Category Archives: Academics

Believe it or not, tests aren’t just things you study for: taking tests can be a form of studying all its own. Henry L. Roediger III and Jeffrey D. Karpicke reviewed a century of research for their 2006 article, The Power of Testing Memory: Basic Research and Implications for Educational Practice. They found that frequent testing facilitates retention and recall more than passive studying techniques: “Taking a test on material can have a greater positive effect on future retention of that material than spending an equivalent amount of time restudying the material, even when performance on the test is far from perfect and no feedback is given on missed information. This phenomenon of improved performance from taking a test is known as the testing effect.” Often, students just study passively by just rereading and rewriting notes. Testing, on the other hand, requires active recall of targeted information. This, the very…

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Lao Tzu commented that time is a created thing. “To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’” How you spend your time signals your values and priorities. Show the world what matters to you while using our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:   Ever notice how a runner will race a marathon differently than she will a sprint? The main distinction lies not in the nature of running itself but rather in where the finish line is placed. The endpoint defines the race. Your academic career and the bright professional one that is sure to follow look very much alike: lots of projects, some of them sprints and some marathons. But every opportunity you’ll have to display your mastery shares one important trait. Every one has an endpoint. The end of a task may lie when the work must be submitted. At other…

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Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. Please accept, as our present to you, another tip in our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:   Just One Thing In a rich and productive life, every day feels like a new adventure. Sometimes, though, even the road to adventure becomes a slog, where too much mundane work separates exciting times. When your to-do list becomes so long that it threatens to entangle you in inaction, cut through that constricted feeling by focusing on your MIT: your Most Important Task. No matter how much you have to do in a day, you should be able to sort through your demands and pull out the most important ones. Better yet, determine each day’s Most Important Tasks in advance. Start with just one small, necessary task that, when accomplished, will relieve some of…

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Philip Stanhope famously recommended that we take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves. Considering how much the 4th Earl of Chesterfield was able to accomplish in his time, he may have been on to something. Follow the industrious example of each era’s movers and shakers by applying our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:   Take Small Bites An old, familiar saying begins with the appalling yet intriguing question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The glib answer, “One bite at a time,” establishes that the issue on the table, so to speak, is not pachyderm pot pie but rather an insight into how to approach any large, daunting task. We often ask students this admittedly distasteful question when addressing just how challenging earning one’s very best scores on the SAT and ACT can be. Breaking down all the challenges arrayed against a…

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It is said that the length of a minute is not absolute, but depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on. Find ways to make those long moments work for rather than against you with our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:   Only Take Planned Breaks Do ripe, red, juicy tomatoes inspire you to get to work? If so, you’ve probably already heard of the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method developed by an inspired individual named Francesco Cirillo. He discovered that focused bursts of uninterrupted activity interspersed with brief planned breaks produced an optimized work flow. Cirillo named his technique not out of any serious love for Solanum lycopersicum but rather for the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used as a college student. The Pomodoro Technique is rather simple to understand and implement. Determine which task you are going to tackle and decide how long each…

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In the grand scheme of things, every hour is but another hour. Imagine, though, what you might accomplish in your finest hour. Any hour can be your best if you apply our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:   Only Think When Necessary Have you ever felt so brain-dead that you wanted nothing more than to collapse on a couch and watch your favorite movie? Do you feel that way every day? Maybe you’re thinking too much! Cognition and mental processing are ultimately physical functions. Pushing too hard physically exhausts a person. If you’ve ever taken a really long standardized test, you know how draining that experience can be as well. When you take the time to think about it (not too hard though), our brains are greedy. Though they account for less that 2% of our mass, brains consume far more energy than any other organ, just about…

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