Rote Learning vs Intelligent Memorization


The memorization technique based on repetition is known as Rote Learning. The idea of this technique is that as one keeps repeating a sentence, the person will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material. In a way, it means that the more you repeat it, the more you will remember it whereas intelligent memorization may be described as reading a material with full concentration and understanding its meaning. Rote learning and intelligent memorization or meaningful learning are two methods to learn something but both of these techniques are very different from each other.

It is not that rote learning is not essential, it is just that rote learning is not the technique to be used while studying. The brain stores material memorized by rote learning as separate items, although there might be chances that in real life they are related to each other. Yes, this type of learning can be used to memorize a phone number or learn the lines of a play. What is the point of educating yourself if you do not seem to remember what you learned? In the field of education, rote learning should be used only in the following school topics:



  • The periodic table in chemistry
  • Phonics in reading
  • Multiplication tables in Mathematics
  • Formulas in Mathematics
  • Formulas in Chemistry
  • Formulas in Physics
  • Anatomy in medicine
  • Cases or Statues in Law
  • History dates

Let’s look at some of the advantages of rote learning and meaningful learning:


Rote Learning

Intelligent Memorization

The ability to quickly recall basic facts

Encourages understanding and not memorization

Helps develop foundational knowledge

Encourages active learning techniques


Focuses on the outcome of the learning process


Relates new information to prior knowledge


As a result of the able differentiation, it can clearly be seen that rote learning abandons comprehension, so it is in itself an ineffective tool in mastering a complex level at an advanced level. Rote learning is usually done to prepare quickly for examinations. This technique may be colloquially referred to as “cramming.” Intelligent memorization on the other hand, refers to the concept where the learned knowledge is fully understood by the individual. When there is an occurrence of meaningful learning, the facts are stored in a relational manner. This means that the brain stores similar facts together. Meaningful learning benefits a child in the long run whereas rote learning benefits a child only in the short run. As a student, it is essential to have memorized study materials for the long run and not just to pass an examination.

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