How to Practice Working Memory
As most students will tell you, when they study for exams, it is usually the night before or maybe even a few hours before the test. For some, this method, usually called cramming, works. But, sooner or later in life, they will eventually have to abandon this method of studying since it is destined to fail them in upper level classes. The rigors of the content will require a deeper level of understanding than simply storing data in short-term memory.
So, should one really study for exams? How does on work on remembering things for the exam? How does one "save" all the information they need for test day? Well to put it simply, they need to practice using their working memory.
By definition, working memory is just a fancy term for how your brain goes back into all your stored memories, retrieves that memory, and uses that information to carry out a process in real time. For example, you need to unlock you phone.You brain remembers your passcode, retrieves that passcode from your memory, and you finally type the passcode in to unlock your phone. Simple!
How is practicing working memory related to preparing for exams? Studies have shown that when one practices using their working memory, they are more likely to retain information for longer, and also recall/recognize information faster. By doing this, students will be less likely to forget information on test day and they will be able to ace their test!
Below are a few tricks to practice working memory:
1.Chunking (grouping information that is similar together)
2. Visual (relating information with an image to memorize it better)
3. Acoustic (relating information to a sound to remember it)
4. Elaborative (relating new learned information with old memories to remember them)
5. Spacing (spacing out information over time helps improve memorization of information)
These are only a few ways of practicing working memory. There are hundreds of techniques. All you have to do is find which set of techniques works best for you. At Star tutoring, we work on helping students find those few techniques to practice working memory in order for them to learn how to prepare for exams in the future so they perform the best they can! For more on working memory, here is a helpful article from Additude Mag.