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National Memory Master Competition

the 2024 National Memory Master champion celebrates on stage with friends

National Memory Master 2024 Schedule

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Congratulations to the 2024 National Memory Master Champion, Ewan from Texas!

Humorous, informative, and inspirational describe the entries for this year’s competition. The hard work and effort of each student and parent were evident in every submission we received. From the exceptional pool of entries, the judges carefully chose our top 16 student competitors to attend the Championship.

On May 2, 2024, these outstanding students competed for the title of National Memory Master Champion. Following a tough competition, Ewan emerged as the winner!

Ewan and his family have participated in the Foundations program for ten years, and have dedicated many hours to memorizing facts and the timeline from all three Foundations cycles. Like our other 15 finalists, Ewan delighted us at this year’s Championship. He blew our judges away with his ability to recall information, recite the Timeline, however asked, and draw a detailed map of the world.

Congratulations to everyone who entered this year’s competition! In our eyes, you are each a winner in your own right, having achieved Memory Master this year. Whether you proofed for Memory Master, submitted a video entry, came to the 2024 Championship, or won, we’re cheering you on from the whole Classical Conversations community!

Congratulations and Thank You!

We want to say a huge congratulations and thank you to all 16 finalists in the 2024 National Memory Master Competition! Year after year, participants in this competition continue to demonstrate exceptional memorization skills and in-depth knowledge of the information learned throughout the Foundations program. And 2024 was no different.

2024 NMM Finalists
Girl drawing a map at National Memory Master
Boy speaking at National Memory
National Memory Master Finalists with Robert Bortins

Commemorating Foundations and Commencing Challenge A

Each year Classical Conversations selects 16 students from across the country to participate in the National Memory Master Championship. This contest was developed specifically for Foundations students who will be entering Challenge A in the fall, and it is designed to help them cement the knowledge they have acquired over the course of their Foundations journey. The 16 students compete for the title of National Memory Master and the grand prize of $10,000.

National Memory Master Group cheering and clapping

How is the Competition Different from Memory Master in my Community?

At the end of each Foundations year, students wishing to participate in the Memory Master program recite all of the information they have learned from the following categories: history, geography, English grammar, Latin, math, and science to their parents, another adult, their Tutor, and finally to their local licensed community Director.

The students use memorization resources such as the popular Foundations Audio CD and Classical Acts and Facts® cards. (For a more detailed description of the Foundations program and associated memory work, please see our Foundations program page.)

Directors in licensed communities bestow the title “Memory Master” on students who successfully recite all the memory facts from the current year’s memory work.

Students wishing to compete in the National Memory Master competition must complete a proof on the current Foundations cycle with their local licensed community Director as the first step in the national competition. Unlike the standard Memory Master proof which takes place around week 24 of the Foundations program, students must proof by the scheduled deadline, closer to week 12.

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Confidence – Doing NMM taught Ivy that she CAN learn/ memorize a large amount of material just by working hard and not giving up. This was HUGE! She is not afraid to tackle any lesson…every lesson seems small compared to learning an entire CC Cycle.

NMM Parent

Mastering the Memory Work- Knowing the memory work very firmly- especially the Latin declensions and conjugations, helped prepare me for Challenge A. The cartography for the world map drawing taught me the basic shapes of many of the countries. It also taught me how to memorize drawing the countries on a grid because I did it over and over again in preparation for the competition.

NMM Parent

Family Bonding- I committed to memorizing the timeline backward WITH my son. This helped him emotionally and strategically, as we had to problem-solve together HOW it could be done. Since I have five children (including an extremely active one year old as we prepared), these sessions often occurred in odd segments of time including very late at night, but the bonding of those hours will stay with me a long time.

NMM Parent

Time management – THIS, in my opinion, is the MOST important skill we gained from National Memory Master. My son, Ethan, and I would sit down and make a plan for what he needed to work on each day, which included his own school work, Essentials, and also National Memory Master work-like the timeline backwards, and he would prioritize his day and work. We would take breaks and I would go over stuff with him during the day, BUT this was his responsibility and he took ownership of this. IT is a huge leap from Foundations/ Essentials to Challenge A and this prepared us for the transition. This experience taught him to work HARD and to tackle HARD things, which is all a part of challenge work.

NMM Parent