Friday, November 24, 2017

Kinds of Long-term Memory (And How to Improve Them)

IELTS test takers use different techniques to boost their chances of test success. Some enroll in a credible IELTS review center while others apply various study tips like taking down notes by hand and reading lectures out loud. Among the strategies not commonly used by exam takers use—not because they are ineffective, but because they are a bit uncommon—is to strengthen one’s long-term memory.

Kinds of Long-term Memory

Long-term memory refers to the type of memory responsible for retaining information for extended periods of time. If you want to improve your long-term memory for the IELTS exam, it is crucial that you understand its different kinds and how each work.

Implicit Memory

Explicit Memory

It is also known as “nondeclarative memory.”

It is also known as “declarative memory.”

It does not require conscious thought, typically accomplished when you do and learn things by repetition

It requires conscious thought, wherein the person must deliberately recall something.

It is sometimes difficult to explain since it is embedded into muscle memory and flows effortlessly with your actions.

It is easier to explain compared to explicit memory since it is associative. The mind links related or similar memories together, regardless of the distance of their respective occurrences.


Most avid readers can instinctually tell if a sentence has grammatical inconsistencies. However, not all of them can explain why the sentence is problematic. Some would just say that something about the passage seems off.


When you think of Christmas, your mind will conjure numerous scenarios and information it associates with the event. It can be anything from the biblical significance of the event to the presents you received in last year’s celebrations.

Types of Implicit Memory

Types of Explicit Memory

Procedural Memory

Episodic Memory

It allows people to accomplish tasks without deliberately thinking about them. These are the usually the kind of activities that you only need to learn once to retain forever.


  • Walking
  • Talking
  • Riding a bike
  • Washing the dishes

Even if these activities are naturally part of your everyday life; they are often hard to explain.

Take note that if you experience amnesia, procedural memories are seldom forgotten.

It is autobiographical. It allows you to remember memories as “episodes.” How well you can recall them depends on a lot of factors. Here are the most prominent factors that influence episodic memory:

  • Emotional significance of the event
  • Mental competence during the event – were you tired or sleepy when it happened?
  • Relationship with the people involved in the event

Take note that if you experience amnesia, episodic memories are often the ones forgotten.


Semantic Memory

In which actions and lessons learned are “primed” by experience or repeated exposure.


If you were asked to name a city in the Philippines that starts with “M,” you are most likely to answer “Manila.” Your answer may differ if you have a recent experience or personal connection with another city that starts with the same letter.

It covers the memories acquired through “textbook learning” and other general knowledge sources.


The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Take note that the mind retains semantic memories longer than episodic memories.

How to Improve Your Long-term Memory

Learning a language requires both implicit and explicit memory. Hence it is vital that you strengthen both. Fortunately, the ways that you can improve them are the same. Here are three most effective ways to elevate your long-term memory.

  1. Minimize stress. If you always find yourself stressed, there is a large chance that you will have trouble recollecting long-term memories. This is because, whenever you are stressed, the brain produces cortisol, which negatively affects your ability to retain information. So make sure you destress before and after your classes at the IELTS review center in Davao.
  1. Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat nutritious food, keep yourself hydrated, exercise, and get enough sleep. Don’t skip sleep and meals to accommodate your IELTS review center classes and other training efforts. Drop unhealthy habits like smoking and heavy drinking as they damage not only your body but also your mind. Studies show that both accelerate cognitive deterioration and reduce mental awareness.
  1. Recall your most recent memories before going to bed. Your mind consolidates information into your long-term memory during deep sleep. Usually, the things that you are thinking about before you sleep are the ones most certain to be stored in your long-term memory. So make a habit of recalling the day’s IELTS studies before sleeping.

Strengthen your long-term memory to make the most out of your IELTS preparation period. Enroll in an excellent training program, like the one offered at the IELTS review center in Davao, to learn other ways boost your test performance.



Beselt, Mark. “How to Improve Your Long Term Memory.” Improve Memory Skills. Accessed October 24, 2017.

Cherry, Kendra. "Implicit and Explicit Long-Term Memory." Verywell. Accessed October 24, 2017.

"Explicit Memory." BrainHQ. August 24, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2017.

"Implicit Memory." BrainHQ from Posit Science. August 24, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2017.

Kowalczyk, Devin. “Implicit Versus Explicit Memory: Definitions & Differences.” Accessed October 24, 2017.

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. "Implicit Memory: Definition and Examples." LiveScience. February 12, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2017.


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