Do You Remember These Mnemonics From School?

By: Allison Lips
Image: Squaredpixels / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Mnemonic devices are used to help memorize concepts. They rely on information already stored in long-term memory to make recall easier. While your teachers may have created new mnemonics to help their students memorize important concepts for test, the practice of memorizing mnemonics to assist in learning is not new.

Early mnemonic devices were used in Ancient Greece. The word itself comes from Ancient Greek and is named after Mnemosyne, who was the goddess of memory. The use of mnemonics as a learning tool was so popular that Plato and Aristotle both mentioned it in their writings. 

Mnemonics can take many forms. Some are catchy phrases, others are words that have each letter represent a different word. In some cases, it may be easier to memorize a funny or unusual sentence than try to force a word. If you use the method of loci, you visualize a place and use your spatial memory to recall places or objects. 

Were you an excellent student? Do you still remember mnemonics to this day? Have you learned to apply them to other aspects of your life? Has your doctor taught you a few health-related ones so that you don't spread disease or you can help save a life? Test your memory of memory aids with this quiz! 


While it's true that All Cows Eat Grass, you're more likely to hear that phrase in music than biology because it's a mnemonic for which musical aspect?

"All Cows Eat Grass" is used to remember the four spaces of the bass clef from bottom to top. Another mnemonic used is "All Cars Eat Gas."

In science class, you had to memorize ROY G. BIV to learn the colors of what?

Roy G. Biv, in order, stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Some children memorize this colors with "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain."

What did the mneumonic HOMES teach you in geography class?

In order, the lakes of HOMES are Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. If you need to memorize the great lakes from largest to smallest, you can use "Super Heroes Must Eat Oats."

Your music teacher may talk a lot about FACE, but that's only because they are teaching you what?

"FACE" are the spaces on a treble staff from top to bottom. Another musical mnemonic is "Father Christmas Gave Dad An Electric Blanket," which is the order of sharps in key signature notation.

If you run into FAN BOYS at school, you're not running into huge fans of a pop star. What are you actually learning?

The FAN BOYS are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. However, the mnemonic only covers coordinating conjugations. The other types of conjugations are subordinating and correlative.

While some math students memorized this with PEMDAS, others may have opted for Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. What does this mnemonic help with?

PEMDAS stands for parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. While you may have this memorized, not all calculators are programmed to follow the order of operations, so make sure you are using proper notation.

While it's unlikely that King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk, this phrase does help students memorize what?

"King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk" represents the metric prefixes in descending order. Starting from King for kilo-, the prefixes are kilo-, hecto-, deca-, deci-, centi-, and milli. Between deci- and deka-, there is the units place, which is not present in this mnemonic.

If you're told that Two Old Angels skipped Over Heaven Carrying Ancient Harps, what is your math teacher trying to get you to memorize?

In "Two Old Angels Skipped Over Heaven Carrying Ancient Harps," o is for opposite, a is for adjacent, and h is for hypotenuse. This means that Tangent= opposite/adjacent, sine= opposite/hypotenuse, and cosine = adjacent/hypotenuse.

In music class Every Good Boy Does Fine, but what does that mnemonic help you remember?

"Every Good Boy Does Fine" gives you E, G, B, D, F. Those are the lines of a treble cleft from bottom to top.

Why would your music teacher assure you that Good Boys Do Fine Always?

"Good Boys Do Fine Always" is music mnemonic that goes from bottom to top. On the bass staff, you will go G, B, D, F, A.

Why might you save someone's life with the mnemonic act FAST?

When you suspect someone's having a stroke, you need to Act FAST. In order of things to check: face, arms, speech, and time.

If you're over 18, you probably learned the mnemonic for this as My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Otherwise, you learned it as "My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Nachos." What are we talking about?

The discrepancy in this mnemonic is because some people learned it before Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status. In order, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

While PG Jail sounds like a place to send children, it's actually a mnemonic used to remember what type of science tools?

A simple machine has few moving parts and are used to adjust motion and force to do work. The simple machines are pulley, gear, jackscrew, axel and wheel, inclined plane, and lever.

If you have trouble spelling, why might you remember that "A principal is your PAL?"

This mnemonic works because principal ends in pal and principle ends in "le". A principal is the head of a school. Principle is a rule or doctrine.

Why might you memorize "Pretty Dolls Rarely Ever Punch Criminals?"

While Pretty Dolls Rarely Ever Punch Criminals is an odd sentence, it can be helpful with the writing process. In order, the writing process is pre-write, draft, revise, edit, publish, and celebrate.

Why would your biology teacher introduce you to Mrs. Gren?

MRS GREN refers to the 7 conditions that something must have to be considered a living being. They are movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion, and nutrition.

While its unlikely that Dear King Philip Came Over For Soup, you may know this phrase for what reason?

The levels of taxonomy are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. If you don't want King Philip to come over for soup, you may prefer the mnemonic "King Philip Can Order Five Greek Salads."

Whose wives were "divorced, beheaded, died/ divorced, beheaded, survived?"

If you want to remember how Henry VIII wives died, you would use divorced, beheaded, died/ divorced, beheaded, survived. However, if you want to memorize their names, you could use "All Boys Should Come Home Please." In order, Henry VIII's wives were Aragon, Boleyn, Seymour, Cleves, Howard, and Parr.

Why would you have to be reminded that "We hear with our ear?"

We hear with our ear is not the only useful phrase for learning how to spell confusing words. If you have trouble remembering the difference between complement and compliment, you could use that complement makes something complete and compliment puts someone in the limelight.

"Theirs is not mine even though 'I' is in it. There is where we'll be. They're is a contraction of 'they are." is used to remember what?

Their, there, and they're are homophones. Their is the possessive form of they. There is an adverb and they're is a contraction.

While it's only true in one sense, "a pint's a pound the world around" is used to remember what?

While a pint and a pound are both 16 ounces, a pint is 16 fluid ounces and the other is dry ounces. The former is a measurement of volume, the latter of weight.

Why should know the FACTS about your health?

While a cough can be the sign of the flu or a cold, there is a way to spot the difference before going to the doctor. FACTS stands for fever, aches, chills, tiredness, and sudden onset.

What are you remembering with "When the union did survive, 'twas eighteen hundred sixty-five?"

The American Civil War started on April 12, 1861. It ended on April 9, 1865.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, why would you memorize "leaflets of three, let it be?"

Poison ivy leaves change color depending on the season. The leaves are reddish in the spring, green in the summer, and yellow, orange, or red in the fall.

Why do we remember "spring ahead, fall back?"

On March 19, 1918, the United States government passed the Standard Time Act, which established Daylight saving time. In Britain, the same concept is observed as British Summer Time.

In European History class, you may hear "No Plan Like Yours to Study History Wisely" to remember the houses of the kings and queens of which country?

There were eight royal houses. They are Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, and Windsor.

In U.S. History, you may have learned that "Large Elephants Jump Slowly And Sink Rapidly." What does it assist in memorization of?

The U.S. Constitution has seven articles. Their topics are the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, the statehood, amendments, supremacy, and ratification.

While its true that Lazy Cats Don't Move, the mnemonic is used to remember what?

"Lazy Cats Don't Move" can be used to remember that L= 50, C= 100, D= 500, and M= 1,000. If you want to remember then starting from I, you can use "I Value Xylophones Like Cows Dig Milk." This adds I= 5 and V= 10.

RAVEN helps differentiate between which two words?

Affect is an action, whereas effect is the result. RAVEN stands for "Remember Affect is a Verb, Effect is a Noun."

Why might you memorize "Pregnant Camels Often Sit Down Carefully, Perhaps Their Joints Creak? Possibly Early Oiling Might Prevent Permanent Rheumatism?"

If you don't care about camels, you can use "Cows Often Sit Down Carefully. Perhaps Their Joints Creak? Persistent Early Oiling Might Prevent Painful Rheumatism. Regardless of which mnemonic you use, the periods are Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Recent.

Why might your math teacher make you memorize Five Tomatoes?

There are 5,280 feet in a mile. In a marathon, there are approximately 26.2 miles.

What aspect of U.S. government can be remember with "When juries lack honor, justice gets forgotten?"

"When juries lack honor, just gets forgotten" stands for Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, and Franklin. They are on the $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bill respectively.

Why would you need to know "One big T equals teaspoons three?"

Teaspoons and tablespoons are units of volume. Teaspoon can be abbreviated tsp. or a lowercase t. A tablespoon is abbreviated Tbsp. or uppercase T.

While it is nonsensical, "Idiotic Penguins Make Antarctica Too Cold" helps students remember what?

You may have come across this mnemonic in biology. It represents interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and cytokinesis.

While Pvt. Tim Hall sounds like someone you'd learn about in history, you're more likely to meet him in which subjects?

Pvt. Tim Hall is used to remember the 7 essential amino acids. The amino acids are phenylanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isolucine, histidine, arginine, leucine, and lysine.

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