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Mental Strategies as a Road to Mental Superpowers

In tests and in life, changing the way you think can make a big difference.

For example, in Digit Span and other memory tests, "chunking" is a mental shift that leads to real results. The strategy involves thinking of a group of items as a single "chunk." For example, the digits 3 1 4 1 could be thought of as 31 and 41, just two numbers instead of four. Even better, if you knew the first four digits of pi, recognizing them here would only require remembering one thing.

Strategies like this can lead to incredible feats of memory. In one classic study, a person was able to memorize 79 digits, starting from a much more normal span of 7 digits, through practice alone. The researchers concluded that there is "seemingly no limit" to memory performance.

There are strategies that can help with every type of task. Seeing if you can discover them is part of the fun and value of playing tests, like those from Cambridge Brain Sciences, regularly. Log in to start discovering your own strategies and reaching new high scores, then see if you can apply those same strategies to everyday mental tasks. With the right strategies and enough practice, anybody can attain mental superpowers.