Memory plays an essential role in such professions, as police officers are required to remember laws, regulations, and procedures. Research on how police officers make decisions to shoot shows that offers with higher levels of working memory are less likely to experience emotional stress when making decisions. It shows that cognitive factors like memory and impulse control can influence their performance.
If you don’t have a great memory, there are strategies to improve it. But first, let’s talk about the science behind it.
Understanding the Science of Memory
Memory is a continued process of encoding, storing, and retrieving information. Our brains can receive and hold a vast amount of information, but its retention is not possible in the long term. There are three types of memory: sensory, short-term, and long-term.
Sensory memory is the first stage, where our brain receives information through the five senses. It can last for only a few seconds and is quickly forgotten unless it is transferred to short-term memory.
For example, sometimes you can smell food when you enter the house. If this sensory memory is transferred to your short-term memory, you will know what’s for dinner. However, sometimes this sensory memory is lost within a few seconds, and you can’t recall what you smelt just a few minutes ago.
Short-term or working memory holds information for a short period, typically around 15–30 seconds. At this stage, the information has to be rehearsed and consolidated before being transferred to long-term memory. Long-term memory is the last stage, where the information is stored for an extended time, ranging from a few hours to a lifetime.
Strategies to Improve Retention and Recall
So, how do we facilitate the transfer of information from short-term memory to long-term memory? Here are a few strategies to improve retention and increase recall during the Suffolk Police Exam.
Paying attention while reading notes or understanding concepts is crucial for memorization and retention. When you start studying for the Suffolk police exam, eliminate distractions and focus all your attention on the task. During the exam, attempt one question at a time to improve recall.
Organized information is easy to follow, understand and remember. You can create mind maps and use diagrams to make notes that are easy to remember and recall during revision. Just as organizing our closets can help us remember where we keep things, organizing information can help the brain recall it better.
You can connect new information to what you already know. It will make memorization smoother and provide a rehearsal for old concepts. You can also use mind maps to connect new information with existing information.
Some people are visual learners, which means they create mental images that help them to remember the information. Visualization and association is an effective strategy to enhance memorization by creating vivid images in your mind and associating the information you are learning with something else.
Information received in the short-term memory has to be rehearsed before being transferred to the long-term memory. It is why rehearsing information is essential for retaining it in long-term memory. You can rehearse or revise information by repeating it, writing it down, creating flashcards, or listening to it repeatedly.
Practice recalling information by testing yourself on the material you are studying. It will help to identify the gaps in your knowledge, evaluate the preparation techniques and help you strengthen your memory. Use practice exams or quizzes to test yourself regularly.
These strategies can help you receive, store, retain and recall information more effectivity. Here are some other tips you can follow to improve your memory and cognitive functions.
Sleep helps in memory consolidation. Research shows that to store information in the brain efficiently, the brain needs at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Aim for 7–8 hours of sleep per night to help improve retention and recall. If you’re unable to sleep, try some meditation and mindfulness techniques.
Exercise improves memory and cognitive function by increasing the blood flow to the brain. It also stimulates the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes the growth and survival of neurons. It provides the delivery of oxygen and nutrients that are essential for brain function.
Stress can affect memory and cognitive function. It produces cortisol in the body, which affects memory consolidation. You can manage stress during exams to improve memory by practicing relaxation techniques, exercising, and meditating.
A healthy diet containing fruits with vitamin C and leafy greens can reduce age-related memory loss and improve cognitive function and memory. It is also important to avoid sugary food and carbonated drinks that can affect sugar levels and brain function.
Drinking 7 to 8 glasses of water and staying hydrated reduce fatigue, dizziness, and confusion, which can improve cognitive function. Make sure you get those 7 to 8 glasses of water to stay hydrated during this exam season.
Get Ready For the 2023 Suffolk Police Exam with Civil Service Exams
The Suffolk Police Exam is coming up on June 17th, 2023. If you’re worried about your preparation, our experienced instructors can help you. In our Suffolk police course, we’re offering complete exam guidance, workshops, online classes, practice exams, and interview prep to help you get successful.