Scroll down for the U.S. list of states capitals. The capital city names are in alphabetical order by state.
Memorizing the state capitals is a common memory exercise in schools. But remembering fifty of anything is a challenge.
That's why I recommend using the "visualization association" (mental images) method for this task.
To learn more, go to my Memorize State Capitals page. That page provides several detailed examples of how that memory technique works.
Memory techniques such as visualization-association are not only effective for remembering lists. You can use them to memorize people's names, the facts in a book, math formulas, foreign language vocabulary, and practically anything else.Note: If you're looking for a list of U.S. states without the capital cities, see my 50 States page.
For a printer-friendly list, click this printable list of states capitals link. This opens a PDF page that you can print out.
The Journey method is an effective technique for memorizing the list of states capitals. The Peg method also works well, if you have at least 50 pegs memorized in advance.
I memorized the U.S. state capitals a few years ago using the Journey method. The route that I linked the states to was a walking tour of the first floor of the company building where I worked!
You might not realize it, but large rooms often have numerous items that you can use as part of a route.
The key to successfully memorizing the list is to be able to clearly visualize all of those items, so you have to be very familiar with the room.
I'd walked through that first floor area every day for years. I could easily visualize where all the chairs, desks, carpets, stairs, mailboxes, even wall hangings and pictures were.
It was a big room, so I didn't need to jam the mental images close together at all. To recall the state capitals, I simply toured the room from one side to the other in my mind.
Very few people can name all the U.S. state capitals. So if you succeed in memorizing this list, consider yourself brilliant!
Then, if you're ready for an even bigger challenge, try memorizing the world capitals next.
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