Memorizing Pi

Oh the dreaded 3.141592653589793238462643!

If you are dead set on memorizing Pi, we’re here to help. Yes, it’s a long number, but you can do it with a little know how and a bit of repetition. Ok, maybe a lot of repetition, but at the end you’ll be able to ramble off those numbers like a pro.

Defining Pi

You’re here to memorize the numbers, but it’s always good to know what you are memorizing. In short, Pi is simply a ratio. It’s the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a perfect circle. If you want to get into the dirty thick of the science, check out this Wikipedia page on Pi. Otherwise let’s get onto memorizing!

Memorizing Pi

Forget what you learned under Defining Pi.

When it comes down to memorizing Pi, it all starts with forgetting the definition. Yes, I said it was good to know, but for now stop looking at it as some ratio, and simply look at it as a random set of numbers that you must make your own.

Think of memorizing numbers in sets of three
Any long piece of daunting information, whether a number or a paragraph, will freeze you up when you look at it in its whole. Stop, take a breath, and break the number down into simpler sets.

3.14

159

265

And so on. These smaller sets are long enough to get movement, but not too long to feel like a deer in the headlights. Then begin repeating!

Own each set on its own and as part of the strand from the last number
What does this mean? Simply, get 3.14 down (that’s the easy one). Then repeat 159 until you feel confident with the number. THEN attach it to the number set that came before it. Essentially you are chaining your memorization bit by bit. As in this repeating segment:

3.14, 3.14, 3.14, 3.14

159, 159, 159, 159

3.14159, 3.14159, 3.14159

265, 265, 265, 265

3.14159265, 3.14159265, 3.14159265

And so on.

It may take more than three or four repetitions to get each new segment totally down, but this chaining process does work.

If you mess up during the chaining, stop and start again from the beginning

This is the frustrating part for many people. DON’T just pick up from where you left off. If you do you may create a memorization block right at that point. Instead start from the first 3.14 again and begin chaining each series of three one by one until you have it down perfect.

You’ll find through chaining that memorizing Pi or any longer numerical string is very possible in a surprising  amount of time! Though don’t shy away from other memorization techniques if this one is not working for you. Remember, not every technique works for every person, so be sure to try new techniques when you are in need.