How to Memorize a Textbook

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There are several ways to memorize a textbook. See also How to Memorize a Book.

How to Memorize a Textbook

Memorize a Textbook.jpg

  1. First, look through the table of contents to see the structure of the book.
  2. Then browse or skim through a chapter or two to see how the textbook is organized. Usually, there are headers or boxes followed by an explanation.
  3. Count the number of larger sections (chapters), medium sections (chapter headers), and smaller sections See the image for an example of how one textbook is organized.
  4. Once you understand the structure of the textbook, you can begin to design a Memory Palace to hold that information. See also How to Build a Memory Palace and our Getting Started Guide.
  5. Memory palaces/journeys work well with lists of things, so try to break the content down into lists.
  6. If you want to group information within one of the structured groups (marked in red, blue, and green in the example image), you can group them by location.


Using the example image of a biology textbook’s table of contents, chapter 27 might go in its own memory palace: “Bacteria and Archaea”. Within that palace would be seven rooms, one for the overview section, and six for the “concept” sections. Within each room, you would place images that represent things that you’re learning in that section.

So in the room for Concept 27.1, you might have a few locations for “Cell-Surface Structures” and a few more for “Motility”. If a textbook section requires more than a few locations, you could expand it into its own room.

Further Reading