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Studying How to remember diagrams?

  1. May 4, 2017 #1
    Hello to everyone,

    I am an undergrad mechanical engineering student. Currently in 4 semester. I have this one major problem. I cannot memorize facts and diagrams. We have this subject, production technology, which consists of lots and lots of facts and for me an overwhelming amount of diagrams. I practise diagrams quite a bit(in the time frame between exams), I just cannot reproduce them. Also, I tried the approach of trying to understand the diagrams. However, No matter how I comb the internet for reference material, I cannot find explanations for 90 % of the conception of the diagram.

    We mostly have sketches of machines. I practise them and forget them soon Same happens with the explanations. Please do suggest me what to do.

    Thank You
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure how effective "practicing diagrams" would be, if you don't understand what the diagrams are trying to convey. Something to try might be to look at a diagram, and then shut the book and try to reproduce the diagram. After you've finished your version, compare what you drew with the book's diagram, and try to determine what your diagram omits or includes that shouldn't be there. Then try it again, and see if you can get a closer match between what you draw and the book's version.
    The underlying concept of a diagram is the old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words." A machine could be described completely using words and no pictures, but the explanation would be difficult to comprehend without a visual image of the machine and how its constituent parts work together. Probably the best way to understand how machines work is to take them apart, and then try to put them back together so that they still work. If you don't have much experience doing this, merely looking at diagrams probably won't make much sense.

    What sort of information do these diagrams contain? Do they show the various components of some machine, or are they technical specifications, with the dimensions of the parts?

    If the diagrams just show the components, I suspect that you don't understand what the components are supposed to do, so don't have a good idea of why they need to be there.
  4. May 4, 2017 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    As Mark44 says, it would help a lot to see what kind of diagrams you mean.

    My regular job is EE, but my side job is Medic, and there is a lot of memorization that goes into what we do (true of all medical fields, I think). I was so-so at memorizing when I started my Medic studies, but got better fast (I had to). I've attached one of the flowcharts that we have to memorize -- it's for Patient Assessment. You get tested on this often in Medic school and re-certification classes, and you use it on pretty much every Patient you encounter. You need to be able to do this Assessment in order and not miss any steps, and you obviously don't carry this sheet with you in the field.

    So to learn it, I started writing and re-writing this flowchart over and over. At first I could only remember the first few steps, but as I got better at it, I could write out the whole flowchart from memory and not leave anything out. You can see a couple tricks I figured out to help me on the diagram. I counted the number of steps in some of the boxes, and I would memorize the numbers so that I knew if I was leaving anything off. I also made acronyms out of some of the steps in the flowchart, to help me remember what each step was.

    I don't know if that helps, but see if there are tricks you can figure out to help you with your diagrams. Think about whether the number of items can help, and if you can come up with some acronyms that will help you remember some of the pieces...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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