Memorizing Pi to 400 Digits

Share the Memory Challenge!

I’d like to have some fun with you and show how to memorize pi up to 400   decimals. It’s really fascinating!

To begin with, a background knowledge of memory work, “The Major System” regarding memorizing numbers is necessary, so I have included links to it in this article. Once you read and understand it you should have no trouble memorizing pi to the 400th decimal. This would be a really cool ability to have —especially at parties!

Obviously, the first question is, “What IS pi to 400 decimal places?” Here it is:


There are all different ways to memorize pi. Some, like University of Edinburgh professor Alexander Craig Aitken, use a particular rhythm.  The “pi purists” attempt to learn numbers as numbers themselves, refusing to use the mnemonic alphabet. An example would be the last four numbers in the first row (1971), they might recall this as the year they were born or other significant date.

Can these methods really work? It seems to for those who create these memory methods. That doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. They can be tricky for others to learn, especially with the number associations because the numbers hold a meaning to the originator that are not necessarily significant for someone else.

So, you want to know what advantages there are to learning to memorize this way? Well, anyone who is familiar with both the English language (as well as almost any Germanic language) and the mnemonic alphabet can learn it. Secondly, the digits can be learned both in order and out of order at the same time.

What do I mean by out of order? Well, imagine if you can not only knowing the 400 digits of pi, but also where they are positioned relative to each other!   You could overcome challenges like these:

* You can recall a corresponding group of four digits if you are given the proper location,
* Remember one specific digit in the Nth position after the decimal point
* You can remember the location, given a group of four numbers
* You will be able to recall the entire sequences of numbers from pi

If you were to use the traditional mnemonic alphabet you can see that if you forget just one element of the story you are totally thrown off base. The traditional method for pi is based on converting the numbers into words, and then linking them into a story. This memory training method eliminates the story and makes memorizing effective and a whole lot simpler.


Link System
Major System



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