Before people begin training, they usually want to identify specific strengths and weaknesses in their performance, which is why I’ve included a short test at this point in the book. This test serves as a baseline for comparison so that you will be able to measure your successes. It is designed to identify the memory requirements of day-to-day life and is divided into five quizzes.

(1) numbers.

(2) names and faces.

(3) words.

(4) historical dates.

 (5) text memorization.
Th is test lets you record your current memory skills so that you can accurately assess your ongoing improvement. Be sure to record how many points you score at the end of each quiz.

Th is initial test has been designed so that, on average, you will achieve a score of 40 to 70 percent of the total number of possible points; after some memory training, these quizzes will no longer be a challenge for you. Th e only things you need are a pencil and a clock to time yourself for each quiz. Of course it’s best if you have a stopwatch, but a normal clock will work just fine. Relax. It’s important to have a positive mindset while taking these tests. Try to assume that your results will be so good that you don’t even need any memory training. You should embrace this basic approach as your own. If you don’t trust yourself to do anything, who will?

Give yourself some time for this test and work quietly without any interruptions. If you aren’t satisfied with your results, don’t be discouraged. You can really improve your memory with some practice.

Quiz 1: Numbers

Numbers are an essential part of day-to-day life, and it is constantly important to be able to remember them correctly. For example, it can be inconvenient to forget the PIN number for your checking account (and you really shouldn’t write it down and carry it around with you). It is also a pain to have to look up the same telephone numbers or zip codes over and over.

Following are five rows of ten numbers each. Try to memorize as many numbers as possible in the correct sequence within five minutes, then write them all down in the space provided. While you’re memorizing, pay attention to accuracy, since a phone number, account number, or PIN number is useless if it is incorrect. Don’t forget that remembering partial sequences isn’t actually remembering, so try to remember two rows properly, rather than only parts of four rows. If you begin to write the numbers in a certain row and realize that you have forgotten one of them, write a dash as a placeholder, because even that is an achievement.

1st row: 6 4 3 1 1 9 5 2 9 2
2nd row: 7 6 2 0 9 6 6 4 0 7
3rd row: 9 4 6 9 2 8 0 3 1 4
4th row: 0 9 7 6 2 7 3 9 4 1
5th row: 3 2 8 1 4 5 9 7 5 3

Your time is up write down as many numbers you can remember in the correct sequence.

We will be covering more of these memory tests in the next posts so stay tuned.