Using IAM memorization material instead of CMSA material

Starting in 2020, it will now be possible for a competitor to request to be tested using the standard international memorization material instead of CMSA material. This page will explain how it will work and why it may or may not make sense for you to choose this option.

The standard IAM memorization material can often be 10 to 25% more difficult than the regular CMSA material. So we think that for almost everyone, if you’re comfortable with English and/or French and you don’t mind the format we use for random digits, it’s in your best interest to just stick with the regular CMSA material. The only exceptions that we can think off are the following:

  • You would like to memorize Words and/or Names in a language other than English or French.
  • You have a lot of experience with the standard 40-digit per line format and you would prefer to not have to adapt to the 36-digit per line CMSA format.
  • You’re from another dimension and you think you might be able to memorize more than 120 names in 5 minutes.
  • For a very small number of CMSA organizers – mainly just me (Francis Blondin) – who played a role with the design and/or printing or distribution of the memorization material that will be used, this option will sometimes make it possible to compete anyway. As explained here, this can only happen under certain strict conditions. Those conditions make winning not only unlikely, but officially impossible.

If none of those situations applies to you, you should probably just stick with the regular CMSA format and you probably shouldn’t bother reading the rest of this page.

If you still want to use standard international memorization material, here’s what you need to know:

  • For an honorary event, you’ll simply need to use one of the alternative links that will be provided on the page.
  • For an official in-person event, you will need to contact us at least 7 days in advance to share your intention of using IAM material instead of CMSA material.
  • You can, if you want, choose the IAM option for some events but not for others.
  • You can’t choose this option of the Exam, which is a unique CMSA event.
  • As you can tell by just reading the name, the IAM Images event is already using the IAM format.
  • In all cases, regular CMSA scoring rules and time constraints will still apply for all events.

Last note: Just to be clear, although we at the CMSA are fans of the International Association of Memory (IAM), we prefer to remain independent and we aren’t officially associated with them. Results obtained at our events won’t be taken into account for the IAM ranking.