The way your brain treats information and forms memories is not the same. Our memory is therefore broken into short, working and long term memory. While there is a minor difference between short and working memory, long term memory works differently in your brain. Short term memory is defined as that part of your memory that can hold limited amount of memory in a very accessible state and then lose that memory. There is, it is believed, both a limit for holding this type of information and also decay of memory meaning you lose it quickly. Short term memory can be for durations as short as 30 seconds.
Working memory has been defined in different ways – as short term memory applied to a task, as a process that manipulates short term memory and as the use of attention to short term memory. Long term memory is the method by which your brain stores information for long durations. Long term memory does not have a capacity limit and does not decay with time. Short term memories are created by transient patterns created between your neutrons while long term memories are formed by stable and permanent changes in the neural pathways. Repetition coverts short term memory into a long term one.
I recall giving my examinations for clearing my twelfth standard. One of the papers was on Indian Economics and it was full of tables and charts about the GDP of the country over the years, per capita income, population, crop patterns etc. I memorised each and every table and could quote verbatim from any table. I almost failed that exam because I suppose the intention of the examiner was not to make me recite the numbers but rather understand them. Those who know me well, know that I have very poor short and long term memory for most thing. What was I saying again?