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How To Ace Graduate School Entrance Exams

How To Ace Graduate School Entrance Exams

    Every student’s nightmare: Another life altering standardized test. To make matters worse, it’s increasingly likely college seniors won’t be able to find a job after graduation. You might have heard your friends talking about graduate school. Is everyone doing it? You don’t need to look far to see: Graduate and professional school enrollment is on the rise across America.

    The recently unemployed, college seniors, and those looking for a career change are lining up. A high test score may be the only difference between your acceptance into graduate school and a place in the unemployment line.

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    A major criticism of these exams is that, to perform well, you need to enroll in an expensive test prep course. Thankfully, there are some relatively free steps you can take to rock these entrance exams.

    1) Start Hard. Finish Easy.

    Dr. Ben Bernstein, owner of Dr. B Performance Coach, suggests, “Don’t wait to study the hard stuff. Determine right away the sections that give you the most trouble. If you avoid the more difficult material and focus only on the easy stuff, you’ll get more and more nervous and sabotage your chances to do well.”

    2) Prepare For Material You’re Not Familiar With

    For The LSAT:

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    Professional LSAT Tutor Steve Schwartz offers a tip to ace the hardest part: “Make simple diagrams for the logic games.” “Creating a solid diagram will save you a great deal of time, so make one on the bottom of the page (there is no scrap paper on the LSAT). For each “if” question in the games, draw a small diagram next to that question. I always tell my students to save their work from previous questions, rather than erasing it. This allows them to look back at it later in the game. A few minutes here or there are crucial in allowing you to finish in the allotted 8 minutes and 45 seconds per game.”
    For The GRE:

    Bara Sapir, Founder and Executive Director of Test Prep New York, provides advice for students who may struggle with the Math section: “The math on the GRE is 7th, 8th and 9th grade math. If you find you¹re getting particular things wrong, any straight math book will do to learn the material.”

    Homework Spot’s math section is a great place to start for those of us who need to learn middle school math.

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    3) Be Ready For Anything:

    Law school graduate and Public Relations Director at Brio, Sara Lien, discusses the issue of your test taking environment: ” The best advice I can give is to simulate test-taking conditions. I don’t know about the GRE but the LSAT is VERY time sensitive. Have a clock next to you while you answer each section. Also, if you don’t answer all the questions, it is not such a bad thing because it is based on how many answers you get right and blanks don’t count against you.”

    Note: Unlike the LSAT, incorrect answers on the GRE do count against you, so you might want to consider CBAD if you need to guess. CBAD is a trick teachers use to guess on a multiple choice test. The rationale is that the correct answer is less likely to be first or last, so you’re better off guessing in the middle.

    4) Don’t Break The Bank

    Marist College media professor, Mark Grabowski, Esq., offers this tip on what to purchase to prepare for the tests: “Be wary of the prep books that are sold in bookstores. They often make up their own questions, which may not be indicative of the kind of questions you’ll find on the actual LSAT. Instead, purchase official previous tests by going to the Law SchoolAdmission Council’s website, LSAC.org.”

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    5) Finally, Relax

    Jeanne Perdue, Editor of the award-winning Zeus Technology magazine, says, “I took the GRE to get into the Master’s program in Petroleum Engineering at University of Houston. The thing that works well for all major tests for me is to get a very good night’s sleep the night before (no crammingor all-nighters!) and to do something that relaxes you before the test so you’re not over-nervous.”

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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