Posts tagged "Tips"

Choosing The Best Law School Admission Test Prep Course

law school admission test

 

Choosing Law School Admission Test Prep Course

Keep in mind that there is no single best Law School Admission Test prep course for everyone. Finding the best LSAT prep course simply means choosing which one will suit your particular needs best. In this regard, you need to identify what elements of a course are important for you.

For instance, do you prefer an LSAT prep course with plenty of practice tests and guide materials or more of classroom classes? Do you require more of personal attention? When you know what you need in order to prepare well for the LSAT, you can easily review the many companies offering such courses to find the best LSAT prep course to meet your needs.

One very important element of an LSAT prep course that you need to look at is the instructor. You want a teacher who is not only experienced but also enthusiastic in guiding students in studying for and taking the LSAT test. To choose the best LSAT prep course, you need to find out who will be teaching your course. You can call a particular company to get this information directly from them.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that someone who scored higher in the LSAT will automatically make a better LSAT prep course teacher. Someone with a high LSAT score would only be effective as an instructor if he or she can teach a class how to score well. You can ask former students how effective an LSAT teacher is prior to enrolling in a course. In addition, having law school experience is nice but not necessary. The LSAT is all about logic and comprehension so there is no legal knowledge required to teach LSAT.

 

What is the best Law School Admission Test Prep Course?

The best Law School Admission Test prep course for you is one that utilizes different methods to help you become familiar with the various sections of LSAT. Most prep courses focus on teaching methods for tackling a specific section of the LSAT test. For instance, if you feel that you need help in the Analytical Reasoning section then the best LSAT prep course for you would be one that focuses more on this area. However, you also need to make sure that you master the methods on Logical Reasoning, because the LSAT contains two entire sections of this.

Other things that you may also consider when selecting an LSAT prep course are the prep materials that you will get upon enrollment such as prep tests or copies of recent official LSAT tests. You can prepare for LSAT in several ways. If you do well on self-study and managing your time, then an LSAT prep book may be enough for you. However, if you need guidance, then either a live course or online course is the best LSAT prep course for you.

Posted by James - August 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

Categories: Test Prep   Tags: , , ,

What is the ACT Test?

ACT Test

 

The ACT Test is the American College Testing examination. It is a standardized collegiate examination that is somewhat similar in nature to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The ACT has been used since 1959. Colleges use the examination results to test the readiness of students to be admitted to college. It isn’t as well-known a test as the SAT but it is widespread. Since 2008 almost all colleges accept the ACT results and use them as a means of judging qualification for merit scholarships.

The ACT test consists of four subjects covered by multiple choice questions which include English, mathematics, science and reading. The essay writing test was added in 2005 but not all schools need or accept this portion of the test. The test is given only during set times of the year and must be scheduled in advance. Test taking is alloted over a 3.5 hour period during which the entire test must be completed.

 

ACT Test

It’s generally recommended that students take the ACT test at least 2 months prior to the application deadline for colleges or scholarships because the results are usually mailed between 3 and 7 weeks after the examination. Many students find it advantageous to take the test during their junior year because most of the course work required for the test has been completed by the end of the junior year, the scores are completed in enough time to send to colleges and students who do poorly will have time to take the test one or two more times to raise their scores.

Most students who have taken the ACT test find that the scores don’t reflect their intelligence but rather their determination to test well and study. A common thread in students who have done well is that they enjoy reading and it doesn’t mean you have to enjoy reading from the age of 2 and you can start at any time. In fact, you can start right now. Get out to the library and pick up two books. Spend 30 minutes each night before bed reading a book. This helps to relax your mind before bed and improves your ability to do well on the test.

 

Subjects

The math section of the examination will be testing information you began learning in 7th grade and building upon year after year of school. Take the practice exams and learn what concepts you are weak on and what you have to study to improve.

The science section is less about your knowledge of biology and chemistry and more about how well you can interpret and extrapolate information from graphs and charts. It’s important to take as many practice tests in science as possible so you have an opportunity to learn the formula the test makers use when preparing the information for the tests. The science portion is also the last one of the examination and will require that you continue to focus through 3 hours of work to achieve this final test.

Before the test get plenty of sleep and eat a good breakfast. Get to the test center early and be relaxed before the test is handed out. You’ll need to check in with a photo ID. Bring a calculator, watch, extra batteries, pencils, erasers and leave your nerves at home.

 

Scoring

The scoring for the ACT is 1 point for every answer you get correct and zero for every question you get wrong or skip. In other words – you aren’t penalized for guessing so you should guess. If you are lucky enough to get a guessed question correct you have the chance of increasing your score. This is definitely different from the way in which the SAT is scored.

Having this knowledge should help you to practice and study, as well as have a better chance of getting the best score possible. Remember that the test is developed in a formulaic pattern. This means that the test this year is much the same as it was for the past 10 years. If you can read and interpret the graphs and charts on the science practice tests then you’ll be fine on the real test. The same is true for the English and Math sections.

You can take the ACT as many times as you would like. And because the colleges will take your best score, and not the last score, you have nothing to lose by taking the test one or two more times.

Posted by James - July 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

Categories: ACT   Tags: , ,

ACT Prep Takes a New Turn Weeks Before Nationwide Testing

ACT Prep

 

Chicago, IL, April 23, 2012  – The ACT Prep– those letters strike fear into the heart of almost any midwestern test taker. This week, the ACT is being offered to most midwestern schools nationwide. In a new initiative from state governments to try and ensure that every student is college bound. The ACT is nothing truly new; it’s simply a new form of standardized testing, but it’s one that almost every single college around the nation accepts, which means that it’s doing double duty – giving the state’s the information they crave about school performance, and giving the colleges more evidence for admittance.

 

The ACT Prep

ACT prep classes are nothing new either. In these courses, students are drilled with practice passages to help accustom them to the types of questions the ACT likes to ask, the types of strategies to use for each, and to ease the fear and trepidation that these high stakes tests often cause.

One teacher is doing things much differently though. A teacher in Northwestern Illinois, is using some different methods for ensuring that students do better on the reading section of the test – he’s using poetry.

Teaching poetry is nothing new in a standard English class. However, poetry is not offered on the ACT, and three of the four reading passages are non-fiction, which has caused many to question his methods. Most teachers will teach a skill like speed reading, or will work on inferring information from the test.

“Poetry is a skill that appeals to those with low verbal intelligences,” he says, referencing the theories on multiple intelligences which cite differences among learners. “Some students struggle with verbal, which is very bad for their chances on the reading section of the ACT, but might be great with logical/mathematical, natural, inter or intrapersonal, or musical. Poetry appeals to each of these kinds of intelligences in some way or another.”

“I get a lot of flak from the other teachers here,” he says, citing the fact that there is no direct correlation between poetry and the test, “but I do use real ACT passages as well. Unfortunately, nobody has discovered a really good way to teach reading comprehension, only ways to measure it, so I don’t think I should use outdated methods to make my points.”

The ACT test is being offered free of charge in most schools across the midwest.

Posted by James - April 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags: , , ,

Photographic Memory

Develop Your Photographic Memory

 

Photographic Memory Course

When training yourself to get photographic memory, the first, and most important step is to make sure that your eyes are relaxed.  If you’re working with your eye muscles engaged, then you will have a lot of difficulty using your peripheral vision, effectively taking away sixty percent of your field of vision.    To relax your eyes, hold your head still and move them slowly up and down, then left to right, and try to keep your mind clear.  In about ten seconds or so, you should feel your face and eyes loosen up and be ready for action.

One of the keys to training a photographic memory is to make very effective use of your peripheral vision, and to see the whole picture of things by expanding your field of view.  Taking a wide lens when you look at a diagram allows you to take in the whole thing, and see more of the image.  Instead of focusing on a detail, try to space out your eyes and focus on a single space, but to look out through the edges of your eyes and see the perimeter. This is something that many people trying to get photographic memory struggle with, because it doesn’t seem logical to pick up details without focusing on them, but it does work.

 

The Best Way to Get Photographic Memory

The next trick is entirely mental, and that makes it very hard for some people to do, but it is the essence of how to get photographic memory.  When you are focusing on an image, no matter where you see it, fix it in your mind, and see the whole thing using the power of your peripheral vision.  Then, in order to get it wholly in your visual spectrum of memory, you need to start changing the image in your mind.

Imagine a dial that allows you to turn up the brightness and contrast of the image to a point where every detail on the page becomes defined and visible in detail.

 

Use your TV to get photographic memory

If you have trouble with this at first, don’t worry.  It takes a whole lot of practice to develop photographic memory.  Some people are born with the tools to do this, while others need to work at it.

One of the easiest ways to learn this last step is to play with your television.  Put in a movie with a vibrant, busy setting, preferably a wide-view scene, and pause it.  Then use the menu to scan through and change the brightness and contrast settings while focusing in on the picture with your eyes.  If you have trouble recalling the details now, that’s fine.  All you’re doing here is seeing what this process might look like if you were to do it mentally.

Posted by James - August 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Categories: Memory, Photographic Memory   Tags: , ,

Ways to Memorize Things

There are four basic techniques to memorize things that I know about. They are both good for different purposes, so you should try to learn each.

 

The Locus Ways to Memorize Things

Memorize Things

The first method is called the Locus Method of memorization, and it’s really good for sequential lists. The basic idea of the locus method is that it plays off of your mind’s ability to remember real-life images more easily than words or bits of knowledge.

The basic methodology is to think about a car trip that you’ve taken about a million times before; one in which you know the area so well that you could conceivably drive it in your sleep. Visualize yourself driving down the road, and think about the landmarks that you always see. You might remember a stop sign, for instance, followed by a mailbox, and then a school on the left hand side, a parked car that always seems to be there, and so forth. People walking down the street might not be a good landmark since they always move around, and they’re not always in the same place.

Memorize ThingsOnce you have this set of landmarks in sequential order, start tying them to the steps in whatever list you have. The first item on the list should be tied to the first landmark you pass, the second should be tied to the second landmark. Make sure you have enough landmarks to get through every item on your list.

Once you’ve done that, imagine some connection between the event and the landmark. It can, and probably should be kind of absurd, since that will help you tie the information together better. For example, using the information I used above, I might remember the following connections between landmarks and things if I were trying to recall the order of events in the discovery of America.

 

The Musical Ways to Memorize Things

The second trick is to put information to song. This is a very phenomenal way to remember small bits of information or formulas. Because, we have an incredible amount of knowledge about music stored away in our brains. If I were to ask you to recall lyrics to any of your favorite songs, you’d pause for a moment, and then be able to start up from almost any point in the song and recite the lyric word for word. There are some fantastic examples of this kind of information available on Youtube, and many songs already made up and ready for your use.

When I tutored a student in math, and he needed to remember a complex formula like the Quadratic Formula. I typed it into Youtube and found literally hundreds of options for catchy tunes like this, this and this. Should you not find anything pre-made for you, don’t despair, you can put the information to any song you’d like. And you don’t need to perform or record it to have memorized it if you use a simple folk song like “Three Blind Mice” or “Yankee Doodle”.

 

The Relative Information Way to Memorize Things

The third trick is good for information that simply needs to be remembered without having to be in any order. First, list the words or bits of information in any order you’d like, and then imagine a relationship between the two things like you did for the locus method I described above. Again, silly and absurd things tend to work really well. If you need to remember a list of foods for instance, you might imagine one kind of food eating the other. You could start with a cucumber, and then imagine a sausage walking by, picking up the cucumber and stuffing it in it’s mouth. Then, a moment later, an onion walks by and eats the sausage (remember, weird tends to work really well, and the more vivid and wild your imagination can get, the better off you’ll be in remembering this kind of information).

To this day, this method is probably my number one favorite. I can remember things that I memorized from my childhood using this method that I haven’t used in years. For example, I haven’t taken a martial arts lesson in over 10 years; but I still remember when I had to memorize pattern names and meanings, and I know that my last pattern was called “Joong Gun” and had 32 moves, and had something to do with Confucianism. The image in my head is a little Chinese man sitting in his house watching TV (tuned to channel 32), and chewing gum (which is close to the pronunciation of the pattern name “Joong Gun”).

 

The Anagram Ways to Memorize Things

The fourth method, and one of the weaker ones, is to remember things in an anagram. Something such as “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” or simply “PEMDAS” helps students to remember the order of operations in math class. Creating this kind of list has been helpful to me from time to time. But, I can specifically remember a whole lot of these little catchy anagrams that I simply cannot relate to any information.

For instance, I know that “All the Animals in Macedonia Really Don’t Like Apples” which I came up with in college for one test, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be recalling thanks to that. I can remember using “Candy and Popcorn Make Us Real Skinny Boys” for a psychology class, but again, what it is I was supposed to have remembered don’t come immediately to mind. Therefore, I tend to think that this method is very overutilized, and should be used only if you’ve already got a very powerful memory anyways.

 

The Rote Repetition Way to Memorize Things

Say what you will about this methodology, it works. The idea is simply to find a way to do something over and over again; and with concentration and the help of a little muscle memory, you can memorize almost anything. This method is also useful for memorizing lines and short paragraphs, although for longer monologues, it probably isn’t ideal.

This method is very good for learning vocabulary, spelling, and anything that’s related to language in general. For single vocabulary words, writing the complete list time and again is a good way to do it. But, it is probably better for you to break the list into groups of four or five words, and write them down one at a time, and then repeat three times. Use a pen and paper rather than a computer for the writing. As you write, create a visual image in your mind and repeat the definition of each word as you go; (Remember, visual images are the most powerful and easiest to recall). Once you’ve got these four or five words down pat, move on to the next group.

It may be boring, but this is a good method of memorization, and has the advantage of teaching you definitions in all three of your basic learning styles at once if you follow my instruction. Your kinesthetic sense will be stimulated by the act of writing. Your visual sense will find solace in the mental images you create. And, if you sound out the words as you write, then you’re engaging your auditory sense as well.

 

Summary

There are a variety of different ways to memorize things. Select a method of memorization that works for the types of information you plan on memorizing.

No matter what you’re doing though, there are similarities in every method. First and foremost, it helps to add an element of visualization to your practice. That is a common theme in all kinds of memorization; and because it’s completely in your mind, many people simply forget about it completely, and that is a huge mistake. Regardless of how strong your visual element is, all humans have the ability to recall visual elements, real or imaginary. You’ll have a lot of problems trying to get interested in information if you treat it like nothing instead of keeping it active in your mind.

The second element to memorization, and one that is often lost of students alike, is that sleep is important. During sleep, your brain “catches up” with what you’ve done during the day; filing information away and making sense of what you learned, and helping you prepare for the following day. Without enough sleep, you cannot hope to remember anything. No matter how long you work on memorizing things the day previous.

So choose wisely, and practice whatever you do. These different ways to memorize things are all real, and they all work.

Posted by James - July 3, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Categories: Memory   Tags: , ,