About mechanisms: Personally I try not to memorize anything. I try to understand what is going on at the electron level. However, I understand that not everyone can do that. There are people who feel more comfortable trying to memorize things. Therefore here are some suggestions that a few of my students have found success with. First, make flashcards. Put the reactants and conditions on the front and the mechanism and the chapter section on the back. You can then test yourself on how much you know. Second, you may try writing out the mechanism multiple times. Like you did for your spelling words. Over and over. Although I feel that I shouldn't have to say it, I will: read the chapter, do the problems in the chapter.