Let’s do an exercise together. Read through the following list once:

Electric blue, Thirty-one, Tulips, Hogwarts, Cheesecake, Mac Book Pro and King Air.  

Now, look outside your window. Take note of the clouds in the sky. Do you hear birds chirping? Have the flowers started to bloom? Bring your attention back to this article. Three… Two… One… Here’s the test:

Can you recall all seven items from the list in the previous paragraph without reading them back? Probably not.

Why did you fail? This exercise required the use of short-term memory – which is limited in both quantity and duration and is sensitive to disruptions. Short term memory can only retain up to 9 items for approximately 20-30 seconds. Repeating the list a few times in your mind, while following my distracting instructions to look out the window, would have helped you succeed in this exercise. Yet, everyone would fail if I suddenly asked them to recall the items on this list next month.

That’s where the danger lies when cramming material into short term memory for exams – it might do the job to pass but, the information studied will tumble out of your brain as quickly as you squeezed it in – and one day when you need those facts inflight to safely get back on the ground, your brain will feel as empty as a high school Amphitheatre during level 5 of the COVID-19 Lockdown.

43 Student StudyingBy writing one subject at a time, South African Pilot Theory Exams can be a tempting short term memory trap. However, COVID-19 has changed the norms and student pilots suddenly have more time to prepare for exams and fewer distractions to keep them away from their books. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to use this as a chance to store information in long term memory.This will enable you to write multiple exams on the same day, avoid adding to the queue of candidates requiring rewrites and having an instantly accessible pool of knowledge to make you a safer and more skilled pilot.

So, how do you store information in long term memory? It has to be consolidated in your mind. Fortunately, there are no limits as to how much information can be stored in this type of memory. Endless amounts of information can be ‘filed’ away but the key is to continue revisiting the topics at certain intervals in the future for quick and long-lasting recollection.

To help you, we’ve put together some tips to commit study material to long term memory – click the link to continue this article at aviatrixwest.com

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27-year-old influencer, blogger, female pilot and a former flight attendant with a love for aviation. Well-known as Aviatrix West, originally from Canada but grew up in South Africa. After working as a flight attendant in the Middle East, Aviatrix moved to Belgium to pursue a career as a pilot – after completing her Airbus A320 skills test. Aviatrix also holds a degree in Architecture

My aim is to help others realize their dreams in aviation by providing guidance to both flight attendants and pilots. I’d especially like women to see how exciting and accessible a career as a pilot is. 

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