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by L

The countdown is on! Our students are working feverishly on their preparation for the certificate tests. In the midst of all this frenetic activity, it is very important that we not get overwhelmed and forget to take care of ourselves.

Take at least hourly breaks. There is a big difference between working smart and working hard. Ironically, some people who think they are working hard are actually hardly working. If your mind is already exhausted, you are not going to be very productive. You need to be studying actively with an open, receptive mind for the material to make sense and for it to stick.

Another tip is to switch from one part of the brain to the other. For example, learning English and learning math involve different processes and different parts of the brain. When one part gets tired, it’s time to switch material. You should still take reasonable breaks, but alternating course material can help squeeze out a bit more productive time when you are desperately trying to make up for lost time.

Make sure to eat well, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep. However prepared or unprepared you are for the tests, it is vital that you are well rested on the day of the test. A refreshed brain will allow you to see more clearly and give better answers. If you are exhausted from sleeping late trying to get in a couple more hours of cramming, you are unlikely to do as well.

(June 5, 2011)

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