Strategies for the Memory Section Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Postal Exams 473/473C (page 3)
During the Memory Section, you have 7 minutes to code 36 addresses, numbered 37 through 72. Pace yourself so that you finish coding from memory in about 3 minutes, and then take no more than 2 minutes to fill in the answer sheet. That will leave you 2 minutes to go through all 36 items again and correct any mistakes you may have made the first time through.
The Coding Section of Part C is pretty straightforward because the Coding Guide is right there in front of you as you code each list of addresses. However, during the Memory Section, you won’t have the luxury of referring to a preprinted Coding Guide as you code addresses. Instead, you must rely on your memory to do so. This is what makes the Memory Section of Part C more challenging than the Coding Section. However, by using the following simple strategies, you can easily handle this section.
Reorganize the Coding Guide in a Way That’s Easy to Memorize
The Coding Guide presents the addresses and corresponding delivery routes in a clear, organized way. But, the guide doesn’t organize the information in a way that’s very easy to memorize. It’s up to you to shuffle the information around in your mind so that it’s easy to memorize it all. Let’s look again at the Coding Guide you saw earlier in this lesson, and then we’ll reorganize the data.
|Address Range||Delivery Route|
|300–700 Hartford Blvd. 10–25 Oswago Road 1800–6000 N. 23rd St.||A|
|26–40 Oswago Road 701–1000 Hartford Blvd.||B|
|150–250 Point Lookout Loop 50000–75000 Rose St. SW 6001–12000 N. 23rd St.||C|
|All mail that does not fall in one of the address ranges listed above||D|
- In your mind, separate the two streets that are listed only once from the three other streets.
- Ignore words such as Street, Road, and Avenue, as well as their abbreviated forms.
- Instead of thinking about which streets and ranges match a delivery code, think first about a particular street, and then think about the street’s delivery code(s).
Here’s what the guide might look like after you reorganize the information in your mind in accordance with the preceding suggestions:
C 150–250 Point Lookout
C 50000–75000 Rose
As you can see, our revised Coding Guide is simpler and less cluttered than the original one. You can no doubt see that it’s easier to memorize the information when it’s presented this way than when it’s presented the original way.
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.