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.

Does Race Affect Academic Performance?

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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. In the classic study on stereotype threat researchers Claude SteeleContinue reading “Does Race Affect Academic Performance?”

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”

Great Way to Collaborate on Class Notes

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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 atContinue reading “Great Way to Collaborate on Class Notes”

6 Great Tech Tips To Beat College On A Budget

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6 Great Tech Tips To Beat College On A Budget. 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). © CodyContinue reading “6 Great Tech Tips To Beat College On A Budget”

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”

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”

Does Studying Latin Help on The SAT and GRE?

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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. TheyContinue reading “Does Studying Latin Help on The SAT and GRE?”

How NOT to read for college classes

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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 attentionContinue reading “How NOT to read for college classes”

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”

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!”

Sleep Is a Study Skill; Research Proves It

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Jeffrey Ellenbogen, a sleep research fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston, found that those who studied and then slept on it did much better on a test the next day than those who didn’t sleep. In fact, sleepers got an average score 76% correct while the all-night crowd got only 32% correct! Find theContinue reading “Sleep Is a Study Skill; Research Proves It”

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”

Avoid Cramming by Scheduling Your Semester Now

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You could just take those syllabi professors are passing out like popcorn this time of year and shove them deep into the bowels of your backpack, forgetting about them until necessity forces you to resurrect them from their linty tomb. But that’s a surefire recipe for cramming, all-nighters, and mediocre grades. Instead, go over eachContinue reading “Avoid Cramming by Scheduling Your Semester Now”

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”

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”