Memorization vs. Understanding

It has been said that “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The ability to learn and remember information is essential for students of all ages, but especially high school students.

However, there are two different ways to learn and remember information- through memorization or understanding.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two learning methods and how you can use them both to your advantage in your studies. We will also provide some tips on how to excel in high school!

What is Memorization?

When you memorize information, all that matters is that you can recall it immediately when called upon. Memorization involves repeatedly seeing or hearing the same information over and over until it becomes lodged in your brain.

You will often use flashcards to memorize material for a test by studying the cards repeatedly until you can answer each question perfectly.

Memorizing involves no comprehension of what you are learning– while it may be necessary for some tests, taking this approach alone will not help you truly learn the material or understand more abstract concepts.

What is Understanding?

When you understand the material, not only do you know the information, but you can explain it to yourself or anyone else. You can answer questions on a test about why certain things happen or how they connect to other concepts.

Understanding involves connecting new information with old knowledge and putting it all together so that you can see the big picture of how everything fits together.

Understanding will enable you to succeed in every aspect of high school- whether it’s getting better grades, preparing for college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT, or pursuing extracurricular activities such as sports teams or clubs.

With understanding, your learning becomes more meaningful and fun!

What are the Differences between Memorization and Understanding?

  1. Memorization is the process of learning material by repetition, while understanding involves connecting new information to prior knowledge and putting it all together so you can see the big picture.
  2. Memorization doesn’t require comprehension, while understanding means that you know what you’re studying and why.
  3. Memorization will help you pass a test if your studying is limited, while understanding ensures that your learning goes much deeper and lasts longer in your mind.
  4. When you memorize something for a test, there’s no need to understand why it works- this would take up valuable time during the exam!

However, when reviewing again afterward or preparing for another test, make sure to try to give yourself some context as to where the information fits in and why it’s important.

  1. Memorization is like short-term memory, while understanding is more like a long-term one. For example, let’s say that you’re memorizing vocabulary words for your Spanish test tomorrow. You’ll be able to recall those terms well enough at the time of the exam, but as soon as it’s over, they’ll disappear from your mind because they only exist in your short-term memory until you use them again.

If, however, you go beyond just memorizing and actually try to understand each word so that you know how it’s used and where it belongs within the context of its sentence or paragraph, these pieces will stay with longer and even help you grasp other similar concepts more easily!

  1. Memorization is often used to simply pass a test, while understanding allows you to learn for the sake of learning – it’s way more fun because you get to play around with new ideas and information all on your own.
  2. Memorization helps us recall information that we need in certain situations or times, while understanding gives us deeper comprehension of why things happen or how our world works. This knowledge could also come in handy when something surprising happens!
  3. Memorization is like studying for a test, while understanding is like preparing for your future. This will make more sense in just a bit!

How can you use memorization and understanding in your online studies?

In order to use memorization and understanding most efficiently, make both methods a part of your study habits.

To incorporate understanding into your studies, try these tips:

  • When you review material, don’t just reread it over and over again. Make connections to other information that you’ve learned in the past- this will help your brain form stronger memories and retain more information for longer periods.
  • Write out the concepts and ideas that you find hardest to understand or remember. It may not be easy at first, but as you practice, it will become easier each time, making those thoughts come quickly to mind when necessary!

To use memorization effectively, try these tips:

  • Make flashcards with key points from each chapter of your textbook. As you study, go through the flashcards and try to answer each question. If you get stuck, look over the definitions or examples on the card until you remember what it means. Then move on to the next card!
  • When studying for a test, don’t just focus on memorizing facts and details from each chapter. Prioritize by looking at which concepts are most important for scoring well on the test. Try to understand how all of these individual facts fit together so that everything makes more sense as a whole!

Tips on how to excel in online high school

How to Study and Remember Fast

1. Get organized

Make a planner and follow it through! Organize your time so that you can be on top of everything without last-minute studying or rushing to finish an assignment.

2. Be patient

Focus on understanding the material rather than rushing through only to forget later.

If it takes 10 minutes extra, then take those 10 minutes to really try to grasp what’s being taught in each lesson/activity/assignment.

3. Find the best way to learn

Some people are visual learners, others learn better by hearing information, while others still understand concepts better when they write them out themselves. Just find whatever method works best for you!

4. Take control of your learning

If something isn’t working well for you, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can always try other ways of learning or even review previous concepts to help you understand the new idea better!

5. Use all of your resources

Teachers are great at explaining concepts, but sometimes there is so much information being taught that no one really has time to go over everything thoroughly with everyone in the class.

Be sure to ask your teachers if there is anything you’re still not quite grasping- they may be able to help, especially with any homework problems!

6. Study for short periods of time

Don’t procrastinate or wait until the last minute to study because you’ll be spending hours at a time trying to go over everything.

This will only cause more stress and anxiety, plus your studying won’t be as efficient!

If it takes 20 minutes for you to understand something fully, then spend those 20 minutes reviewing the information until it makes sense to you. Then move on!

7. Take things one step at a time

Sometimes there are too many distractions that prevent us from focusing strictly on our studies (texts, Facebook, etc.).

Make sure that you focus only on your work when you’re at school so that you can get everything done more quickly and with better comprehension.

8. Exercise

Working out for even 30 minutes before studying helps the brain function more efficiently so that information sticks in your memory better!

9. Get enough sleep

Nothing beats a good night’s rest, especially after a hard day of studying or working long hours at whatever job you may have!

If you’re tired, then most likely, all the time you spend trying to study will be useless because your brain won’t be able to focus on anything clearly or efficiently.

So, make sure to go to bed early enough each night so that you can wake up feeling refreshed (and ready for success) tomorrow morning!

What is the most effective method for memorization?

The most effective method for memorizing something is to try and put meaning to the information being given so that it becomes clear how everything fits together.

For example, if you were trying to memorize a list of vocabulary words, try making little stories or rhymes out of each word so that you could easily recall them at a later time without just reading over the list multiple times!

What are some techniques for understanding material?

How to Memorize Faster and Easier for Exams


Techniques for understanding concepts could include anything from labeling diagrams or writing notes on paper as it related to what was being taught in class.

In other words, do whatever works best for you- everyone has different learning styles (visual/auditory/kinesthetic), and one strategy may work better than another across the board for everyone.

The most important thing is to take control of your learning and discover what works best for you as an individual!

Is it better to memorize or understand?

It is better to understand information instead of just memorizing it!

Memorization can only get you so far- there will be a time when you need to recall that information on your own without having it written down in front of you.

When that happens, the only thing that will help you succeed is understanding all of the underlying concepts and relationships between different pieces of information.

In other words, by trying to memorize everything then, there is a chance that some things may go unnoticed or simply slip through the cracks later on when you need them most!

In conclusion, using both methods throughout high school will help you excel in academics and succeed further down the road when applying to colleges. Both memorization and understanding have a place in your studies- practice incorporating both into your studying and start seeing better results in school today!

Contact us today to learn more about memorization and understanding.