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”

5 Simple Ways to Zombie Proof Yourself from the Walking Dead

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What better way to zombie-proof yourself than to shrink your brain? That’s right, you can easily make yourself too stupid to be a target for the walking dead with these five simple techniques. © Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Step-by-step recipe for meeting your academic goals

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If you could just make yourself study… If you could just make yourself read the textbook… If you could just quit wasting so much time on FaceBook… If you could just make yourself get up in the morning… Psychology research has unlocked the secret to willpower. Discover the step-by-step, simple method for achieving your goals,Continue reading “Step-by-step recipe for meeting your academic goals”

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”

Two Types of Learning

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I originally wrote this in response to some reading I was doing about the psychology of learning which was discussing some interesting studies on learning in children versus in adults. I no longer recall the name of the book. Initial brain development in animals occurs by overproducing synapses and then pruning away those that aren’tContinue reading “Two Types of Learning”

Boost Your Brain Performance With These Powerful Tips

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Get adequate sleep at night and take a nap during the day when possible. The average person needs about 8.5 to 9 hours per night, but some need more and some need less. Stress in your life—physical, mental, or emotional—will often increase your need for sleep (though it may make sleep more difficult). If possible,Continue reading “Boost Your Brain Performance With These Powerful Tips”

More Productive Studying By Raising Your Heart Rate

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Exercise in many ways optimizes your brain to learn. –Dr. John Ratey In my personal practice I’ve found it helpful to get up from my studies or work every thirty to forty-five minutes and do some exercise … something to get my blood pumping … something that I can complete in two to five minutes.Continue reading “More Productive Studying By Raising Your Heart Rate”

Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT

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PSAT/NMSQT stands for “Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It is the precursor to the SAT and, most importantly, it’s used to qualify for those coveted National Merit Scholarships you hear so much about. Colleges pay attention to National Merit Scholars; that means they will come looking for you, instead of you havingContinue reading “Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT”

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”

Flash Cards

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Flash cards are a powerful tool to help you memorize things such as vocabulary, mathematical formulas, history facts, and spelling. Here are some strategies to help you get the most from your flash cards. Use flashcards in several different colors. Use each color as a cue to help recall something about the fact on thatContinue reading “Flash Cards”

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”

How to Memorize Formulas and More

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Trying to memorize formulas or equations?  You can use mnemonics, as I’ve mentioned previously, but you’ll need to modify your methods a bit to take into account numbers and symbols.  Perhaps the best way to make the method clear is to give you a few examples. Let’s look at the quadratic formula first. Going fromContinue reading “How to Memorize Formulas and More”

Arousal Control Can Help You Perform Better on Exams

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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.  Arousal control, the third technique listed, concerns how we keep calm in stressful situations.  Here’s how you can apply this to help increase yourContinue reading “Arousal Control Can Help You Perform Better on Exams”

Better Test Performance The Navy SEALs Way

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The elite SEALs teams—the U.S. Navy’s Special Ops forces—have discovered how to make their trainees more successful at completing the mythically-tough training and actually become Navy SEALs.  In fact, they now teach trainees stress control techniques that may be responsible for helping to boost the number of successful passing candidates from one fourth of eachContinue reading “Better Test Performance The Navy SEALs Way”

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?”

The Best Study Schedule (updated)

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(this is an updated version of a post from January 2008) I’ve posted quite a bit on how and when to study in order to maximize recall, but putting it all together may be a bit daunting.  Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be well on your way to the top of the class!  TheseContinue reading “The Best Study Schedule (updated)”