Linking markers exercise

Please notice the page is built for the initial experience and not built for daily use. The page may get very slow. We are building a mobile app. For beta testing please apply to [email protected].

Select pairs or more of markers and think of a reasonable linking. Check your linking ability. Increase up to 15 links of 4 markers. Take your time.

Number of links (lines).
Markers per link (cols).



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125 Replies to “Linking markers exercise”

  1. Hi Lev,

    I’m getting confused with this exercise.

    Do I need to memorise all those words with using linking markers

    so that I’ll be able to memorize 60 words total?

  2. Thanks Lev,

    actually I’m taking Jonathan’s course “super learner Master class”
    and the sequence of the Technics you mentioned come after linking markers which I didn’t study yet.
    but what you’ve explained above make it very clear , Thanks again


  3. Hi There,

    I’ve read all the comments tired different ways , but I still don’t get what’s the purpose or the object of this exercise and how it should work . although you mentioned we should linking markers but still doesn’t make any sense , I’ll mention an example below:

    fail – create – faint – appeal
    arrow – square – reach – project

    is it required to connect ‘fail’ to the other words in the same row?
    and that suppose to be don?
    do I need to connect ‘fail’ to ‘arrow’ and if saw how to do it? or shall I deal with each raw on it own ?
    please try to give more explanations on each exercise and how to do it?

    Thanks a lot

    1. You are not supposed to succeed unless you took our courses or read our books. If you did one of those, you would use animation, mindmaps or mental palaces. The idea is to connect first all the words in the row (like objects in a room), and then the first words of all rows (like rooms in a house).

  4. Hi, Lev
    In this exercise when I have 4 markers per link, do I create a short story, or comic animation, example:
    oddly – creature – property – price
    that oddly creature is selling property with a high price
    and I imagine a lizard with 7 legs in front of a house and a sign 10 mil
    or do I link them individually, I mean by two, example:
    oddly creature (lizard with 7 legs)
    creature – property (something on a house or a building)
    property – price ( picture of a house with a sign of a price very high or very low so it is memorable)

    Same question with linking vertically
    vast – bored
    goods – tropical
    surprising – under

    Do I link vast with goods, and then goods with surprising with no relation to vast?

  5. I see you have updated the look of the website–nice. One problem on this page is that the dropdowns that appear after you click “Check it” are now so large that for most words they wrap to a second line. Changing the width of the window does not make a difference. I find this somewhat distracting–though perhaps I should regard it as part of the challenge. I tried to include a screenshot but was unable to. Thank you for this great exercise.

      1. I’m looking forward to the mobile versions but am a bit leery as I have a small phone. Looking at a small portion of something and losing the larger visual context is disorienting for me. That’s why I prefer to view things on my large iMac screen.

  6. Hi Lev,

    Everytime I create and remember markers with some background location. Without location I cannot remember markers. How can I overcome this problem

    1. I think you SHOULD generate markers with some background. In a mental palace, the background is room location, in a mindmap the general location within the map (maybe associated with a color).

    1. Definitely useful. Basically, this exercise is built so you can use the natural chunks of the information, and mental palaces have built-in chunking by apartments.

    1. Please select how many words you want to remember. You get rows and columns.
      Columns are the number of words in the animation/mental palace you link.
      Rows are the number of animations/mental palaces you create.
      Activate, create memory structures, memorize and check your progress….

  7. Thank you so much for this exercise, I’m starting my third week of your course and I can remember 5 lines 4 column fully in 1 min but I feel like I’m cheating since the first word in each line is given. Should I try to recall the whole thing completely from memory without looking

  8. How much time should I take to retrieve all words?
    At the first try, I spent 3 minutes to remember 10 pairs of words but much longer than that to retrieve all of them from my memory.

    Is there a proper time limit for retriving process?

    1. Top performance: 50 pairs in 30 seconds. Probably I cannot do this, but memory sportsmen can. It should take less than 5 min to remember 10×10 grid, and it takes ~4 weeks of practice to get sufficiently good.

  9. words like “such” and “could”, I simply can’t visualize an image to it. What I do is for “such”, I visualize an image for suck something. For “could” I use an image for “cold”. Is this okay?

  10. Hi Dr Lev,
    I am new to this exercise and am having difficulties executing the task.
    Can you please tell me what a good starting point is? Do we remember all items in a row then move on to the next one? How do we link the rows together?
    Kind regards,


    1. Please do remember ~5 objects in a row, then remember 5 rows of 5 objects independent of each other, then remember also the connection between the words in the first column, and then simply raise the complexity.

  11. Hi Lev,
    Thank you for making this excercise. I’m quickly seeing progress and am enjoying doing this.
    I got a question regarding the correct way to progress: Is it better to increase number of coloumns each time I pass a test (right 10×2 col.). Or should I increase the links each time I pass (eg. 10×3, 4) and so on?

    Thank you

  12. I have finished watching all videos on Udemy and now following the proposed training schedule. How much time should I be taking to memorize 15*4 to move on to week 3 pre-reading practice? At the moment, I am taking 18 mins to memorize 15*4 with no errors.

    1. When Anna taught me, for linking markers we did not take time. The focus was on longterm retention: now recite the markers from yesterday using the links you built. In this particular exercise Anna allowed me to take my time, since this exercise potentially allows elimination of spaced repetitions.

  13. Hi Dr.Lev,
    Since I start this exercice I use the first word as some sort of ID to determine other but I always link them from the start to the end, left to right, but I think I it makes harder to make markers, does it really matter to put an order on the word we link after the first word ?

    Also when I am creating markers the type of markers that came first is the fictional markers, but I have also noticed than personal markers maybe the problem comes from the logic that links them, is it less efficient on a fictional marker ?

    1. Order matters. Not always, but sometimes. If you have a list of priorities, you do not have additional logic to arrange the list and its order is important.
      As long as you remember the markers, they are OK.

      1. Hi Lev. Im finding these exercises not explained clearly. They are ambiguous. For this one, do we link horizontally or vertically?
        How do we remember each line?
        Must we create one complex marker ofall the words? How do we remember horizontal and vertical?
        Thanks a lot for the great course. Just want to know the exercises more clearly to get the most out of them

        1. Generally you link horizontals, and the first column vertical. Typically the words are not suited for compound markers. Some specific things are a part of personal style and personal training [e.g. with Anna]: each student gets a different set of instructions .

          1. So we must link each horizontal pair, then every word in the column and remember all the words in rows and columns to recall them?

          2. Yes. Kind of… There are nuances in personal training which apply for particular students.

  14. Hi, thank you for a great exercise.
    One question I have been thinking about. How vivid markers should I create in this exercise since they are only meant to stay in my short term memory and not my long term memory?

    Many thanks

    1. Occasionally Anna uses this exercise for long-term memory training, asking to remember 200 objects for a month. This is similar to language learning, where 200 words are a usable core of any language.

      Since your life does not depend on this particular exercise, it offers a cool way to try different memorization methods and see what works for you.

  15. Hi Dr. Lev,

    I have been doing this exercise for almost 2 weeks, but I still couldn’t get fast enough under 3 minutes for 15 links with 4 column. I just want to know if I am doing the exercise correctly. I have been linking words together with stories.

    For example: sand – marketing – unpleasant – fundamental
    I would imagine a sand selling marketing person shows up in front of my house and I feel unpleasant because sand is very fundamental.

    Is this kind of approach ok for this exercise? or Would making stories just be too slow? I tried not to use story but I always forget the order of the words. I am currently doing 10 lines 4 column in 3.5 minute, but I am feeling I am getting faster.

    Also, I also have difficulty with adverb as the first word. For example,inevitably, undoubtedly, certainly. Any suggestions on how I should tackle that?


    1. Not sure: are you TELLING a story or running an ANIMATION before your eyes….
      I sent to your email a preprint from the upcoming book. Try to see if it helps.

      1. Thanks a lot for the reply. I am not completely sure the difference between TELLING a story and running an ANIMATION. I am guessing the difference would be related to VOCALIZING the story in my head and seeing animation WITHOUT words?

        I find the examples you sent me pretty helpful. Thank you so much. I am guessing I should avoid vocalizing any words and only see imagines ? Is that correct?

        Also, is there any where I can find more detail in your upcoming book? I would imagine the approach in that book would be helpful

        1. Yes, yes and yes….
          Making a book takes time. I expect it to be ready in August. I will announce the book on facebook and other places, so you will know.

  16. Hi Dr. Lev,

    could it be, that the reason for me having a hard time with this exercise is, that I am German (or rather, not an english native). I have a problem to get a clear image of many words and therefore I just make something up, that sounds like the actual word. Don’t know though, if this is the reason that slows me down???

    I do the 15×4, but it seems that I can’t do it under about 5 minutes. Sitting on this exercie for a while now…

    1. Your English is quite good, so I think the reason is different. Try doing other exercises and returning back several days from now. Very often all we need is a different perspective.

  17. It’s a great exercise and simplify my training.
    I have trouble focusing on all the words so it’s hard to make stories for all the words?

    How do your students deal with these problems, and how do they increase their focus?

    1. The markers should be fun. If your markers are boring for you, you may need to find a more creative approach. Some people love personal markers or positive markers, and some people use dark angry markers. Many people prefer clean abstract almost minimalistic markers. This is a place where you can do whatever brings you joy.

  18. Hi, I can remember a 10 and 2 table in about 20 secs and get them all correct. However, I don’t remember any of links later, so if I memorized the table and then did the test 5 mins later I may only get a couple right.

    Should I be trying to remember previous links I have made?

    1. There are many variations of this exercise. For example, Anna used to give the exercise and test memorization and then text. After text she was asking to recollect the list of the links. You should be able to do that (eventually) very accurately. To proof the point we were using this exercise to remember grocery store lists, to do lists etc.

  19. Hi, regarding this exercise, I can get it right most of the time 15 link 4 markers at around ~10 minutes.

    The question is, may I know which method is better?
    1 – remember 15 link 4 markers as much as possible within 3 minutes


    2 set time limit = 3 minutes. start with 10 links 2 marker and try increase the link and marker respectively within that time limit

  20. Thanks for the exercise. I copy and paste the half list before doing the drop down boxes, so that I can type the responses in without seeing them.

    Have you considered changing the game where we produce the answer by typing , instead of choosing it from a list? Thanks!

  21. Hi, great post etc … very helpful. Love your work.
    When I am creating links between the words, should I be creating a graphic representation and maintaining that for all options.
    For example, “unnecessary – sleep – generate” I might visualize a sleeping man laying in a bed for sleep, but if the example was “building – sleep – tree” I might visualize king kong sleeping atop the empire state building.
    Should I be representing sleep in a constant form?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Depends. Anna usually suggests to use the first image that comes to your head.
      I would imagine snowhite on a generator, and fairies building a sleeping tree.
      Usually I use a personality to connect all markers (PAO-inspired)

  22. I’m not sure I understand the exercise??

    I’m supposed to create 2 or more markers and then link them to each other, right?

    I’m not sure what “15 links of 4 markers” means.

    Please advise.

    1. The simplest effective tactics is to create stories/animation links of 4 markers in each line. If you have 15 lines, you will have 15 such “stories”. Since you see the first marker within the “Story” you do not need to use pegs or locations, so you can focus training only on the linking part.

      1. Thank you Lev. Question what do you mean by a “line”? Do you mean a text of text or more likely are you just using a “line” as a structural unit, i.e., a list unit?
        Thx so much for your attention to these questions. Helps a lot:)

          1. This comment thread/discussion is not on a generic “reading texts” article, it is on a very specific “linking markers exercise” page.

  23. Thank you for this fun exercise!

    Should I be constructing one vivid image in my mind consisting of all the words or one image for each word(I’m thinking of the video of Jonathan reading and creating markers). Also, is creating images based off of their pronunciation rather than their meaning better?

    For Example:
    Length – Easy – Pour (meaning)
    A ruler(Langth) stands smiling holding an A+ paper(easy) and pouring champagne(pour) in celebration.

    Including – commit – loss (meaning and pronunciation)
    A comet(commit) with floss(loss) in his mouth stands outside of a club because he’s not on the list (including)<— meaning. (The music from A Night at the Roxbury is playing).

    The first one was a little weak for me while the second one came in a second.

    1. In real life understanding is better than retention. If the subject makes no sense to you, it is hard to generate meaning.
      For speedreading we use markers that come automatically.
      Typically for subjects you understand very well meaning will come before sound association, moreover you cannot do sound association without vocalizing.
      For foreign languages, definitions, names and reciting stuff we use sound association very often.
      You are welcome to practice all sorts of markers to be more versatile with your skillset.

  24. Hello,

    I think that I can best remember abstract words by putting them into conversations with people using them.

    So “steam – largely – rather – midday” I imagine as two british people in top hats (during the industrial revolution) watching a steam engine, which sends a large cloud of steam into the air, one of them saying: “It’s rather large on midday, isn’t it?”.

    Or “information – invite – chemical – beak” I imagine as a couple getting handed a flyer (with invitation written on it). The girl asks, “what is it”? The dude answers: “It’s an invitation to a chemical beak, what the hell is that?”. The girl answers: “You don’t know about chemical beaks?”. She turns to him, with a toxic green bird beak instead of her mouth.

    Is that style okay? Or is too slow due to the vocalisation of what the people are saying?

    Thanks for the great exercises!

    1. If you notice that you vocalize the text it is bad, but if the same people have telepathic abilities [sending thoughts to each other, no vocalization, no dalay] you get excellent visual markers.
      So the question is: can you teach your “people” telepathy? I think you can, and it should take you less than a week to be fully successful.

  25. Hey there,
    as requested above by others, it would be great to have some videos for marker creation. Walking through examples of some of these word combinations as above would help me quite a lot, just to have more examples. On the TED talks the pairings were chosen to be very picturesque in the beginning to get the point across, but this is different. I’m facing pretty heavy resistance of my brain to fit these words in, even with just 10×2 words and I’m not completely sure why. I guess, partly because these pairings are very random. Some things I can remember, but quite a lot just won’t stay in. Often I can create a marker after spending quite a lot of time thinking something up, but the marker won’t come into my mind when only seeing the first word. When I see the second word on checking the marker pops back into my mind. But only after seeing the other word. Any idea what I’m doing wrong or what I could try to overcome this? I’m getting pretty frustrated with myself just at this early stage..
    Thanks a lot!

    1. 15 minutes memorzing + remembering the answers. when remembering the answers I forgot some of the markers but then somehow remembered them, while some other graphic markers came easier. ex: morally – launch – metal – afternoon (you are morally obliged to launch a roket missle in the afternoon – imagining the missle flying away)

    1. You can try both. The working memory is 7+-2 items. You can do 5×5 in your working memory [there are separate two 20 objects exercises to train this]. This exercise allows to develop more generic techniques. Anna used 10 rows and 2 columns for novice students and 10 lines with 20 columns for advanced students.

  26. Thanks for this excercise!

    My starter goal is to get 10 sets of 2 memorized in one minute. Ultimately I am hoping to generate meaningful links/markers quickly so I can speed read and maintain rentention, but at the moment this process is extremely slow (as I suppose is to be expected).

    My current approach is to look at the pair, and intuit some connection. For example, I have jointly and sentence. First thing that pops to mind is a husband in wife locked behind bars in jail, handcuffed and dressed in orange, serving a joint sentence because they killed their kids. This one came quickly, in a matter of seconds. But then I might spend a whole minute with something that doesn’t immediately trigger, such as recall-continue.

    OK, so now finally for the question 🙂 To become REALLY quick at this, should I be creating a memory database of image-word combos? For example, store the word sentence as a picture of prison. Right now I have to create from scratch every time, which not only takes time but is mentally draining.

    A more general question would be, how should I strategize my practice to ensure I am making the most out of this excercise?

    Thanks so much!

    1. It appears you add too many unrelated details to your markers.
      [Joint]ly sentence – jail time for marihuana. much easier and faster and dark 🙂
      Now you should get a clear “flashback” of how you imagine jail time for marihuana. Maybe some scene from “breaking bad”, or some “do not do drugs” ad. The image should be really quick if the marker is sufficiently simple.
      This exercise is very versatile. There are many strategies that work equally well.

  27. I’m having so much trouble with this!!! For words like come-doubt, or phase-inquiry, how can you even remember this?

    is it possible for there to be a video made about this? I’ve tried for 10 minutes and still cant remember, and I’m only working with 10 rows and 2 words each

    1. Sorry, only Jonathan makes videos right now. Camera loves him.
      This is the imagery of doubt ( Imagine this girl with a question mark above her standing in an open door frame not sure if to come into your house.
      This is a phase imagery ( Imagine Sherlock Holmes (inquiry) drawing this image on a piece of paper.
      As an exercise, choose complex words and try to find proper images in Google Image search, then connect these images into a story

  28. Could you please give an example (If you can even in more than one way) of how would you link some 10 lines with 2 markers each (for the sake of simplicity) ? I can’t figure out any other way than to use memory palaces, for example how to link things on the top level (the “A – B – C – …” structure you were talking about earlier) to make a “tree/mind map like” structure and actually retain it. Now I’d use 10 stations and put the markers there but that requires too much time and visualisation, therefore I’m trying to develop something new but a few hints would be nice though (I was thinking of maybe hacking few methods together for a structure but I couldn’t come up with something for the time being)

    I know its very subjective and each method applies differently to everyone

    thx a lot

    1. Depends on the particular task you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to make markers fast, then probably ~10 sec, and if you are trying to remember a lot, then ~5 min. If you are unsure, then probably ~1 min.

  29. Parsing some of the words in my dictionary caused problems due to escape sequences (‘ or , or /). I manually removed these words. If you still see a problem, please send me screenshots for further debugging.

    1. Thank you for bug report. This is a particularly annoying bug. This is the third time the bug gets reported. It appears very rare, probably when there is a coma after the word in the original dictionary. I cannot replicate the bug with sufficient consistency to debug it. Here is another similar bug: chemist’s becomes chemist\\\’s. I will try to fix the situation over weekend and report in this comment thread when finished. Till then, if this situation happens to you, simply refresh the page and continue training.

  30. Hi, Thanks for the brilliant course.

    I find it easy to link the words. The challenge I have is remembering different sets.

    If I link all the words (all 20) into one story I can recall all.

    But if I have 10 separate sets of 2 words each to learn. I have trouble remembering the sets.


    1. Thank you for your feedback. Apparently you are already very effective in remembering things.
      My question is: how fast do you do it?
      If you link all the words in complex markers and then add the markers to one story it is slow.
      The idea is to use the first word as a clue to find the second word.
      E.g. you generate stories only for the first word in each line, but you process each line due to simple links with simple markers.
      In other words you are linking A-B-C and I ask you to try more complex structure
      Anna teaches this structure to remember 200 words. 20 word story with 10 links per story…

      1. Hi Lev,

        Love the Course. You guys are doing amazing job that adds life-changing value to people life.

        I noticed I seem to struggle with the above A-A1-A2-A3 technique when A is an adjective e.g.

        Impressive – Potato

        as opposed to

        Potato – Impressive ( A GIGANTIC potato that has a ribbon for most impressive stuck on it)

        Does visual conceptual representations of adjectives come with practice? I.e. impressive is linked with a permanent image in my head or do you suggest something else?

        1. Thank you.
          Please notice that these exercises are just training tasks required to strengthen your mental capacities.
          Do practice and progress, but do not fixate about it.
          Currently I cannot imagine a scenario when this particular issue becomes critical to your success.
          Eventually you will apply your superlearner skills to real challenges.
          Then please do ask specific questions regarding actual challenges you face.
          ([email protected])

      2. I’m finding it very easy to use little scenarios to link things. Am I on the right track? Here’s what I’ve been doing:

        say the grouping is
        I say “Well, electricity has less resistance the nearer it is” and I picture something (In this case, it is the corner of a cement building with one of those electric conduit poles sticking out of it and a wire running into it)

        “He didn’t like the explanation of why that is the case with electricity so he opposed it” Then I picture (for some reason) Abraham Lincoln haughtily disagreeing

        “Pepsi is an extreme brand” and I picture a pepsi ad that I believe that I’ve seen in the past where a long haired guy was standing in front of a black background and hit a chord on an electric guitar and did a split.

        Are these the kind of things that I should be doing?

        1. I call these “logical markers”. They are great for most subjects if you come up with them sufficiently fast. I use this sort of markers 80% of the time. If the logic is strong, you do not have to invest in accurate visualization, so probably you should think about speeding up the process.

      3. Hey, that makes sense!

        I am also curious how long it takes for both of you. I did this exercise with 10 sets of two words, and it took me 7-8 minutes.

      4. Dr Lev, would you mind elaborate the above method linking

        interrupt – anything – sister
        permanent – regulation – advice

        Does it mean link
        Interrupt, Interrupt anything, Interrupt Sister

        Is that what you meant?


          1. When you construct something, you need to be able to deconstruct it later on. Typically adding things makes the task harder. Your choice.

      5. Hi Lev,

        Do you recommend linking A-B-C first and then add details (i.e., A1-A2-A3) to each marker? Or is it better to visualize marker A with details A1-A2-A3 first and then link marker A to marker B?

        Thank you in advance!

      6. This “Nugget” of info helped me out a bit. So if I’m not mistaken you should mainly focus on the first Markers (A-B-C etc) while creating other links to each set or “chunk”. So when visualizing each main marker (A) it will spark those other A1-A2 markers, while also linking the next main marker (B)?

      7. So in this case where you want us to try A-A1-A2-A3, before moving on to B, do you think a better/more effective way to practise this is to start off with 1 link with 4 markers, then 2 links with 4 markers, then 3 links with 4 markers, etc all the way until we reach 15 links with 4 markers?

        Or would this be a “do what works best for you” situation?

        1. Quite often need to remember chains of ideas. This is quite common for all memory tasks. We have the original idea, and we need to derive several ideas from it. Like “name 10 reasons for WW1”, and we start counting the reasons. Suppose each reason has a marker associated with it, and we have several questions and answers, this exercise corresponds to a basic history/medicine/law exam. When we read, the structures are slightly more complex, but the basic visualization technique is similar.

  31. This is a great exercise. Thank you for putting it together. One element that I think would make it pretty cool is if there was a way of linking the Mnemonic Dictionary so you could another layer of complexity (though speed would initially slow down significantly, I am curious how long it would take to bring back up).

    I just started this course a month ago and am really getting into it once having watched section 1 and section 2, as well as some inspirational/motivational Ted Talks. I am already noticing the benefits and cannot wait to see the results once I get in some good practice.

    Thank you for putting together such a useful course with so many wonderful resources.

    1. Thank you.
      When building the exercises I try to go for the best variety and simplicity.
      Each exercise is built to work on some specific skill, and it is recommended to vary your exercises and routine.
      I am planning to add some more exercises in November, so you can work on other aspects of your skillset.

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