When you have to memorize fast, it can feel like there’s a lot riding on your ability to recall information verbatim. Whether it’s a presentation for work, a speech for class, or lines for a play, nailing the material can be essential for success. But if you’re someone who tends to panic under pressure or gets overwhelmed easily, the task of memorizing something can seem impossible.

Fortunately, there are some tried and true methods for memorizing information quickly and effectively. So before you start hyperventilating into a paper bag, take a deep breath and check out these top three ways to help you memorize something fast.

1. Create a Mind Map will help you Memorize Fast

One of the best ways to memorize something is to create what’s called a mind map. A mind map is essentially a visual representation of the information you’re trying to remember. To create one, start by writing down the main topic or concept in the center of a piece of paper. Then branch out from there, adding key points, details, and examples. This method works well because it helps to organize information in a way that your brain can easily digest and recall later. Not to mention, creating mind maps can be pretty therapeutic—so if you’re feeling stressed about having to memorize something, this might be the perfect method for you.

2. Repeat It Out Loud

This method might sound simple, but repeating what you need to remember out loud can actually be really effective. When you say something out loud, it engages more of your senses and helps embed the information deeper into your memory. So next time you’re trying to memorize something fast, try reading it out loud several times or even recording yourself saying it and listening back later.

3. Write It Down

Writing things down by hand has also been proven to be an effective way to boost your memory recall later on. That’s because when you physically write something down, you are engaging more muscle groups and areas of your brain than when you type it out on a keyboard. So if you want an easy way to help commit something to memory quickly, grab a pen and paper and start jotting it down!

4. Get Some Sleep

This last tip might not seem like an obvious choice for memorizing things fast, but getting enough sleep is actually crucial for effective memory recall later on. When we sleep, our brains consolidation memories from the day before—which means that if you want to make sure something sticks, getting some shut-eye is essential. So instead of pulling an all-nighter trying to cram everything in last minute, make sure you get enough sleep leading up to whatever event or test you’re trying to prepare for—your brain will thank you later!

Whether you’re trying to memorize lines for a play or preparing for a big presentation at work, these top three methods will help ensure that you’ve got all the information stored in your brain nice and snugly—without all the panic! Just remember: mind maps are key, repetition is powerful, and don’t forget the importance of some good old fashioned writing (by hand!). And most importantly—get some sleep! Your brain will thank you later.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.