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Exposure Techniques

Author: Pencil Case  Date: 28 June 2018

More exposure = More retention

It is often said that you need 10,000 hours of practise to master a skill. If you want to be the world's best guitarist 10,000 hours will mean 5 hours of practise a day, 5 days a week for 8 years! I am pretty confident that you won't put 10,000 hours into your upcoming maths test, but, the principle is the same. The more time you spend thinking about something, the better you will understand it.

The idea of exposure techniques is to increase the number of time you think about something.

Toilet notes - You should remember from the earlier information in this guide is that one of the keys to moving information from short term to long term memory is to increase how often you go over that information. A great way to study with out even really knowing you are studying is to use toilet notes. Most of us spend around 2 x 10 minutes in the toilet every day. We can use this time effectively! Write out a 1 x A4 page of notes, ideally things you are having trouble remembering and stick them to the back of the toilet door. With out even realising it, you will be able to study this information an extra 2 hours a week i.e. 2 x 10 mins x 7 days. This uses the principle of repetition i.e. you will see this same information over and over again. In addition, the rest of your family will learn it too and so they will be able to test you.

Posters - Similar to toilet notes, make posters and put them in places you will always see them.

Stickers - When I was learning Indonesian, I made stickers with the names of items around the house. Every time I picked up the sugar I would say "gula" and then look at the sticker to see if I was right.

MP3s - Modern phones all have a voice recorder. I used to make a recording of questions with a pause before the answer. My phone would save this as an MP3 file. I would make music mixes and include my question and answer recordings. This way I would test myself in the car or on the bus.

Google calendar - Google calendar will send you free text messages or emails. You could set up daily messages that send you a question to answer.

Ask a friend - Say to a friend or family member "every time you see me, can you ask me...".

Others - Can you think of others? Send us a message and we will add it to this list.


Create your own set of toilet notes now. Take an A4 sheet of paper, down the left hand side of the sheet, write 5 to 10 sub headings of information that you know you have struggled with. Go to your text book or notes and fill in the gaps, i.e. next to your sub headings, write the information you need to know. Put this sheet up on the back of the toilet door, on the back of mum and dad's car seat, inside your locker or anywhere else you might be staring at for long periods of time.

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