (acronyms) in school or elsewhere. Use catch sentences (acrostics) to review notes and study for tests.

Catch Sentence Examples

Do you remember these catch sentences from school?

My Very Enthusiastic Mother Just Served Us Noodles!

for the order of the planets from the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

Every Good Boy Does Fine 

for the notes of the scale: E G B D F

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

for the order of operations in math: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction

King Henry Died bDrinking Chocolate Milk

for the units of measurement prefixes: Kilo, Hecto, Deca, base, Deci, Centi, Milli


For each key word that you want to remember, use the first letter of each word as the first letter of a new word that will fit into a memorable new sentence or phrase. You can add in other words to your sentence if they won’t confuse you. Substitute concrete objects for any key words that are too abstract to remember well.

Let’s use the Catch Sentences Technique to memorize the first ten presidents of the United States in exact order. Hint: Try adding in a second letter for one of the J and M names to avoid confusion.

  1. Washington
  2. Adams
  3. Jefferson
  4. Madison
  5. Monroe
  6. Adams
  7. Jackson
  8. Van Buren
  9. Harrison
  10. Tyler

For each president, use the first letter of each name as the first letter of a new word that will fit into a memorable sentence or phrase. The more personal or unusual the sentence—the better. How about this one? “Why are jerks making money always just very happy tycoons?”

Notice that “jerks” takes care of the confusion between Jefferson and Jackson by using “je” at the start of the word and “making money” does the same for Madison and Monroe.

Now prompt yourself to remember each name by referring only to the above catch sentence. Works well, doesn’t it? Remember that adding in a conjunction, such as “and,” or an article, such as “the,” won’t throw you off and may make the sentence easier to formulate.

Memorizing using the Catch Sentences Technique will enable you to retain the memory of many seemingly unrelated items. Frequent rehearsal of the categories and their items will place the information into your long-term memory. Useful for upcoming tests, names, speeches, lectures, shopping lists? Absolutely.

Check out these other brief articles on helpful memorization techniques: catch words, linking, association, This Old Man, location, and grouping.

The author’s Essential Study Skills is the study skill curriculum that teaches what students need to know to succeed and thrive in schoolOften, the reason why

Essential Study Skills Program

Essential Study Skills

students fail to achieve their academic potential is not because of laziness or lack of effort, but because they have never learned the basic study skills necessary for success.

The 56 lessons in Essential Study Skills will teach your students to “work smarter, not harder.” Students who master these skills will spend less time, and accomplish more during homework and study time. Their test study will be more productive and they will get better grades. Reading comprehension and vocabulary will improve. Their writing will make more sense and essays will be easier to plan and complete. They will memorize better and forget less. Their schoolwork will seem easier and will be much more enjoyable. Lastly, students will feel better about themselves as learners and will be more motivated to succeed. Essential Study Skills is the ideal curriculum for study skill, life skill, Advocacy/Advisory, Opportunity Program classes. The easy-to-follow lesson format of 1. Personal Assessment 2. Study Skill Tips and 3. Reflection is ideal for self-guided learning and practice. Contact the publisher for affordable site licenses.

Study Skills , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,