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Reviewing memory passages can be a struggle. Especially when verses start piling up and mental exhaustion kicks in. Maybe you’re a first year participant aiming for NBBC or you’re an experienced contestant who is learning how to master this balancing act. Wherever you are in this journey, the good news is, there are many ways one can review their memory passages. Different methods work for different people. 

Your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised like any other, and reviewing is one way in which you can exercise it! It’s easy to call something memorized then not go back to it for a few weeks, but it’s often hard to persist in the memorization process until it’s stuck in your mind for the long run. No matter the difficulty, reviewing verses you’ve memorized will make you stronger – mentally, and spiritually. 

One of the best ways to review your passages is to recite, recite, recite. Find a family member or fellow National Bible Bee (NBB) friend/participant to quote out loud to. Hearing yourself quote the passages you’ve memorized aloud can prove to be very helpful, especially if you’re an auditory learner. Another benefit in reciting to those around you is that they can catch and correct errors in your recitation that you may have missed. If you don’t have someone to recite to on a regular basis, recording yourself as you recite works well, too. After recording, go back and listen to the audio and mark down any errors you had. Allow some variety in the recitation process! Quoting multiple times a day is helpful, although it’s not necessary to review every single verse you’ve memorized every single day.

One of my personal favorite reviewing systems is the “stack method”. As I memorized passages for the NBBC (since you get printable verse cards), I divided my verse cards into three stacks; word perfect, memorized but not word perfect, and unfinished. You can choose to review each stack on different days of the week, or more frequently. For example, devote more time to the passages that need the most attention, and choose to review the word perfect passages only on the weekends. Figuring out quickly which passages are harder for you is especially helpful, so you can devote more time to those. You can choose to review them once, twice, or even three times a day to make sure they stick and move into the “word perfect” stack. 

I personally liked memorizing all throughout the day, then reviewing at night, but you can switch it up and choose to review during lunch, in the morning when you wake up, or as you’re in the car, while devoting memorization to the quieter times of the day. Another fun method to try is listening to your passages from either an audio Bible or by song. I’ve found that as I do this throughout the day, it’s a lot harder to forget my passages. 

There are many different resources out there that can assist in the reviewing process. Some of my favorites are Verse Locker and MemVerse. They offer unique ways to memorize and review God’s Word and to have fun in the process. 

Perhaps you have limited time to review or you’re having a difficult time memorizing this year – that’s okay. When you make the personal choice to press on even when it gets tough and rely upon God as your strength, you’d be surprised to see how far you can go. In the end, the results are in His hands. 

Consistency is key. Once you find a method that works for you, stick with it, but be willing to adjust as you go. You may find that not all of your passages will stick right away, so give it time! The more you practice a passage, the longer you can go without reviewing it. Set goals, don’t procrastinate, and review those verses down! As a fellow NBB participant has said, “It’s harder to catch up on memory passages you haven’t reviewed enough than to review even when you don’t feel like it.”

As frustrating as it can be to hear, reviewing takes time. Don’t get discouraged as you invest your time into it. Reviewing isn’t only crucial for the competition, but it will also help to cement the words of God in your heart for years to come. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for help! The NBB has an amazing community of supportive participants and alumni willing to help you along in this journey.

One could summarize reviewing into three simple steps: practice, patience, and prayer. May the words of Jesus encourage you as you memorize and review His Word this year. “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”‭‭ -Mark 10:27

Written by NBB Alumna: Hannah Kohner