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Cognitive Approach for Exam Preparations

Cognitive Approach for Exam Preparations

Aug/Sep 2019 – Published in POPCLUB Education Guide

By Ric Chong MBPsS, Assoc MAPS, MEd PsyEd (Manchester), MSc (Keele), BA (Hons) (Wolverhampton)

All forms of learning begin with memory. Essentially, memory is a complex process that involves acquiring, storing, and recalling information. For students, memory plays a vital role to retain and create knowledge during examinations.


Memory is a major topic in psychology. It is defined as the process of keeping information from past experiences for present and future facilitation.

In cognitive training, students are trained to encode information such as model essays, scientific and mathematical concepts into their short-term memory. Thereafter, they are encouraged to recall and manipulate these information for use during examinations using their working memory.

Thinking and Remembering

In contrast to rote learning, the evidence-based cognitive training emphasizes thinking and remembering. Therefore, thoughts and senses i.e., multiple encoding codes are being engaged. The cognitive approach aims to increase the working memory of students through the engagement of mental processes based on Multiple Coding Theory.


Upon achieving satisfactory working memory abilities and/or IQ progressions, students will learn how to apply the approach to their school subjects by using the RRIW 4-Step Methodology.


For Steps 1 and 2, if students still do not understand the question and model answer, they can consult a teacher.

In Step 3, students are required to engage mental and cognitive processes, by imagining and recalling the key words and concepts used in the answer.

By Step 4, students should be able to solve the question with ease without referring to the model answer. The teacher may re-test the students after a period of time as a form of revision, especially during exam preparation.

Apart from enhancing the exam performance of many students, studies conducted by many universities have also shown that, appropriate scientific cognitive training can significantly enhance a person’s IQ, which is closely linked to his/her future academic and professional success. Therefore, consider investing in your child’s future by exploring the cognitive approach.

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Cognitive Training for Better Academic Performance
Succeed In Life with Emotional Intelligence
Ace Your Exams with the Cognitive Approach
Using Imagery to Enhance Memory and IQ
Assessing Your Child’s Intelligence

Articles published with permission from POPULAR Book Co (Pte) Ltd