How to Learn in Chunks and Improve Your Memory

How Chunking Can Assist You in Learning

This article will teach you how to form chunks while learning. You will also discover the significance of chunks in effective learning.

Learn From Examples But Don’t Stop There

Learning any subject or skill is typically done in stages. When learning a new concept in science or mathematics, for example, you’re often given example problems with worked out solutions before being given problems to work out on your own.

This is done because, when first attempting to understand how to solve a problem, it often feels herculean and extremely difficult. You wouldn’t give a bucket of water to a two-year-old who can barely lift a cup of water (although some might shock you)

When learning something new, it is beneficial to begin with a worked-out example. Before attempting to solve similar problems on your own, you might observe a teacher or lecturer solve a mathematical problem in class.

However, it is important to note that the purpose of seeing an example is to identify the key steps taken and why they are taken, not simply to “do as you are told,” as you may not be able to figure it out on your own when it is your turn.

How to Form a Chunk

Learning methods differ from one field to the next. Some subjects or skills, such as science and mathematics, are more mental, whereas others, such as dancing or basketball, are more physical. However, the steps below should still be useful for whatever you’re trying to chunk.

Focus your attention

When trying to form a chunk, the first thing you should do is focus your attention on the information you’re trying to absorb. When you learn something new, your brain creates new neural pathways and attempts to connect them to previously established ones. This is why you should avoid multitasking and eliminate all forms of distractions; otherwise, your brain will struggle to make any meaningful associations.

Understand the Basic Idea

The next step you might want to take is to let the focused and diffuse modes of thinking take turns assisting you in determining what’s going on. Understanding means perceiving or interpreting something in the intended way. To fully comprehend and chunk a concept or action, you must first identify the fundamental ideas, steps, and principles underlying the concept or action.

You might be able to create a chunk without knowing the fundamentals. However, such a chunk may end up being useless and incompatible with other related things you’re learning.

Practice to help you gain mastery and a sense of the big-picture

Just because you understand what’s going on doesn’t mean you’ll remember the concept or be able to perform the action yourself. Practice is required to strengthen your chunk and make it easier to access when needed.

It is also critical to identify the use cases for your chunk—the circumstances surrounding the concept or action you are attempting to chunk. This allows you to determine when your chunk can be used and when it isn’t. It is useless to have a tool if you do not know how to use it.


When making chunks, you frequently have to grasp small bits to form mini-chunks. These are then combined with other pieces to form larger ones. Take a step back every now and then to see how your chunks fit into the bigger picture of what you’re learning, much like puzzle pieces.