Training Program – Day 4

Welcome to day 4 of your training program. I hope you’re well rested and ready to tackle today’s challenges.

Day 4, task number 1

So at the end of Day 3 I forced you to memorize 12 names and faces. Today I’ll once again force you to do the same thing, except that this time I won’t be suggesting any mnemonic. You’ll have to find those by yourself, like a real grown-up. Take all the time you need, but I think there’s a good chance that you can correctly memorize all those 12 names and faces in less than 5 minutes. Again, it’s ok if you need more time. Make sure to focus intensely enough, improvise some good (or bad) mnemonics, associate those mnemonics with the person and review everything at least once or twice. If you need more pieces of advice, you can also reread some of what I wrote yesterday on the subject.

Click here when you’re ready to start

Click here to check your answers

Congratulations! Now try to make what you’ve been practicing here in a habit. Whenever you meet someone new, tell yourself that you will remember his or her name and make all the necessary efforts. And regularly ask yourself questions like “Who did I meet today?”, “Who did I meet this week?” or “Ok am I still able to remember the names of every member of my significant other’s extended family?”

Day 4, task number 2

How many African countries can you name? South Africa of course, but what else? Somalia yes. Ethiopia yes good. Yes Egypt is indeed an African country. Can you all place them correctly on the map? That’s just 4 and there are no less than 54 officially recognized African countries. I won’t force you to learn all of them (although you might want to do so at some point, it’s easier than you think), but I’m curious to see how many new ones you could learn in 5 minutes. To give you an edge, you will be provided with a list of possible answers when answering, so you won’t need to focus on the spelling.

So you will have to start a timer, open the file below and spend 5 minutes studying the map. If the timer stresses you out, just do the same exercise without counting the time and while aiming for a not-to-large and not-to-small number of new countries to memorize. Focus only on a limited number of countries that you aren’t currently able to place on the map with certainty. Improvise something with the name of the country, then associate your memory trick either to the shape of its borders or to its position related to some neighbouring country.

Because you’ll be given multiple choices when answering, your memorization trick can be extremely poorly chosen and still work. You only need to keep a very vague idea of the sonority of any given country’s name to be able to find it later among the choices of answers. Some examples of possible mnemonics are: Zambia= Bambi or zamboni ; Chad= tcha tcha tcha (dance) ; Swaziland = having “swag” ; Sierra Leone = lion ; Djibouti = a djinn ; Botswana = a bot (a robot). Once you have chosen your mnemonic, be sure to associate it mentally with its position on the map. You only have five minutes maximum and you won’t have time to learn the whole map, but under the circumstances it’s not unrealistic to find tips for maybe 10 or 15 countries, in addition to those you already knew.

Ready? Start your stopwatch and click here to start studying the map.

Once the 5 minutes are over, click here to check how many more countries you are now able to place on the map (don’t count South Africa among your points!). You can’t write anything directly on this document, but you can just answer in your head before checking whether or not you were right.

Congratulation on making it this far in your training program! Only one more day left.

Click here for Day 5