Friday, February 24, 2012

Top Preparation Tips for Exam Success

Exams, whether for school, college entrance, or professional certifications and licensing, are stressful. Unless you are one of the truly gifted people who find exams a breeze, it is important to be well-prepared on the examination day. Here are the top tips that can help you ensure success.
Tip One: Start early. Depending on the type of exam, give yourself plenty of time to study and prepare. If it is a school exam, perhaps you need a few weeks; for college boards, a few months; and for professional examinations, perhaps up to a year. The most important thing is not to leave anything to the last minute.
Tip Two: Lay out a plan. Based on the time you've allowed yourself, get a calendar, and write a plan that covers everything you need to do until exam day. Include key milestones like sign-up dates, confirmation, and also set aside specific study times with particular subject matters. This is important so you don't miss studying for a specific section of the exam.
Tip Three: Let people know you're preparing. This goes for any exam, but it is especially important for professional examinations. Alert your boss, teachers, family, and friends that you're focusing on preparation where you may not be around as much, or you may need their help.
Tip Four: Make summary notes and note cards. The process of consolidating information is helpful for memory retention, plus it makes things easier to review. Note cards are great for quick review and for eliciting help from friends. Put them to work by quizzing you on information.
Tip Five: Take lots of practice exams. These can be found online and in study guide booklets. When taking practice exams, do so under real test taking situations. Time yourself and don't stop looking up for answers or getting distracted. Preparing yourself mentally for the exam is as important as understanding the information.
Tip Six: Take care of yourself. Working out your brain takes a physical toll, so be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. If you're not a regular fitness buff, then start at least taking 20 to 30-minute walks after studying. This gets the blood flowing and it is proven to help in retaining information. Sleep is another important memory booster. This is especially important as the actual exam date approaches.
Tip Seven: Consider a test preparation course. This is almost a necessity these days. For college entrance exams, most schools offer free or nominal cost review courses. For professional licensing examinations, you'll need to locate one of the many professional test preparation companies. There are plenty of options depending on need from multi-week courses to one-day exam taking tips seminars. It generally pays to get some outside support.
Tip Eight: Visualize success. Another proven way to improve exam success is to regularly imagine positive outcomes. This can be done with affirmations and sayings or visualization before going to sleep. Whatever the technique is, a strong and positive mental outlook is crucial to success.
Tip Nine: Be alert on the exam day. Start focusing and rest a few days ahead of exam day. Many experts say it is not the rest you get the night before an important day, but two nights before. Keep this in mind as you set your schedule. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the exam location and bring water and snacks as allowed. You want your body to be in its best shape to support your brain power.
Keep these tips in mind and you'll be sure to pass your exams with ease. The key is to start early and be diligent.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to Prepare For Any Exam

Testing and examinations seem to be part of life whether you're a student, a professional looking to qualify for a license, or keeping up with accreditation. Whatever the reason for your exam taking, it will serve a person well to review the following tips to success. While there is nothing to take the place of good study, there are certainly other activities that can help you achieve success.
Start the process early and lay out a plan. This is especially true for college entrance and professional licensing exams where one must fit studying into an existing schedule. Plan out at least six months before the exam date where you need to be methodical and deliberate. Break things down into manageable chunks and stick to the schedule. Include key dates for registration, practice exams, test prep courses and the like. For your study plan, break things into subject matter and sub-categorize from there. Studying with a specific purpose and goal is much more effective.
Make those around you aware that you're preparing for an exam. This will give you the leeway to focus on the task at hand - passing your exam - and not having to worry about too many obligations. This is especially important if you are working where telling it to your boss and colleagues could help a lot. They may be able to at least temporarily lighten your workload (or at least not add to it) so you can adequately prepare. Also ask friends and family to help you study and prepare. It will make a solitary task a little less lonesome.
Activate different learning modes. Reading is not really the most efficient way to learn, but of course, it is necessary. Think about ways to involve the other senses to retain knowledge. For example, note taking is important, but there are different modes of note taking that might be more beneficial, such as creating a mind map (search online for instructions). Conventional wisdom says that teaching someone a subject improves learning, so take some time, and explain difficult materials to a friend. Often, one can find lectures online or on DVDs at the local library.
Along the same line, consider exam preparation services. These companies have perfected the art of exam taking, both from a learning standpoint, and also from the point of test taking strategy. While some of these courses can be expensive, depending on the exam you're taking, it could be well worth it as some cases of failing the exam can have a huge impact on future earnings. If one can't commit to a full course, you might consider a one-day seminar, which provides exam taking tips that can be very enlightening.
Practice exams are important parts of the process, especially for standardized tests. No one should go into an exam without taking a practice test. Most are available online or in published study guides. Be sure to take the exam practice seriously by setting aside a quite spot and time for yourself, properly according to the instructions. Note any weak areas and adapt studying schedule accordingly.
Lastly, take care of yourself physically. It takes good health to properly prepare for exams so focus on better nutrition, exercise, and overall health. Good exam preparation is about dedication and discipline. With a good plan, there's no reason one should not be successful.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Choosing Among the Available Culinary Schools

The number of culinary schools has increased over the years. This makes it difficult for people wishing to venture into this career to make the right choice of the institution to join. However, making the best choice should be easy. All you need is to have the right information to guide you.
If you are looking for the best institution to pursue your career, you need to consider certain factors. They include the following:
• The chances of succeeding once you join the institution. To determine this, you need to consider graduates from this institution. Find out if they have been successful after graduating. Has the education acquired from the institution helped them? There are websites that can help you find out more about an institution's graduates. You can also visit the institution to find out if it has a record of former students, and how they are fairing after leaving the institution.
• You also need to consider practical courses offered by the institution you choose. Good culinary schools will emphasize on practical work. This may include learning from the kitchen and real restaurants. This gives students hands-on experience. This is very important because this is a profession that requires skills and knowledge. Mastering the skills needs you to have attention and sufficient time to practice.
• It is also important that you consider availability of facilities in the institution that you choose. A good institution will have enough teaching kitchens. It should also have spacious classes that will allow individual students to practice preparing food on their own. They should also have enough and big equipments that allow students to prepare meals on their own.
• Internships are also an important aspect of a good institution. It should allow students to go to hotels, resorts and leading restaurants. This will not only give them real-time experience, but industrial connections as well.
• Competency of the teaching staffs is another important aspect that you need to consider. Experienced professionals are in a better position to equip students with skills and knowledge that the profession needs. They also not only need to be trained professionally, but also have experience of many years. This will make it possible for them to impart important knowledge to students regarding different cultures and experiences. Thus, they will not just be teachers, but students' mentors as well.
• Also, make sure that you choose an institution offering training to the levels you want to attain. May be you are looking for an institution offering training up to a certificate level. Or may be you need a diploma or degree program. Make sure that you know more about the programs before making your choice. If it is an associate degree, make sure that it offers fundamental skills, cuisine studies and techniques to you. This will prepare you to work on different positions.
• It is also important that the institution have regional accreditation. This will enable you to get a job with ease once you graduate from the institution.