Memorization Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Police Officer Exam
Memorization is the ability to observe and recall. Although memorization is a straightforward skill, it is the area where law enforcement examinations most differ. Clearly, all agencies use a memorization section to assess an applicant's ability to remember street names, people, geographic areas, business layouts, and other details that a police officer is constantly required to recall.
To assess memorization ability, law enforcement examinations provide pictures or drawings of scenes that could occur in any neighborhood and require the applicant to recall the information provided. These pictures may be provided in the pretest materials packet or in the examination itself. When the pictures or drawings are provided as part of the pretest materials, you will be expected to memorize the scene prior to arriving for the exam. Then, the first portion of the exam will cover your ability to recall the details of the picture(s). It is not unusual for pictures provided in advance to be accompanied by short explanatory paragraphs that provide additional information to clarify the scene. You are required to memorize and recall this information as well.
When the pictures or drawings are provided as part of the exam itself, the process of memorization is slightly different. Typically, you are given a 5- to 15-minute period to study the picture (the study period). You are not allowed to make any marks on the picture, use scratch paper to make notes about the picture, or do anything else during the study period. At the completion of the study period, the pictures are turned back in to the proctor. This is followed by a 5- to 15-minute period during which you are to retain the information (the holding period). Again, you are not allowed to use scratch paper or make notes of any kind during this period; rather, you are expected to sit and mentally review the information in preparation for answering any questions. After that, you are given the questions associated with the picture.
One technique for memorizing the details provided in a scene is summarized in the acronym EASE. The EASE method encourages an organized process of memorization, beginning with recognizing the broad theme(s) of the picture and then working down to the details of the picture.
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