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“Speed Memory” – a miscellany of memory disciplines involving fast-paced, short-term memory.
1) Historic dates – a list of years (between 1000 and 2100) with a description of a fictional event alongside each. You have five minutes to remember the year of each event, then you’re given the events back in a different order, and have 15 minutes to fill in the year they “happened” in. One point for a correct date, minus half a point for an incorrect one. World record here is 132 points.
2) Spoken numbers – listen to a long decimal number, spoken at the rate of one digit every second, and try to remember the whole thing. There are three attempts at this, with the highest score of the three being your score for this discipline – the first trial has 200 digits, the second 300 and the third 500. Recall time is 10, 15 and 25 minutes respectively, but the scoring is tough – you get a point for every digit you recall, but only up to your first mistake. One wrong answer, and anything you write down beyond that counts for nothing! World record is 456 digits.
3) Five-minute numbers – numbers from 0 to 9, this one in rows of 40; recall on paper, score 40 points for a row correctly recalled, 20 for a row with one error, 0 for a row with two or more mistakes or blanks. You have five minutes to memorise, and fifteen minutes to recall. We do two trials, and your higher score of the two counts. World record here is 520 digits.
4) Speed cards – a single deck of cards, and you have a maximum of five minutes to memorise it. But you can stop your clock at any time if you’ve got the whole pack memorised! You then have five minutes to rearrange another, unshuffled, deck into the same order as the one you memorised. World record is an amazing 19.41 seconds!