Learning and memory are closely linked. The modal model of memory includes several stages, which depend on paying attention and being mentally engaged:
Stage 1. Acquiring information (called Working or Sensory memory)
Stage 2. Storing information for later use (called Short-term, and Long-term memory***)
***this is where information needs to be before writing an exam
Stage 3. Accessing memories when required (called Retrieval)
Go to the Improving Your Memory module for more strategies.
1. Memory for an event or information is most likely if
Tip: preview information before class, make notes, review after class
2. Quiet time for "consolidation" is required for memories to move into long- term storage.
Tip: Study or read 50 minutes, take a 10 minute break. Repeat, take a longer break
3. Our need for sleep increases during times of intense learning and memorizing.
Tip: Get 8-9+ hours sleep during exams or other high-demand periods
4. Drinking even 1-2 alcoholic drinks can impair all stages of memory, especially the transfer of information from short-term to long-term memory.
Tip: drink moderately, avoid binging, don't party during the week or exams
5. Recall of material is improved by mimicing your learning environment.
Tip: Consider your eventual "working" conditions (e.g. exam hall or clinical setting, your desired mental or psychological state) when you are learning