Study Skills


Quizzes: Short-Term Memory

I Forget. Short-Term Who?

Whether you suspect your teacher of throwing a pop quiz, or if you have weekly quizzes over small amounts of freshly taught material, you’d better have better-than-average memorizing skills to perform well. Notice that we didn’t say “memory” skills, but “memorizing” skills – that is, the ability to learn the information is as important as the ability to retain it.

Reviewing material immediately after class is essential to quick memorizing:

It’s much easier to remember information shortly after hearing it, and you will ultimately spend fewer minutes studying. Less time studying means more time for other activities that can refresh you for the next time you need to study.

Mnemonic Devices

Create your own mnemonic devices. Here are some characteristics of effective mnemonic devices.

  • Funny
  • Personal
  • Crude
  • Vivid/Visual
  • Songs
  • Rhymes
Connecting ideas makes remembering easier:

Sometimes learning information for short quizzes is difficult because the information is so specific you can’t relate it to anything else—this makes remembering it harder. Try to connect what you are learning to other ideas or experiences or even memorable words–– this really improves your memory because it links topics. For short-term memory, try using mnemonic devices, which are basically quirky memory joggers. Here are a few examples:

  • My Very Eager Mother Just Sewed Us New Pajamas - This can be used to help remember the planets (Mercury, Venue, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto).
  • My Dear Aunt Sally - A classic mnemonic device used to remember the order of operation in math (Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract).

Check out wikipedia's site for more information on mnemonic devices:

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