Understanding Memory and Studying Dynamically

The Trouble with Memory

Converting information from short-term memory to long-term memory requires various combinations of information contact, focused attention, pure desire, and/or emotion response. With respect to academic information at the post-secondary level, the difference between the information retained long-term and all the other information depends primarily on frequency of information contact.  Now, before you object to this statement, yes…, we concede, if the topic taught touched you emotionally – say perhaps you laugh out loud when you learn how to test the S5 nerve root, or you had a good cry after being told you’d have to catch sputum on your first placement, then sure, that information might be tough to forget; however, for your other lessons, frequency of contact will be the key.
This has been proven scientifically and is sometimes called the “Interval Training” or “Curve of Forgetting”.

Essentially, what this study shows is that if you were tested on material the same day that you learned it, you would have retained about 90-100% of the information. This means that the average person would score 90-100% assuming they paid a “normal” amount of attention during the class period.
However, if you had no contact with the information again and were tested 24 hours later, you would only score between 20 – 50% on the test.  The reason for this is that only 20 – 50% of the information would still remain between short- and long-term memory storage.  The rest of the information has simply been discarded. Why? Because we didn’t need it right away and we had to make room for all the new events and information that occurred in the past 24 hours.
Now, after one week, we would, on average, only be able to about 10-15% and by day 30 only 2%-3% at best.  Ironically, it’s around this time that exam start to loom.  If you’ve even begun studying for an exam and as you went through your notes thought – “wow, I literally don’t remember any of this” – well, this is why.

THE GOOD NEWS: You Can Change all This… and It’s not That Hard.

Reviewing and reprocessing the same chunk of information improves the signal strength of that specific data and your brain more readily converts strong signals to long-term memory.  Essentially, your brain says, "Oh, there it is again, I’d better keep that." When you are exposed to the same information repeatedly, it takes less and less time to "activate" the information in your long-term memory and it becomes easier for you to retrieve the information when you need it.
Here's the formula:

Listen to a Lesson

Within 24 hours spend 10 minutes reviewing = raise retention to almost to 100%
7-10 days later spend only 5 minutes reviewing and again = re-raise to near 100%
Repeat 4-6 weeks later for only 2-4 minutes and yup, you got it now – 100%
After this, if you review it for 2-4 minutes every 4-6 months, retention will once again bounce back to almost original levels.

So how does this help you on the PNE?

Think about it: by using this strategy and reviewing your notes anytime, anywhere you like with EPE’s online review program, you could FULLY refresh 2 weeks of class in under an hour!  That equates to refreshing 2 years of school in just 5-6 days!!!

Be Ready. Pass the PCE

Use MyEPE to master the PCE.

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