Day 3: Read over the draft, checking closely for correct grammar, clarity of expression and good organization. You might also try reading the paper out loud to yourself. This is a helpful technique for catching awkward phrasing and other mistakes.
Next, type a second draft which includes all your changes. Ask a friend or family member to read over your draft. Then incorporate any valid suggestions you receive and if necessary type another clean copy.
Day 4: Read the most recent draft over again and make any other changes that may seem appropriate. It always helps to "sleep on" written material at least one day before turning it in. That way, you can approach it with a fresh, objective eye in your final editing. Type the final draft.
Day 5: Turn in the paper.
Maintaining a schedule like this can remove most of the last-minute deadline pressure that makes the lives of so many students miserable. As you can see, most of the work for the paper has been scheduled in the first two days. After that, it's just a matter of fine-tuning the writing—and adding those touches that can make the difference between an A and a B.
Now, we're moving toward the end of the term, when the thoughts of all students turn to final exams. At this point, the best performers become even more focused, and the relaxed rhythm of middle-term study is replaced by increased intensity—though not by cramming.
Here are a few tips to guide you in these last two weeks:
Try to find out what the format of the exam will be and what topics are most likely to be emphasized. Then direct your study efforts toward responding to the probable questions on the test.
Frequently, the teacher will drop hints, and you should take them quite seriously. Also, you might want to talk with students who have already taken the course to find out what the final exam was like. In some schools, the instructors even make copies of old exams available.
Why is a knowledge of the test maker's style of drafting questions important? For one thing, some instructors frequently repeat their exams' subject matter and even their questions. It's always better to anticipate the question and then prepare an answer in advance than to have to formulate a response under examination time pressures.
Even if you can't anticipate particular questions, many times a test maker will settle into a certain format that you can anticipate. For example, one instructor may favor essays, while another likes multiple choice or fill-in-the-blanks. Becoming familiar with the test format can give you an indication of whether you should focus on broad issues and concepts or on specific facts in preparing for the test.
Rework your recall patterns and other notes you've taken during the school year. Make them reflect the format and questions you anticipate on the final exam. Granted, you may turn out to be wrong about the test. But just going through your notes in detail and rewriting them will be a valuable exercise in preparing for the exam.
If you can find some other students with whom you feel comfortable, you might try setting up a study group to go over exam material. But let me mention two caveats here. First, don't make any such arrangements with students who are mainly interested in partying or chatting, or who are so hopelessly behind in their work that they can't provide helpful contributions. Second, even with a good, productive group of fellow students, you should still concentrate mostly on private study, and limit your group study severely. A couple of hours a week at most is all that's usually needed for this type of joint preparation.
The Last Three Days
You're in the final hours of exam preparation—but still, don't cram. Keep your life as relaxed and calm as possible.
Studying until you're excessively fatigued or sacrificing sleep to get in extra hours with the books will do you more harm than good at this point. Becoming overtired will promote anxiety and even panic, while staying rested and relaxed will help keep you calm and confident.
Remember: With your term-long program, you've already been studying more regularly and efficiently than the vast majority of your fellow students. Now, if you stay rested and relaxed, you'll be in a position to put out maximum effort on the test.
So mark in on your weekly study schedule the number of hours you feel you can comfortably study in these last three days, without getting wiped out. As you study, you will probably want to focus on these areas:
• Facts and concepts you can't recall or understand easily.
Really try to nail down these items in the last few days.
• Questions posed in your textbooks. If you haven't answered all of these, try to finish them. These questions may help you organize and assimilate the material better for the test.
• The index and summary paragraphs in the book. You may find points or categories of information here that you've overlooked in your other studying. If so, add them to your recall patterns.
• Stay positive. Don't engage in negative conversations about the upcoming test or anything else. Putting on your favorite music for an hour or so each day may help..
If you tend to be happier and more relaxed in the company of certain friends, make it a point to spend time with them now. Or if you find you can maintain a better attitude when you're alone, avoid other people for these three days.
The Last Night
Continue with your relaxed approach to study, and be sure to get to bed reasonably early. In addition, eat as you normally do, and get some exercise.
As far as the subject matter is concerned, review all your texts, recall patterns, and notes. Go through this material steadily and quickly. What you want now is an overview of all the facts and concepts in the course. This is not the time to try to learn new material. Rather, you should try to obtain a clear picture of how all the parts of the course fit into the whole.
Finally, be sure to arrive at the site of the exam at least fifteen or twenty minutes before it begins. Schedule your breakfast and other early-morning activities so as to leave plenty of time to make it to the test location at a relaxed pace.
These time-management considerations should give you an idea of the way your days and weeks should be organized during a typical term. It's only by adjusting your space and time so that they are conducive to speed and efficiency that you can hope to achieve such speed and efficiency.
Now, with your physical environment and personal schedule in order, let's turn to the take-off—the initial phase of high-speed reading and studying that I've called Mental Soaring.
7. Set a purpose for your reading.
2. Choose an attractive study space.
3. Establish a term or quarterly study schedule.
4. Set up a weekly study schedule.
5. Observe the forty-minute formula and the two-week rule.
6. Follow the relaxed study rhythm rule.
7. Understand the five-day technique for writing short papers.
8. Know the tips for the final two weeks before exams.
The Takeoff for Rocket-Powered Reading and Learning
Many people are under some mistaken impressions about the Evelyn Wood approach to reading.
Some, for instance, believe that the Evelyn Wood program simply involves teaching students to widen their peripheral vision beyond normal human capacities and then to increase the speed at which this broader visual path moves down the page.
Others assume that the well-instructed Evelyn Wood student is supposed to plunge into a book and whiz through it once at a phenomenal rate, with superior comprehension.
But such notions at best contain only partial truths about our program.
Those who become adept at supersonic reading are able to take in more words at a glance than the average reader. But the space one can focus on in a piece of reading material is relatively fixed: We can only take in the words contained in a circle about an inch and a half in diameter, with the center of the circle being the point where the eyes focus on the page.
In any event, it's fairly easy, with a certain amount of practice, to begin to read the maximum groupings of words that your eyes can take in during one look. That ability will develop naturally as you begin to use the techniques I'll be describing in the following pages.
It's also certainly true that readers trained in the Evelyn Wood method move their eyes more quickly while reading. But they usually don't go through the material just once. Instead, the foundation for faster, more efficient reading involves several run-throughs with what we call the Multiple Reading Process. Or, perhaps more accurately, this approach might be termed a "multiple-exposure" or "layering" technique for taking in the printed word. (This layering method should be used for all reading you do, including that done in the first two weeks of the term.)
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.