More for less–Getting the most From your mind

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Most of us feel like we are pretty good at using our brains; I mean, we’ve been doing it our whole lives, right? But are you really getting the most out of your mind when it comes to memory, study, and creativity? There are loads of little tweaks and changes you can make to yourContinue reading “More for less–Getting the most From your mind”

Iron New Information Into Your Brain

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Did you ever try to iron a shirt with a cold iron? Could you get that shirt ironed without the heat? Sure, but it would take for-freakin-ever! Ironing a nice fold into a shirt is oh-so-much faster when you’ve got HEAT. Trying to learn stuff by going over it again and again is about as effective as ironingContinue reading “Iron New Information Into Your Brain”

Maximize Your Free Time by Listening More Effectively In Class

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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 classContinue reading “Maximize Your Free Time by Listening More Effectively In Class”

Can You Really Triple Your Reading Speed Without Losing Comprehension?

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If you’re like me, the claims of speed reading courses rank right up there with magic beans and political promises.  Too bad.  Speed reading won’t enable you to read the RandomHouse unabridged dictionary in ten minutes with perfect comprehension.  However, it can easily help you read three or four times faster while keeping pretty goodContinue reading “Can You Really Triple Your Reading Speed Without Losing Comprehension?”

GRE Prep? Must know info for students

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Taking a GRE prep course is really an ideal first step for most students. You normally start building a house by getting with an architect to plan the building. Taking a prep course is like talking to an experienced architect first. They can help you make sure that none of your time and effort is wasted.Continue reading “GRE Prep? Must know info for students”

Which SAT and GRE Prep Books Are Best?

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Updated from May 2008 post… God bless book stores.  For the low low price of zero dollars an SAT/GRE junkie like me can go take a look at purty much every test prep book out there.  I go through the various books on a semi-yearly basis to see if there is any new test fuContinue reading “Which SAT and GRE Prep Books Are Best?”

Words in Context

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I’ve mentioned before how important it is to see your vocabulary words used in context.  Google book search is a great resource for that kind of thing.  You can type in your vocabulary word and it will allow you to see the word as it’s used in thousands of different books.  Take a look …

6 Things You Must Know Before Taking a GRE or SAT Prep Course!

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First–full-disclosure–I teach a GRE prep course and an SAT prep course for Texas A&M University. Expensive courses can be worth it if you actually get the increases they claim. They could easily make you ten times as much as they cost, in the form of scholarships, fellowships, or better jobs! What little independent research thereContinue reading “6 Things You Must Know Before Taking a GRE or SAT Prep Course!”

Get a Head Start On Problem-Solving Courses This Semester

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Taking chemistry, biochem, physics, calculus, or their ilk? These courses are light on information to be memorized and heavy on problems to be solved and concepts to be grasped. That takes time, effort, and repetition, just like learning to play the violin or to draw realistically. Here are some steps to make these sorts ofContinue reading “Get a Head Start On Problem-Solving Courses This Semester”

How to Become a Math Expert

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You aren’t going to like the answer, I’m afraid. They way to become an expert is to really work at it. I’m not being glib. Malcolm Gladwell explains (brilliantly, as usual) in his new book, Outliers, which I highly recommend. Gladwell builds a very convincing argument that math skill is much more closely related toContinue reading “How to Become a Math Expert”

Free SAT and GRE Help and Practice

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I often post links to free online practice for the GRE and SAT, but there is much more available at your local library. Check out the prep books and work through them. Even if they are a few years out of date, chances are the majority of the information–especially the actual practice problems and tests–areContinue reading “Free SAT and GRE Help and Practice”

The SAT: An Overview

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The SAT Reasoning Test (note: NOT the subject specific SAT tests) is used widely by colleges and universities as one of their admissions criteria.  It is also often used as a criterion in awarding scholarships. It is claimed to test students’ abilities in subjects such as reading, writing, and mathematics; subjects that are supposed toContinue reading “The SAT: An Overview”

Graduating With a Plan of Action

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You spend a lot of energy making graduation plans, but do you have a plan of action for after graduation to jumpstart your career? Many people struggle with career choices before making that important life-changing decision that will define who they are for years to come. It is hard to imagine that a new graduateContinue reading “Graduating With a Plan of Action”

Talk Yourself Into Better Test Scores

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From the series Better Test Performance the Navy SEALs Way. In a recently televised interview, the Navy SEALs command psychologist, Eric Potterat, listed four key mental techniques taught to SEAL candidates.  Self talk, the third technique listed, concerns how we focus our thoughts in high-stress situations.  Here’s how you can apply this to help increaseContinue reading “Talk Yourself Into Better Test Scores”

Are You Smart Enough to Get Good Grades?

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Do you have enough mental muscle to get the grades you want or to score as high as you would like on the SAT or GRE?  I’ve pointed out several times that peak mental performance depends more on technique than on sheer power, however, there is no doubt that having a beefy brain does makeContinue reading “Are You Smart Enough to Get Good Grades?”

Best Schedule for Studying for the GRE (or any test!)

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Many of the test prep books out there include schedules to help you prepare for the GRE or SAT, but every single one that I’ve seen has a fatal flaw!  Their schedules would have you studying each topic only once before the test.  That’s crazy!  No one will master a difficult topic, much less rememberContinue reading “Best Schedule for Studying for the GRE (or any test!)”

What’s the Best Way to Study When I Have Several Tests In The Same Week?

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Mid-terms and finals are the bane of most college students’ existence.  One final exam would be bad enough, but at the end of the semester we often have to take two or three exams in a single day!  It’s enough to make even the most studious among us pine for the life of a beachContinue reading “What’s the Best Way to Study When I Have Several Tests In The Same Week?”