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Exams and Study Skills

Test taking strategies


Memory is an import part of learning and understanding, but only one part. Memory supports learning because we use prior knowledge to build connections with new ideas and information. Memory supports learning when information has been stored in your mind for a longer time and when there are multiple associations with other information and ideas. This explains why you should use the practice testing strategy from very early on in your course.

In the following video, author Peter C. Brown explains the science of how we learn. If you think we learn by remembering things, you are only partially correct. While memory is part of learning, Brown explains that science has proven over and over that we learn by trial and error. This means that we try something, make a mistake, and then try again with a different response. Watch the video to learn more and to help understand why we are suggesting the strategies we do in this guide.

Faculty Innovation Centre, University of Texas at Austin. (n.d.). Memory & learning with Peter C. Brown [Video]. Vimeo.