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The morning of the big test, the three friends walked together to school. “I am so nervous, I might get sick,” Larry moaned. “Here,” Monty said, offering Larry a handful of his favorite coffee beans. “I eat these before every test and they help me do great every time.” “Thanks! I already feel better!” Larry exclaimed as he immediately crunched on the beans.
“Students!” called Ms. Ellie. “Gather around for the test!”
Each student worked furiously on their tests. After everyone had finished Ms. Ellie cleared her throat, “The real reason I gave you this test today is to teach you about memory. I wanted to show you some tips to help you do even better next time!”
Ms. Ellie asked each student to tell her how they studied. Fiona’s fin flew up immediately. “I studied all day every day as I swam around in the water!” “Wow! You are one of my happiest learners, Fiona!” encouraged Ms. Ellie.
“I studied every day, but I could only study a little. I was so nervous the whole time. But right before this Monty gave me some of his good luck beans and now I feel great!” added Larry. “Yeah, I eat those beans all the time! They keep me awake and happy,” Monty shrugged. “But I didn’t feel like studying so I had to cram it all in last night.”
“I see,” said Ms. Ellie. “I think I have a few things that might help each of you!” “The first is called State-dependent learning. Monty, all those coffee beans kept you in the same state of caffeination while you were studying and test taking. That helped you do better! Larry, if you like those beans you should take them consistently while studying and test-taking. It is helpful to be in the same state during studying and test-taking.” Larry and Monty both nodded understandingly.
“The second is mood-dependent memory! Fiona, since you are always happy and eager to learn, this happy mood helps you do better during studying and test-taking.” Fiona smiled, feeling proud of herself.
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