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Why Learning Is Better Than Memorizing Why Learning Is Better Than Memorizing

Why Learning Is Better Than Memorizing

Memorizing is to keep remembering something while understanding or learning is to gain knowledge or skill through studying, instruction or by experience. Memorization is a shallower by far than learning. Anyone who crams notes on the night before an exam can attest that when you memorize something, you may not remember it for long. If you manage, there is no way to apply the knowledge except to discharge it like a computer with little or no deeper analysis.

It is more of reciting information rather that develops your ideas or opinions.

Learning helps in long term-memory

When someone learns, he will understand the information, skill or ideas more deeply. It allows internalization and natural analysis of information to come with personal ideas and concepts. It does not matter whether it something that another person has thought about before. What is important is that learning contributes to your growth in some way. It enlightens you further and shifts your perception about issues for the better. Achieving this with memorization is impossible.

Learning is flexible. It helps to expand and push the learners causing them to change in a small but fundamental ways by becoming more informed and aware of the subject. It will make you grow and use what you learn for long-term

Memorization is short term

Memorization is short term, and you use the information superficially to serve a specific goal such as passing an exam. Memorization is static especially for this modern age when there is so much information available on the internet. You may memorize something in a pinch, but it is only for a short moment purpose. Memorizing something for the long term does not add to your character. You should instead do the best to understand anything you intend to apply for long term purpose.

Other differences between memorizing and learning include:


  • Interprets ideas literally
  • Only tries teaching concepts and ideas word for word
  • Hard to explain ideas to other people other than in the same words you read
  • Difficult to see the way ideas apply in real-life situations of for case studies
  • It is hard to understand the relevance of ideas outside classroom and seek them in practical situations
  • Does not set definite similarities, differences, and implications of the ideas

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  • Provides one right answer for each question. It is, therefore, troublesome to see beyond basic idea or concept
  • The things you cram will not give a solution on the way to solve problems if numbers or ideas change


  • Learning allows understanding of concepts and ideas is a clearer way that you can convert them to your words. Ability to use your words empowers you to explain things clearly to other people
    • Allows you to understand issues more on the extent to which they apply in real life situations and cases.
    • Portrays a difference between figurative and literal interpretation of ideas
    • You can identify results, their meaning, and effects beyond the basic concept or idea
    • With knowledge, you can understand and solve problems even after changing of numbers and concepts.
    • Strives for understanding and can solve problems even when numbers or components are changed
    • Allows the provision of more than one right answer to questions depending on the circumstances
    • Allows you for exploration of ideas hence you can identify the literal and figurative interpretation of ideas
    • Memory and understanding are both essential for learners, but the latter allow you to become better in what you practice.

    It is essential to understand a concept and retain it over an extended period so that you can apply it when necessary. Simple memorization does not involve understanding as learning, therefore, cannot create a lasting effect.

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