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Strategies for the Memory Section Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Postal Exams 473/473C (page 2)

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Jun 23, 2011

Use Memory Techniques Such as Association to Help Fix Street Ranges in Your Mind

Even after simplifying the Coding Guide as we’ve just shown, there’s still a lot of information there to memorize. Many test takers try to memorize the Coding Guide simply by repeating the information silently to themselves, over and over. A much more effective technique, however, is what is known as association. A particular street name or number might remind you of something else—for whatever reason. Associating two things with each other in your mind can help you remember what you need to know. Here’s how a test taker might use association to help memorize some of the information in the example Coding Guide that we’ve been studying in this lesson. (The test taker is thinking to him- or herself here.)

To help remember the streets that are listed only once in the Coding Guide:

A rose has thorns, which are pointy. So, Rose and Point Lookout are related to each other. A pointy thorn is shaped like the number 1, just as both streets appear only one time in the guide, under C, which looks round—just the opposite of a pointy thorn. To help remember Hartford delivery routes and address ranges:

Hartford is the name of an insurance company. Always pay your insurance premiums on time; it’s a high priority—A or B priority—definitely not C. My car insurance payments are about $1,000 per year (upper limit on address range). New brakes on a car might cost $300–$700 (lower address range). To help remember Oswago delivery routes and address ranges:

The word Oswago starts and ends with an o, or think of it as a zero. There are then two zeros, just as there are two digits in each address number.

Zero (0) is where counting numbers start, just like A and B are where the alphabet starts.

The lowest number (10) and the highest number (40) both end in a zero (just like the word Oswago).

The addresses are fairly equally split between the two ranges, and so I’ll visualize Oswago being split right down the middle: Osw | ago. That corresponds to 25.

As these illustrations show, any association—no matter how seemingly illogical or silly—that means something to you can help you memorize the Coding Guide.

After Each Study Period, Immediately Jot Down the Address Ranges in Your Test Booklet

After each 5-minute study period, turn the page to the list of addresses you need to code, and then write down the address ranges—from your memory, of course—right on the page. It’s okay to scribble in the test booklet. This is not considered cheating. Your notes should look essentially like the reorganized guide shown earlier.

Once you’ve reproduced your own version of the Coding Guide on paper, you don’t need to code the list of addresses from memory and risk making mistakes as your mind flits from one street address to another. Instead, you’ve transformed the Memory Section of Part C into a simple coding exercise, just like the first section of Part C.

As You Code from Memory, Apply the Same Coding Strategies as for the Coding Section The three coding strategies you learned earlier in this chapter also apply to the Memory Section of Part C (see the earlier discussion for more detailed descriptions):

  • Code all addresses for each street name separately; start with the street names appearing only once in the Coding Guide.
  • Code the addresses in your test booklet first. After you’ve finished an entire list, transcribe your answers on the answer sheet.
  • Pace yourself so that you have enough time to check your scored answers.
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