Sancy Suraj: The Periodic Table Speed Demon


Sancy Suraj, a memory athlete from Singapore, has made a name for himself in the world of memory sports. With several records to his name, including the Singapore record for the Fastest Time to Recite the Periodic Table, Suraj’s memory feats have impressed people around the world. In this article, we had the opportunity to interview Suraj and learn more about his journey, techniques, challenges, and motivations.

What inspired you to start memorizing the periodic table, and how did you first get started?

Thank you for this opportunity to share my experience with memorizing the periodic table. My journey began as a memory coach when I was introduced to memory sports and realized the potential of the human mind in memorizing large amounts of information. From then on, I set myself the challenge of memorizing the periodic table.

The periodic table is a complex and detailed subject, but I was motivated to take on the challenge by the sense of accomplishment that comes with mastering such a daunting task. I was also inspired by the memory athletes who had achieved the feat before me, and I was determined to push myself to reach their level of expertise.

When I first started, I used a variety of memory techniques such as visualization and association to create a system that would allow me to memorize the elements quickly and accurately. I would create mental images of each element based on its name, symbol, and properties, and then associate each image with a specific location in a familiar place, using the method of loci. By doing this, I was able to memorize the entire periodic table in a matter of weeks, with frequent practice and revision.

My passion for memory sports and the satisfaction I get from mastering difficult subjects have inspired me to continue to explore the limits of my memory. I hope that my success in memorizing the periodic table will inspire others to challenge themselves and discover the potential of their own minds.

Can you walk us through your process for memorizing the periodic table, and what techniques do you use to recall all the elements quickly and accurately?

Certainly. The process of memorizing the periodic table involves several steps, including creating a system for encoding the information, practicing memorization techniques, and reviewing the material regularly. I used a variety of memory techniques to create a system that would allow me to memorize the elements quickly and accurately.

One technique I used was visualization. I would create a mental image of each element based on its name, symbol, and properties. For example, I would picture the element carbon as a piece of coal or a diamond, based on its atomic structure and properties. This technique allowed me to create memorable associations for each element and recall them quickly and accurately.

Another technique I used was the method of loci. This technique involves associating each element with a specific location in a familiar place, such as a house or a route you are familiar with. By doing this, I was able to create a mental map of the periodic table that I could easily recall during the memorization process.

In addition to these techniques, I also used repetition and review to reinforce my memorization of the periodic table. I would practice reciting the elements from memory regularly, and I would use flashcards or other study aids to review the information and test my recall.

Overall, the key to my success in memorizing the periodic table was a combination of these techniques, along with frequent practice and revision. By using visualization, the method of loci, and repetition, I was able to create a system that allowed me to recall the elements quickly and accurately. I hope that my process can inspire others to explore the potential of their own memories and achieve their own goals in memory sports.

How did you prepare for the Singapore record for Fastest Time to Recite the Periodic Table, and were there any particular challenges you faced during the attempt?

Preparing for the Singapore record for the Fastest Time to Recite the Periodic Table required a lot of dedication and practice. I began by reviewing the periodic table regularly and using memorization techniques to encode the information more effectively. I also practiced reciting the elements from memory as often as possible, both alone and with the help of others who could quiz me and provide feedback on my performance.

One of the main challenges I faced during the attempt was the need to type out the elements instead of just reciting them verbally. This required me to not only memorize the names and symbols of the elements but also their spelling, which added an extra layer of complexity to the memorization process. To overcome this challenge, I used visualization and association techniques to create memorable associations between each element and its corresponding spelling.

Another challenge was the pressure of the competition itself, and the need to perform at my best under time constraints. To prepare for this, I practiced under simulated competition conditions, setting strict time limits and working on my ability to recall the elements quickly and accurately under pressure.

Overall, the key to my success in setting the Singapore record was a combination of diligent practice, effective memorization techniques, and mental preparation for the competition itself. I am grateful for the support of my family and friends, as well as my colleagues in the memory sports community, who provided encouragement and advice throughout the process. I hope that my success in this record will inspire others to explore the potential of their own memories and achieve their own goals in memory sports.

“Preparing for the Singapore record was a challenging yet rewarding experience. It required me to push my memory to its limits and develop new techniques to overcome the obstacles I faced. Through dedication and practice, I was able to achieve my goal and set a new record, and I hope that my success will inspire others to unlock the power of their own memories.”

You’re already the record holder for several memory feats, including reciting the most pi digits. How do you keep pushing yourself to achieve new records, and what motivates you to continue?

As a memory athlete, I am constantly motivated to push myself to new heights and break new records. For me, achieving new records is not just about the recognition and accolades that come with it, but also about the personal satisfaction of pushing the limits of my own abilities and achieving something that few others have been able to accomplish.

One of the ways that I keep pushing myself is by setting new goals and challenges for myself. Whether it’s a new memory record or a different type of memory challenge, I am always looking for ways to test and improve my abilities. I also enjoy the process of learning and discovering new things, and memory sports provides me with an opportunity to do so while also testing my memory skills.

Another important factor in my motivation is the sense of community and camaraderie within the memory sports world. I have met many incredible people through memory competitions and events, and the support and encouragement of this community is a powerful motivator for me. Seeing other athletes achieve their own records and overcome their own challenges inspires me to keep pushing myself and striving for new heights.

Finally, I am motivated by the belief that memory sports has the potential to be a powerful tool for personal and professional development. Memory techniques and skills can be applied to a wide range of situations, from academic and professional settings to everyday life. By continuing to improve my own abilities and sharing my knowledge with others, I hope to help more people realize the potential of their own memories and achieve their own goals.

How do you think your memory skills have helped you in your personal and professional life, and have there been any specific benefits or advantages that you’ve experienced as a result of your abilities?

My memory skills have definitely had a positive impact on both my personal and professional life. In my personal life, being able to remember important dates, names, and events has helped me build stronger relationships with family and friends. I am able to recall details from conversations and interactions that others may have forgotten, which helps to create deeper connections and show people that I care about them.

In my professional life, my memory skills have given me a competitive advantage in many situations. As a memory coach, I am able to quickly absorb and retain information that I can then use to help my clients achieve their own memory goals. In addition, my ability to remember details from meetings, presentations, and research has helped me to excel in my career and stand out among my colleagues.

One of the specific benefits of my memory skills is that it allows me to be more efficient and effective in my work. By quickly recalling information and details, I am able to work more quickly and accurately, which can save time and improve productivity. In addition, my ability to remember and recall large amounts of information has helped me to make better decisions and provide more informed recommendations to my clients and colleagues.

Overall, my memory skills have been a tremendous asset in both my personal and professional life. By helping me build stronger relationships, excel in my career, and be more efficient and effective, they have had a significant impact on my success and happiness.

“Memory is the key to unlocking our potential, both personally and professionally. By honing our memory skills, we can improve our relationships, excel in our careers, and achieve our goals. Remembering the details that others may forget can give us a competitive advantage and help us stand out among our peers.”

Suraj shared with us that he was inspired to start memorizing the periodic table when he was studying chemistry in school. He began his journey by creating a memory palace and associating each element with an image or a story. His process for memorizing the periodic table includes creating images, using mnemonics, and practicing recall regularly. During his attempt to break the Singapore record, Suraj faced the challenge of staying focused for an extended period and managing the pressure of a public performance.

When it comes to pushing himself to achieve new records, Suraj’s motivation comes from his love of challenges and the desire to push the limits of his abilities. He has experienced many benefits in his personal and professional life as a result of his memory skills, including improved confidence, focus, and creativity. Suraj recommends that those interested in developing their own memory skills start by understanding memory techniques and practicing them regularly.

Suraj believes that anyone can develop exceptional memory skills with practice and dedication. He also has his sights set on attempting new memory feats in the future, such as memorizing all the Nobel Prize winners or reciting the entire Quran. Despite his impressive memory abilities, Suraj balances his training with work and family commitments, setting aside time each day for focused practice.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in developing their own memory skills, and where should they start?

If someone is interested in developing their memory skills, my first piece of advice would be to start with the basics. Learning simple memory techniques like visualization, association, and repetition can go a long way in improving one’s ability to remember information. One technique that I often recommend is the method of loci, also known as the memory palace technique, where you associate pieces of information with different locations in a familiar space.

In addition to learning techniques, it’s important to practice regularly. Just like any skill, memory requires consistent effort and practice to improve. One way to do this is to set goals for yourself, such as memorizing a certain number of words or numbers in a set amount of time, and then working towards achieving those goals.

Another important aspect of developing memory skills is to pay attention to your overall health and well-being. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and staying physically active can all help to improve cognitive function and memory.

Finally, I would encourage anyone interested in developing their memory skills to find a supportive community of like-minded individuals. Joining a memory group or attending memory events can provide opportunities to learn from others, share techniques, and receive feedback on your progress.

Overall, developing memory skills is a rewarding and achievable goal for anyone willing to put in the effort. By starting with the basics, practicing regularly, taking care of your health, and finding a supportive community, anyone can improve their memory abilities and achieve their own memory goals.

Do you think that anyone can learn to develop exceptional memory skills, or do you think that some people are just naturally better suited to it?

I firmly believe that anyone can develop exceptional memory skills with the right techniques, dedication, and practice. While some people may have a natural affinity for memorization, that doesn’t mean that others can’t catch up and even surpass them with hard work and consistent effort. In fact, many memory athletes, including myself, did not start off with extraordinary memory abilities but developed them through training and practice.

One of the most important factors in developing memory skills is having a strong motivation to do so. Without a clear purpose or goal, it can be difficult to maintain the focus and discipline necessary for sustained practice. Additionally, it’s important to find and use memory techniques that work best for you. Different people have different learning styles and preferences, and what works for one person may not work as well for another. Experimenting with various techniques and finding ones that resonate with you can be helpful.

Another important factor is consistent and deliberate practice. Like any skill, memory requires regular practice and repetition to develop and maintain. It’s also important to challenge yourself with progressively more difficult memorization tasks to continue pushing the limits of your abilities. This can help you develop not just memorization skills but also mental agility and flexibility.

Ultimately, while natural ability may play a role in the development of memory skills, I believe that anyone can achieve exceptional memory with the right mindset, motivation, and training. With consistent practice and dedication, anyone can improve their memory and achieve feats that they never thought possible.

Are there any other memory feats that you’re currently working on, or that you’re particularly interested in attempting in the future?

Yes, there are definitely some other memory feats that I’m currently working on, and some that I’m interested in attempting in the future. As someone who is passionate about memory techniques and the potential of the human mind, I’m always looking for new challenges to push my abilities to their limits.

One area that I’m particularly interested in is memorizing long strings of numbers, such as telephone numbers or credit card numbers. While these may seem like mundane or unimportant tasks, the ability to quickly recall large amounts of numerical data can be incredibly useful in a variety of contexts, from business meetings to personal finances.

Another area that I’m interested in exploring further is memorizing historical dates and events. While many people may find history to be dry or boring, I believe that a deep understanding of the past is crucial for making sense of the present and shaping the future. By using memory techniques to memorize key dates, events, and figures from history, I hope to gain a deeper appreciation for the complex forces that have shaped our world.

Finally, I’m always interested in attempting new record-breaking feats of memory, and I’m constantly looking for new ways to challenge myself and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Whether it’s memorizing the entire Oxford English Dictionary or reciting the first million digits of pi, I believe that there is always more that we can achieve with the power of our minds.

How do you balance your memory training with other aspects of your life, such as work and family commitments?

Balancing my memory training with other aspects of my life has been crucial to maintaining a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. While my memory training is an important part of my daily routine, I make sure to prioritize my work and family commitments above all else.

One way I maintain balance is by setting clear boundaries and creating a structured schedule for my memory training. I dedicate a certain amount of time each day to my training and make sure to stick to that schedule. This helps me avoid getting too consumed by my training and allows me to focus on other important aspects of my life.

I also make sure to incorporate physical exercise and other forms of relaxation into my daily routine to help manage stress and maintain overall well-being. This not only helps me stay physically healthy but also supports my mental and emotional health, which is crucial for memory training.

In addition, I communicate regularly with my family and colleagues about my commitments and make sure they are aware of my schedule. This helps me to avoid any potential conflicts and allows me to manage my time more effectively.

Overall, balancing my memory training with other aspects of my life requires discipline, organization, and communication. By prioritizing my commitments and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I am able to achieve success in my memory training while also enjoying a fulfilling personal and professional life.

Finally, what message would you like to share with others who may be inspired by your accomplishments and interested in pursuing their own memory goals?

To those who are inspired by my accomplishments and interested in pursuing their own memory goals, I would like to say that developing exceptional memory skills is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and perseverance. It is important to understand that memory training is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for one person may not work for another. However, with consistent practice and experimentation, anyone can improve their memory skills and achieve their memory goals.

My advice for those who are interested in pursuing their own memory goals is to start small and gradually build up their skills. A good place to start is by improving your basic memory skills, such as your ability to remember names, faces, and phone numbers. Once you have a solid foundation, you can move on to more advanced techniques, such as the memory palace method, which I use for memorizing the periodic table.

It is also important to set achievable goals and track your progress along the way. This not only helps to keep you motivated, but it also allows you to identify areas where you need to improve and adjust your training accordingly. Another important aspect of memory training is to make it fun and enjoyable. Incorporating memory games and challenges into your daily routine can help to make training feel less like work and more like play.

In pursuing your own memory goals, it is important to remember that failure is part of the learning process. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks or mistakes, but rather use them as opportunities to learn and grow. Finally, I would like to stress the importance of persistence and consistency. Memory training is not a quick fix, but rather a lifelong journey of continuous learning and improvement. With dedication and hard work, anyone can achieve their memory goals and unlock the full potential of their mind.

“Unlocking the full potential of your mind is not just a lofty dream, but a tangible reality within your reach. With dedication, patience, and persistence, you can develop exceptional memory skills that will not only enhance your personal and professional life but also bring a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Remember, every journey starts with a single step, and every memory goal starts with a small practice. So start today, and let your memory journey unfold one step at a time.”

Sancy Suraj’s achievements in memory sports are a testament to the power of practice, dedication, and a love for challenges. His journey offers inspiration for anyone looking to develop their memory skills and push their limits. Suraj’s story also highlights the benefits of memory training, from improved confidence to enhanced creativity. We look forward to seeing what Suraj will accomplish in the future and how he will continue to inspire others.