Elaborative rehearsal is a way to encode information. It involves transferring information from short-term memory to long-term memory by making the information meaningful in some way. The information can be made meaningful by relating it to prior knowledge or making the information meaningful in a personal way. Elaborative rehearsal can make the long-term memory a lot stronger, meaning that one is more likely to recall the information at a later time. Elaborative rehearsal can be very useful when studying for an exam, because you are more likely to get a good grade on the exam.
When I am studying, I find it a lot easier to understand and remember the information if I am able to relate the information to prior knowledge or relate it one of my own personal experiences. Recently I was studying for one of my exams and it contained a lot of information on how technology is shaping us and changing both our behaviors and our experiences. I found it very easy to relate this to my own experiences with technology in everyday life. For example, technology is changing the way we are shopping, so I thought about this and my own knowledge of how I shop. We were given examples of how technology is changing our shopping experiences, such as buying books on Amazon.com instead of going to an actually bookstore, and since I could relate this example to my personal life I was able to remember this information when taking the exam.
Even in my statistics class, I find using elaborative rehearsal very helpful. When you use real life examples that you can relate to to explain concepts, recalling them in the future is a lot easier. It was easy to remember the difference between discrete and continuous variables, by knowing that discrete are counted, like number of pages in a book, and continuous are measured, like height. I find that when I use elaborative rehearsal during my studying, I tend to get better grades, because I am able to remember the information because it is now in my long-term memory.