Category Archives: SAT

Give Yourself a Mind Like a Steel Trap!

beartrap small.gif Take a look at Unforgettable, a short pdf ebook on memorizing vocabulary easily and effectively. A quick read will give you the inside scoop on…

  • The quick and simple way to learn vocabulary for language classes and standardized tests like the GRE and SAT.
  • How to soak up that tricky vocabulary like a sponge! Save time. Slave less.
  • How to make those memories uber sticky. Memorize it once and it sticks for days (without more review).

Continue reading Give Yourself a Mind Like a Steel Trap!

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

McCafferty on Cramming

Memorize and purge - cramming is stupid
“All subjects are the same. I memorize notes for a test, spew it, ace it, then forget it. What makes this scary for the future of our country is that I’m in the tip-top percentile on every standardized test. I’m a model student with a very crappy attitude about learning.”
Cramming is just dumb. There are much more effective (and easy) ways to study!
© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Get Smarter in Five Minutes

Yeah, I know, I’m promising a lot. Is it really and for true possible to get smarter in five minutes? Heck yes it is. In fact, you can prolly get smarter in less time than that. The trick to getting smarter about any topic from Physics to French to fructivore physiology is to focus your thinking on that topic. Well, duh! But hear me out; focused thinking involves searching for patterns in the information, drawing comparisons between the object of study and other things you already know, translating difficult concepts into your own everyday jargon, and–in short–processing the information at a higher level.

Good news here, people. You already have one of the most powerful mental processing tools known to man literally at your fingertips. HINT: It has nothing to do with silicon or Steve Jobs.  Continue reading Get Smarter in Five Minutes

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Build Your Body, Build Your Brain!

“For more than a decade, neuroscientists and physiologists have been gathering evidence of the beneficial relationship between exercise and brainpower. But the newest findings make it clear that this isn’t just a relationship; it is the relationship. Using sophisticated technologies to examine the workings of individual neurons — and the makeup of brain matter itself — scientists in just the past few months have discovered that exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive flexibility. Exercise, the latest neuroscience suggests, does more to bolster thinking than thinking does.

(Italics are mine – StudyProf)

How Exercise Could Lead to a Better Brain – NYTimes.com (viajonathanmarcus)
© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Study Skills – Five Fast Fixes

Recently, a student asked me for my hot list of academic life-changers; key study skills you can use to dominate your grades. Here goes…

1) Get help. It’s the 21st Century, fellow netizens! Flying cars, robotic house maids, and personal jet packs are now commonplace… okay, well, maybe not. But it’s still the 21st Century!, which means you don’t have to rely on your brilliant professor’s rapid-fire mumble-lectures and micro-type PowerPoints. Use the interwebs and Continue reading Study Skills – Five Fast Fixes

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Quick Formula For Mastering New Academic Material

Need a step-by-step formula for puttin’ the hurt on your current course load? Want to muscle through those killer classes and become a legend of learning? Here’s an idiot-proof way to step-up your academic game in three simple steps. Caution: This works best for non-skill-based classes such as, history, political science, sociology, biology, etc. rather than topics like physics, cage-fighting, foreign languages, and math.

First: Make sure you take thorough notes. You can’t master the material if you don’t remember what it was. For a more in-depth how-to on taking noteworthy notes–notes that will cause your professor to weep uncontrollably and set up a shrine to you in the staff lounge–look here. As you’re capturing those notes, be sure to get down the high-payoff items, and I mean payoff in terms of exam grades. You want only to study the info that will actually boost your GPA. Not sure if an item is going to be on the test? Continue reading Quick Formula For Mastering New Academic Material

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Maintain Focus in 100 Words (or Less)

~~The “100 Words (or Less)” series gives you a super-short summary of what you need to know about the subject at hand and does it in 100 words or less. Check the link at the bottom for more detailed info about the topic.~~

Eliminate Distractions. Hide yourself away from friends and fun. This includes non-essential electronics.

Be Strategic. Identify the high payoff items in what you’re doing. Do them first.

Take Breaks. Set a timer and work in 30 to 45 minute bursts with short breaks in between to recharge your brain. Don’t like breaks? Take them anyway. They help! (Caveat: NOT for people with ADHD.)

Ask questions. Ask yourself tough, open-ended questions about what you are learning. Answer the questions.

Talk to yourself. Sitting in silence is a recipe for daydreaming. Talk to yourself as you think. Keeps your brain train on the tracks.

Take a more in-depth look at how to maintain focus…

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Read and Reap: Suck the Facts Out of Your Texts

Holy-frikkin-mooses. I just read three paragraphs in my Whirled History book, and I don’t have clue one on what it was about. How can I fish the beefy info chunks outta the steamy cesspool of facts that is my reading assignment?

If that’s your main pain, then consider this simple drill to make your mind into a magnet for important points in your reading.

First, mark up a (disposable) copy of your reading assignment. Take a red pen or marker and start eliminating non-essential words. Get all guvmint-censor/evil-english-teacher on it. Your goal is to mark out as much of each sentence as possible while still retaining the overall meaning. It should look like you tapped a vein and bled all over the paper. Continue reading Read and Reap: Suck the Facts Out of Your Texts

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Simple Way to Boost Reading Focus

dugthedog.jpgAnyone who has ever tried to bulldoze their way through a narcolepsy inducing SAT or GRE reading comprehension passage will know just how hard it is to maintain focus when reading. No matter how hard you try to feign interest in scintillating topics like “The History of Corn Prices in 19th Century Dubuque” or “An In-Depth Look at Catatonia in Clams” we just can’t seem to keep our gray matter engaged. We end up like that dog in the movie Up. “Squirrel!”

I’ve got an easy fix to help keep your wayward brain on track and boost your comprehension.

Don’t be like Saint Ambrose.

Saint Augustine noted that when he went to visit Ambrose–then the bishop of a hoppin’ 4th Century Milan–he often found him reading silently. No lie. The guy read without saying the words out loud! I know. Weird, right? “When he read,” Continue reading Simple Way to Boost Reading Focus

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.