Well, here is a youtube video
(and here is the second part of that video)
with a few tips on how we can all learn to memorize random words and phrases we might need for a future quiz. Seriously, check this out- the BBC makes some totally enthralling television.
In the video is a guy named Andi Bell. He is the World Memory Champion, and demonstrates his fantastic skills by memorizing 520 randomly shuffled cards in under 20 minutes. Bell has developed a technique where he associates the images on the cards with random objects and also associates those objects with a location along a familiar route. By creating multiple neuro-pathways to a specific memory, Bell has a better chance of recovering that memory. As it turns out, humans are hardwired to remember routes better than random objects or facts. Bell uses this to his advantage by creating stories along a route with the images he associates with the cards.