Sunday, 3 January 2010

What My Digit Span Is...

How I Heard About This: Having spent almost a decade tutoring children of various ages, I'd often heard of the digit span. I understood the basics but decided to research it further and see what my digit span is now.
Main Source:
Backup Source:
Topic: Memory/Learning

Details: The memory span is the number of items that a person can retain and recall over a brief period of time. It is called the Digit Span when numbers are used. People who can retain and quickly recall higher numbers of items often do better in Psychometric tests. Why is it interesting to me? Being dyslexic I was subjected to a large number tests as a child, and as was to be expected, I performed far better verbally than I did whilst writing things down. Although I had a slight photographic memory I would often have to look at the black board for almost every letter of a word I was trying to spell out. This became very time consuming. Looking back now I can guess that my digit span (when relating to letters) must have been no higher than 2 but likely to be as low as 1.

After years of extra lessons I was able to speed up this process but by the time I left school I doubt it was any larger than 6. For me it wasn't until university and my work as a music producer after that I started to really push my brain. Today I wondered what my digit span was and took the test linked below. Having done it a couple of times the highest I can get to is 15 digits. Certainly a lot better than when I was younger. Apparently practicing this can increase your digit span, and thus increase your likelihood to do well in Psychometric testing.

Have a go yourself: take a digit span test now.

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