How to Memorise list of Words?

Squadron Leader Jayasimha, President World Memory Sports Council for India explains the first Memory Discipline and the scoring pattern.

As all of you know, The Indian National Memory Championship is going to take place at JalVihar, Necklace Road, Hyderabad on 15th October 2017. The Memory Athletes need to compete in 10 disciplines and the overall top scorer will be the winner who will be awarded, “The Indian National Memory Champion 2017” award along with Rs 1,00,000/- prize Money. The first runner up Rs 50,000/- and the second runner up Rs 25,000/- prize money.

The reason why we would like you to participate in the championship is that India and China have started the Memory Sports at the same time. But China had gone much ahead of India in this field.

It is only a matter of time that China would dominate memory sports the way it is dominating the Physical Sports like Olympics at present.

I am sure, you don’t want India to lag behind.

Hence, so much effort and concern.

Let us try and make sure that an Indian should become a World Memory Champion soon and I request you to join hands with Squadron Leader Jayasimha in this noble venture.

Let us together showcase India’s brain power to the World.



Memorising Random Words by Squadron Leader Jayasimha

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Event 1 Memorising Random Words
Aim To commit to memory and recall as many random words as possible.
Time to Memorise 5 Minutes
Time to Recall 10 Minutes
Question Paper
  1. A list of nouns organised in columns of 20 with 5 columns to a page.
  2. Two Pages of words (maximum of 200) are provided.
  3. Contestants must start at the first word of column 1 and remember as many of the words as possible.
Answer Paper
  1. Contestants must write down the list of words on the paper provided.
  2. Contestants may use blank paper if they wish but each word must be clearly numbered and the start and finish of each column of words easily identifiable.
  1. A point is awarded for every word in a complete column where all 20 words are correctly spelt.
  2. One mistake (including any gaps) in a column of 20 words gives a score of 10 for that column (20/2).
  3. Two or more mistakes (including any gaps) in a column of 20 words scores 0 for that column.
  4. For the final column only – If the final column is partially complete, a point is awarded for each word if everyone is correctly spelt.
  • If the final column is partially complete, one mistake (including any gaps) in the partial column means the points awarded will equal half the number of words recalled. (For an odd number of words the fraction is rounded up Eg, for 19 words and one mistake, the score would be 19/2 rounded up equals 10). Two or more mistakes (including any gaps) will score 0 for the column.
  • If a word/expression has been clearly memorised, i.e. the main structure clearly resembles the word to be memorised, but has been spelled in an incorrect way, no points are given for this word. It will not, however, cancel other words in a Column. For example, if somebody writes ‘rythm’ instead of ‘rhythm’, no points will be given for this word, and, if all other words in the column are correct, full marks minus one will be given for that column (Eg, 19).


This rule has been introduced to limit the complications that may arise from spelling ambiguities, autographical mistakes in translations, dyslexia, and handicaps for foreigners etc.

The above rule clearly explains to us that it is not only important to remember maximum words but they should be in sequence.

Each column has 20 words, they have to be memorised in the same order. Because, if one mistake in the column, you will only get 10 points (20/2). If there are two mistakes in one column including left over blanks, you get 0 points.

So, sequence is important and also the way the word is spelt must be observed and remembered.

How to Remember  the words?

Those of you who have attended the “Train your Brain”, Memory Workshop by Squadron Leader Jayasimha would have known the visualisation method. Like we link one word to the other through a story.

Like if we give few words say













We can visualise that a butterfly went and sat on a cow, the cow is climbing the tree. On the tree, there is an aeroplane. Somebody put some water in the fuel tank of the aeroplane and as it was flying it was pulled down by a magnetic field. A dog came running to see. It was wearing a towel. Behind the dog, a cat came running. Both of them got into a bus and bus went and hit a Mountain.

Like this we can make a story.

You will be able to recall all the words listed above.

But the problem is as long as you have few words, this method will work. But, when you have lot of words, it becomes difficult to make a story, and in the chain, if you miss one word then the next word won’t come.

So for the competition, I suggest you don’t use this method. But you must use“Journey method” or “Personalised Memory filing system”.

The journey method is like you are travelling from home to office/ school, on the way you see few land marks in sequence. Keep visualising one item in each place. When you retrace the journey, you will be able to recall the list in order.

Else, Memory filing system. In this we have few members of your family, friends, office colleagues or acquaintances. Have these people arranged systematically in the order of importance. For example, mother is 1, father 2, sister 3, you are 4, grandmother 5, grandfather 6, Mother’s elder sister 7 and her husband 8, Mother’s brother in 9 and his wife in 10, so on and so forth.

I have trained you this method in the memory workshop.

It is suggested that you have 100 people in sequence.

When you see the butterfly, connect this with mother

Cow with father, tree with sister, aeroplane with you.

Water with grandmother, magnet with grandfather

Dog with mother’s sister, towel with her husband

Cat with Mother’s brother, bus with his wife

Mountain with the next person in the list.

Once you have visualised these people, when you go back to each person, you will know the associated picture. You should see these picture in 3 dimensions. Person, place and action. It will be easy to recall.

By using this method, I have done my First Guinness World Record of memorising 200 random words.

I found this to be very useful. As we have emotions with people and these emotions stick for longer duration in memory.

I have explained this in detail in my books, “Train Your Brain” and Jayasimha’s “Memory Power”. You can go through the same.

You want intensive training then join us for the exclusive Memory Championship workshop that is going to be held in September in Hyderabad.

Also, wanted to remind you about registering yourself for the Indian National Memory Championship.

If you haven’t done yet, please log onto or or call us on 9866018989 or 8498005454 or mail us to

So keep practicing the above methods till I explain you the next memory discipline.

Till then, keep smiling.

Squadron Leader Jayasimha

President World Memory Sports Council for India