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Understanding memory

There are two types of memory:

  • short term memory
  • long term memory.

Short term memory (STM)

  • Used for paying attention
  • Forgets 50% of input within 1 hour
  • Forgets 75% within 24 hours
  • Only 5-7 pieces of information are transferred to long term memory at a time

Long term memory (LTM)

  • Where information is stored
  • Only 5-7 pieces of information can be stored at a time
  • Information is best stored in schemas; collections of associated pieces of information
  • Effective memory storage techniques include chunking information, visual aids, automating, mnemonic devices

Memory & active revision

As the brain only transfers 5-7 pieces of information at a time into LTM, it is important not to overload it. Regular, active revision, where you focus on a topic and the 5-7 most important points of that topic, is a far more effective study habit and technique than trying to cram everything in at once.


Memory & learning



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