It does. And so does gender. Exactly how it effects your test scores totally depends on the thoughts floating around in your head, no matter what color it is. In fact, race and gender aren’t really the culprit; for that we have to look to stereotypes.
What do the experts say are the top two ways we store knowledge?
Learners acquire and store knowledge in two primary ways: linguistic (by reading or hearing lectures), and nonlinguistic (through visual imagery, kinesthetic or whole-body modes, and so forth). The more students use both systems of representing knowledge, the better they are able to think about and recall what they have learned (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). -bolding mine
How can you turn your readings or the lectures you listen to into nonlinguistic forms? Try these…
Why take class notes all by your lonesome when you can work with a buddy (or four!)? Gingko is a simple to use outlining tool that works great for everything from outlining that next research paper, to writing your next novel, to working as a team to take those class notes. Take a look at the Gingko intro video here, or go straight to Gingko here.
Here’s a really helpful back to school post from the fine folks over at makeuseof.com. It includes power-student tips on doing primary research to bump up grades, finding textbooks on the cheap, and using great audio courses to learn while you burn (calories).
Don’t you hate it when you’re talking to someone on the phone and you can tell they aren’t really listening? The pauses between your questions and their answers get longer and . . . longer. They ask questions that you’ve already answered. You know they aren’t paying attention.
Failing to pay close attention in class makes for missed details, frustrated professors, and poor notes. Missed details? What if one of those details is on your next test? You’ll be getting a lower grade. You might even fail–fates forfend! Frustrated professors and teachers–in smaller classes–often notice your lack of attention, just as you notice when your friend-on-the-phone is otherwise occupied. That frustration can make your prof angry and resentful; not the attitude you want them to have when they are looking over your latest paper with red pen in hand. Even in very large classes, professors notice when most people aren’t listening. Often that makes them Continue reading Maximize Your Free Time by Listening More Effectively In Class→
No, it’s true, at least according to Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. Of course, you can’t watch just any ol’ television tripe; you’ll need to watch shows with complex plots that force you to pay attention and work a bit to figure out what the heck is happening. Shows such as E.R., Lost, and Flash Forward should fit the bill.
A sparing application of boob-tube therapy may be just what the psychologist ordered. So watch a little TV guilt free.
Taking a prep course is really an ideal first step for most students. If you’ve never built a house before, it would NOT be smart to go out and start pouring concrete and putting up boards on your own for a couple of months, and only then go talk to an architect/builder to find out exactly how to do things.
You normally start by getting with an architect to plan the building and by talking to a builder who knows something about exactly how to procede with each step of the process. Taking a prep course is like talking to an experienced builder and architect first. Although their services can come at a premium, they can help you make sure that none of your time and effort is wasted. In fact, they will more than pay for themselves!
Here are some interesting articles (1, 2) on how students who’ve studied Latin tend to score higher on the SAT verbal sections. Although not applied to the GRE, I would think similar results could be expected.
Unfortunately, the studies don’t prove that studying Latin is causal–that is, that learning Latin will increase your score. They only show that those who’ve studied Latin score higher. Perhaps students who take Latin tend to be students with stronger verbal skills initially?
If you think that excellent students read everything they are assigned for their college classes, think again. The best students know what material to read thoroughly, what material to skim, and what material to skip altogether. That saves them a lot of time and a lot of mental effort, since they aren’t focusing their attention and studying on materials that won’t be on the test.
Think about readings from the prof’s perspective. In general, it costs a professor very little to assign you a given reading. As they assemble their syllabi, it takes them all of thirty seconds to type “Read War and Peace, by Tolstoy, for the March 2nd class.” Doing the reading, however, will take you days! Assigning it Continue reading How NOT to read for college classes→