Child prodigy Katherine, 11, a finalist in the competition series, got a perfect score on the memory round and needed less than three minutes to recite all the cards.
“She started by looking at the cards and was like, ‘Hey, how do I remember all of these?’ Then, she did it. She remembered all 52 cards. Then she did it forward and then backwards and if we asked, ‘Where is the king of hearts?’ she would tell you exactly where it was in the deck,” her dad said on the show, which is on Lifetime.
Here’s how she did it.
For Katherine, each suit of cards represents an image of people, places, animals, etc. She incorporates these images into a story and connects every card to a particular element in that story.
“For the memory round I have a system that creates a journey in my head and I place these cards as images along the journey so I can memorize it better,” Katherine explained on the show.
Lisa Van Gemert, of the elite IQ society American Mensa, said Katherine’s technique is common among extraordinary children.
“You’re going to be able to tell the difference between kids who use those systems and kids who just try good old fashioned memorizing where you are reciting what you are trying to remember over and over again to keep it in your head, the same way you and I would with a phone number,” Van Gemert said ahead of the memory round.
Here is Katherine at the beginning of the round …
And less than three minutes later …
Katherine was selected out of thousands of applicants to compete against20 other remarkable childrenin thegruelling eight-week-long national intelligence competition.
She isn’t just a memory maven; Katherine excels at all her school subjects and participates in various extracurricular activities. “She has gotten an A+ on every subject, even Spanish. I have no idea how she did that,” her dad said, smiling.
Katherine attends flute, piano, ballet, tap dance, ice skating, and swimming lessons, according to her parents. She also plays soccer and is a star on her school’s debate team.
“I think I’m so good at so many things because I learn really fast and I can remember things really easily,” Katherine said.
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