Conceptual space is like a landscape
I like to imagine concepts and ideas existing on a mental landscape. Knowing a fact, without knowing reasoning or implications of that fact is like a point floating in space; only when you understand something deeply does it begin to form part of your mental landscape.
When memorizing or learning, a conceptual landscape helps to give context and a place to position memories within your mind. If everything you memorize is not connected to a deeper understanding, it is just points floating in space. I think this is why people often have difficulty learning a foreign language if they are focused on memorizing word lists, they do not spend time building up their conceptual landscape of representation.