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?”

The Secrets to Study Concentration Through Control and Focus

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So far in this series (other posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post) we’ve looked at six of the nine aspects that characterize what psychologists term the “flow” state; that conscious state of high concentration and focus where we lose all track of time and perform at peak levels.Continue reading “The Secrets to Study Concentration Through Control and Focus”

Improve Your Focus With Better Feedback and A Perfect Challenge Level

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Part 3 in the series “Getting Into the Study Groove” – See the end of this post for more segments in the series. So far we’ve talked about the first four characteristics of that perfect state of academic zen; the state where we are at one with our studies, losing all track of time andContinue reading “Improve Your Focus With Better Feedback and A Perfect Challenge Level”

So Focused You Forget Yourself (And Your Watch!)

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Part 2 in the series “Getting Into the Study Groove” – See the end of this post for more segments in the series. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi lists nine different characteristics of the “flow” state, and so far we’ve looked at how the first two–clear/attainable goals and focus–can help us reach study zen. Let’s take a lookContinue reading “So Focused You Forget Yourself (And Your Watch!)”

Getting Into the Study Groove

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Mental focus or concentration… is not just for zen masters and chess prodigies. All of us can concentrate extremely well on certain things. Usually, you don’t really notice when you’re completely focused on something. You only realize the degree of your concentration later when you are amazed to find that hours have passed. For some,Continue reading “Getting Into the Study Groove”

Mini-Reviews. Best Recall Trick Ever?

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Everyone knows you have to review it to remember it (no matter what “it” is), but reviewing doesn’t have to take long. Do little reviews even during class or while you’re reading. For example, during a class lecture the entomology professor explains the distinguishing characteristics of the order Diptera, the true flies, and then gets sidetrackedContinue reading “Mini-Reviews. Best Recall Trick Ever?”

Achieving Your Goals; 5 Power-User Tricks

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Setting goals is easy. It’s sticking to them that’s the hard part. Day-by-day motivation can be a real challenge. Pick some (or all) of these and use them to beef up your motivational chops. Track your progress. From first-graders putting gold stars on their daily-tasks chart to gym junkies listing their latest bench-press bench mark,Continue reading “Achieving Your Goals; 5 Power-User Tricks”

Best Study Schedule

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Rank these professions in order of average IQ, highest to lowest (just give it your best guess). Neurosurgeon Nuclear physicist Professor of Law New York cab driver Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re thinking. There are probably some real idiots in those first three professions, and there are probably some certifiable egg-heads driving cabs. ButContinue reading “Best Study Schedule”

Memorizing Complex Images and Charts

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No matter what you are memorizing, mnemonic strategies will make the process easier and less time consuming. It may take more time to memorize the info initially, but you will more than make up for it by having to do less review later on! The mnemonic process may not be so obvious when you areContinue reading “Memorizing Complex Images and Charts”

Procrastinate to Stop Procrastination

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The next time you catch yourself casting about for something (anything) to do to avoid that looming project or research paper try this little activity.  Take out a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and start listing all the possible negative consequences of not working on whatever-it-is-you’re-avoiding.  Go for at least seven and don’tContinue reading “Procrastinate to Stop Procrastination”

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”

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”

Imagine Better Test Scores

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From the series Better Test Performance the Navy SEALs Way. In a recently televised interview, a Navy SEALs representative listed four key mental techniques taught to SEAL candidates. The second of those techniques was mental rehearsal.  Here’s how you can apply this to help increase your own test performance. That gray organ betwixt your earsContinue reading “Imagine Better Test Scores”

Goal Setting (It’s Not What You Think!)

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From the series Better Test Performance the Navy SEALs Way. U.S. Navy SEALs wannabees are taught goal setting.  Why?  It helps more of them survive the grueling training and actually become SEALs. If you’re like me, goal setting brings to mind thick-as-your-thigh Covey planners and pretentious self-help gurus.  But if the SEALs are using it,Continue reading “Goal Setting (It’s Not What You Think!)”

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?”