Short-term memory is also known as the working memory. It holds information for between ten and 20 seconds and usually retains no more than about seven pieces of information at once. When you are reading a sentence, your short-term memory stores the beginning of the sentence while you are reading the rest of it, so that you can comprehend the whole.
If you pay attention to something, the details are then transferred to the short-term memory, which can only store up to seven pieces of data at any one time. For instance, using this memory you can remember the digits of an internet bank account or a pin code for only as long as it takes for you to key it in. As soon as the short-term memory is “full,” it only takes a new piece of information to dislodge an old one because the neural mechanisms, (the meanings and associations) have not been created to allow you to recall the information later on. Some scientists believe that evolution has shaped this memory to have a limited capacity. Can you imagine if you were able to retain all the visual information you picked up in a day? What would happen if you kept a memory of every stranger you walked past and every sign you read? Well, your brain would eventually suffer from data overload. The advantage of a limited working memory is that it allows you to prioritize and focus on the task at hand.
1. Keep my desk and backpack neat and organized
2. Have the materials I need before class begins
3. Repeat directions to myself right after the teacher says them
4. Repeat directions to myself until I get them written down
5. Organize information before I study it
6. Do an assignment, activity, or project one step at a time
7. Try to picture information I am reading or hearing
8. Always study in the same place
9. Have all the materials I need, such as paper and a dictionary, in my study area
10. Study in a quiet place where I can’t hear music, a TV, or people talking
11. Keep an example of what I have to do, such as a math problem, in front of me
12. Keep a list of the steps I have to complete in front of me
13. When I don’t understand something, I read it again
14. Take breaks when it becomes hard to concentrate