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Testing, testing 

By  Lysette Offley

Testing, testing! Photo of check mark

When you’ve sweated buckets of effort on absorbing information, you need to make sure all that hard work is worthwhile. You need a way to keep that information in your head.

So when you’ve created your revision notes on one side of the paper you’re writing on, turn it over.

Now – think of a question that you could ask yourself that would test whether you know the material on the other side. Not an exam-type question, but simply to nudge you into regurgitating what you’ve learned in this particular chunk of information.

When you’ve done that, put it to one side.

Have a break and come back to this page a few hours later and even better, after you’ve slept on it, to give your brain time to send it to your long-term memory.

Now, while looking at the question side of the paper only, try to answer it by saying the answer out loud, or by drawing/writing what you’ve created on the other side, on paper or in the air, demonstrating to yourself that you know everything on the reverse side.

(Don’t glimpse at the other side first, because all you’re doing then is testing your short-term memory and that’ll be no use to you when it comes to the exam. Many people make this mistake when revising and then wonder why they can’t remember as much as they thought they would.)

Then you need to repeat this test regularly (specifically according to the Learning Cycle) and that way, the information will stick.

By the way…

During sleep, your brain gets busy making sense of the information it receives.

For the first couple of hours, your memories are consolidated in the hippocampus. For the next 4 or so, the memories are transferred to your cortex for long-term storage, and during the remaining hours, your cortex actively rehearses the information!

Clever eh?

Lysette Offley


With 40 years of experience, Lysette Offley is a Memory and Mindset Coach to women and men at the top of their game in the Financial Services Industry who recognise the value of continual personal and professional development and support to achieve a healthy work-life balance, along with satisfaction and fulfilment.

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