Memory Skills Fix Your Study Ills

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Dear Study Prof, Help! How can I fix my awful memory? I read stuff for class and immediately forget what I just read. I study, but nothing seems to stick. I just forgot who I was writing this email to. Forgetfully, Amy Neesha* Dear Amy, Barring any recent head trauma, I feel pretty safe inContinue reading “Memory Skills Fix Your Study Ills”

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”

Top Two Ways to Nab New Knowledge

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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 toContinue reading “Top Two Ways to Nab New Knowledge”

Habit Forming by Repetition Illustrated

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Here’s a great picture of exactly how we achieve our goals through repeated actions.  We become what we repeatedly do. This is a time-lapse of a Japanese group that walked the same path over and over. After several days they had worn a path in the grass. Consider how long it will take for theContinue reading “Habit Forming by Repetition Illustrated”

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”

The Easy Way to Learn New Vocabulary

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Ever had a car wreck? Any big, emotional, unusual event such as a car wreck, our high school graduation, or our first kiss, is easily memorable. No notes. No flash cards. It just sticks! “Car wreck” memories stick because they are emotional and unusual.  They are also multi-sensory.  So how do we take something asContinue reading “The Easy Way to Learn New Vocabulary”

Memory Game to Help Kids (or Adults) With Mnemonics

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Here’s a quick game that you can teach your kids to help them learn to apply mnemonics and also build a foundation for later study skills.  Kids may not be too keen on studying, but if it’s fun they’ll do it all day long. My kids and I usually play this while driving. Three StoryContinue reading “Memory Game to Help Kids (or Adults) With Mnemonics”

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”

Memory is Like a Barrel of Monkeys

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Memory is more like a barrel of monkeys than a barrel of bricks.  With a barrel of bricks, the more bricks there are, the heavier and more unwieldy it becomes. With the barrel of monkeys (and I’m referring to the children’s toy here), more monkeys means more connections, and that means it’s easier to liftContinue reading “Memory is Like a Barrel of Monkeys”

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”

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?”

Are you giving away points by not approaching tests correctly?

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Can you give me any tips that are specifically for testing? Get to the test ten or fifteen minutes early, if possible, and look over your notes again while you wait for it to start.  That will help prime your brain for the particular concepts you’ll need for that test. When you first get theContinue reading “Are you giving away points by not approaching tests correctly?”

Vocabulary Builder: Wax

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Long Definition: wax      /wæks/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[waks] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation –verb (used without object), waxed; waxed or (Literary) wax·en; wax·ing. 1. to increase in extent, quantity, intensity, power, etc.: Discord waxed at an alarming rate. 2. (of the moon) to increase in the extent of its illuminated portionContinue reading “Vocabulary Builder: Wax”

Vocabulary Builder: Chary

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Long Definition: char·y /?t???ri/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[chair-ee] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective, char·i·er, char·i·est. 1. cautious or careful; wary: He was chary of investing in oil wells. 2. shy; timid. 3. fastidious; choosy: She is excessively chary about her friends. 4. sparing (often fol. by of): chary of his praise.Continue reading “Vocabulary Builder: Chary”

Vocabulary Builder: Rue

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Long Definition: rue1 /ru/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[roo] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation, verb, rued, ru·ing, noun –verb (used with object) 1. to feel sorrow over; repent of; regret bitterly: to rue the loss of opportunities. 2. to wish that (something) had never been done, taken place, etc.: I rue the dayContinue reading “Vocabulary Builder: Rue”

Vocabulary Builder: Obviate

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Long Definition: ob·vi·ate      /??bvi?e?t/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[ob-vee-eyt] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation –verb (used with object), -at·ed, -at·ing. to anticipate and prevent or eliminate (difficulties, disadvantages, etc.) by effective measures; render unnecessary: to obviate the risk of serious injury. [Origin: 1590–1600; < L obvi?tus, ptp. of obvi?re to act contraryContinue reading “Vocabulary Builder: Obviate”

Vocabulary Builder: Disparate

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Long Definition: dis·pa·rate (d?s’p?r-?t, d?-sp?r’?t) Pronunciation Keyadj. Fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar: “This mixture of apparently disparate materials—scandal and spiritualism, current events and eternal recurrences—is not promising on the face of it” (Gary Wills). Containing or composed of dissimilar or opposing elements: a disparate group of people who represented a cross sectionContinue reading “Vocabulary Builder: Disparate”