Exam preparation tips

Improving exam results can be easy if you follow my simple tips and techniques on how to store new information in the brain.

If you can understand how your brain stores information and then use this knowledge to your advantage in exam preparation, then I guarantee you will start improving your exam and test results.

The brain is very complex, but for our purposes we can break it down into two distinct areas: the working memory and permanent memory.

The working memory is where we park all the information we are processing and working through. This is where all the information we get in lectures and classes goes. This information is in our brain, but will not be retained. Within hours or days this vital information will be lost forever from the brain if we do not put it into the permanent memory.

The permanent memory is where we need to put all the valued information we need for exams and tests. Once we have the information in the permanent memory we will be able to recall the learned materials whenever you need it- yes in tests and exams. Think about riding a bike, once you learn how to ride a bike and regularly practice riding, you will never forget. You may not ride a bike for 20 years, but the moment you do after all that time it will all come flowing back and you will find yourself riding a bike again. Simple!


Take home message- you need information in the permanent memory to excel in tests and exams and this information needs to come from the working memory.

How do we get this information across to the permanent memory from the working memory I hear you ask??

Learned material needs to move from your working memory to permanent memory through a very deliberate sequence of study techniques and it takes time. If you do not understand how to move this information across to the permanent memory using these study techniques you will never do well in tests and exams. No matter how hard you study or try, if you don’t understand how the brain moves information from the working memory to permanent memory then you will never improve your exam results.

One of the simplest techniques that is proven to move information from the working memory to the permanent memory, that I have used over the past 20 years as an educator to improve our brains capacity to store permanent information is the 10-24-7 model.

10:24:7 Model

Spend 10 minutes of revision going over the content you need to learn. Use study tips like summaries, chunking information, brainstorming , mindmaps and quickwrites for example.

Every 24 hours spend 10 minutes revising the content you wish to learn for the next 7 days. It’s that simple!!

10– spend 10 minutes revising

24– every 24 hours, revise for 10 minutes

7– every 24- hours, spend 10 minutes revising over the next 7 days

It is that simple. Start using the 10-24-7 model today and start moving stored information from the working memory to the permanent memory and you too will start drastically improving your exam results and start being in the top 5% of your class.

Please leave a comment below about your favourite revision technique or email me a question on what you would like me to address regarding exam preparation.

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