24 Oct

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“Education is not the passive accumulation of information, passed on by a teacher or a book, but the way in which you orchestrate that information creatively and use it in practice ’’

The human brain has about 100 billion active neurons or nerve cells. Each one grows branches like a tree, to store information and has the ability to expand from birth throughout life. The brain takes in information at a phenomenal rate: up to 3 billion “bits” of information in a second from the very first days of life. It stores that information on these expanding dendritic branches. If its new information, It grows new branches. If it relates to information that has already been stored, the brain files “like with like”.

Like any other complex machinery, your brain needs energy. Basically, it gets that from the food you eat.

Feed it a low-energy diet, and it won’t perform well. Feed it a high energy diet and your personal computer will work smoothly and efficiently.

For energy, the brain needs plenty of glucose. That’s why fresh fruit and vegetables are essential. They are rich in glucose.

If you want your brain to work efficiently for all forms of learning and work, you should follow this simple Brain-friendly diet:

  1. Eat a good breakfast every morning, preferably with plenty of fresh fruit.
  2. Eat a good lunch preferably with a fresh vegetable salad
  3. Make fish, nuts (good ol’ almonds) and vegetable “fats” key parts of your diet.
  4. Exercise regularly to oxygenate the blood.
  5. Cleanse the toxins out of your body by drinking plenty of water.

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Now that we are able to make the most of our mind thanks to the good “brain food” we are ready to take on the biggest challenge of our school lives – FINALS!!

Before you do anything, improve your spelling, writing, reading and listening with this simple brain exercise:

  • Stand up, and by raising your knees alternately, touch each hand to the opposite knee.
  • Do this about ten times whenever you are stressed.

Variations:

  • Do it with your eyes closed.
  • Do it by raising each foot, alternately behind you; touching each foot with the opposite hand.

This is a typical exercise recommended by educational kinesiologists to integrate both sides of the brain, reduce stress and make learning easier.

  1. Start in advance

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This does not mean the night before the exam. At least a week or two before the exam should be sufficient.

  1. Draw up a schedule

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Organise your studying by outlining a daily and then hourly schedule for sections to review and conduct a self-test on the section completed.

Time table?

Get down to business

You’ve outlined what you need to study and allocated the amount of time required for study, now you should actually start studying.

Supplement your reading from your class notes with the prescribed textbook, highlighting relevant topics as you go along and summarising your most important topics thereby providing you with a brief outline and summary for each section. Once you have done this you will then have an outline that you can review and revise from for the exam. Make flashcards Merely write down the main points from your summary for each section so that you have a portable study pack to look over (before the exams and not during).

  1. Get a good night’s sleep, in order to function the next day, you should get at least seven hours of sleep.
  1. Remain calm

KEEP CALM

If you become overwhelmed remember deep breathing is recommended to oxygenate your blood. If you are unable to remember the answer to a question, continue with the rest of the questions you do know and then return to the ones you left unanswered.

  1. Do not rush

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Work through the exam slowly, pacing yourself accordingly for each question.

Read through the entire exam question paper clearly before attempting the answers. This will give you an idea of what to cover for each of the questions.

Do not attempt the first question without reading the second and subsequent questions as you may include too much information in the first question when in fact some of it might form part of the answer to the second question.

Understand the exact requirements of the question and consider what you are required to do. Look for key words and the mark allocation for each question.

  1. Read the instructions clearly

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You do not want to get to the end of the exam only to realise that you were required to answer only two questions per section instead of all.

Written by Dr. Lailah Imandin
Ref- Dryden, G and Vos J (2005)

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