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Career

Becoming a Pharmacy Technician: What to Know

July 12, 2021

Pharmacy technicians help a pharmacy run smoothly. They support the pharmacist, customers and medical professionals by dispensing medication. If this career path piques your interest, there are many different paths you can take to become a pharmacy technician. It all depends on whether you need to take pharmacy technician classes to get licensed or registered and certified in your state. Follow these steps to determine the path that’s right for you.

What are the regulations in your state?

Each state has different regulations about who can work as a pharmacy technician. The  Pharmacy Technician Certification Board provides an at-a-glance look at state requirements. You can easily see if your state requires certification, licensing or registration, or both. This is an excellent first step to help you plan your timeline.

Next, you will want to take a closer look at your state’s requirements. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy can give you more specific information about your state’s requirements. This resource can help you make sure you have all the current information you need to become a pharmacy technician in your state.

No Regulations

There are currently only five states that have no requirements besides a high school diploma or GED. These states do not require technicians to register with the State Board of Pharmacy. If you choose this route, most of your learning will come from on-the-job training. After at least 500 hours of work experience as a pharmacy technician, you will be eligible for certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

National Certification

Two dozen states require pharmacy technician certification. Some of them require it in order for pharmacy technicians to become licensed or registered. Others just require it to get a job as a pharmacy technician and perform specific duties.

Before you take the exam, you have to finish a PTCB-recognized training program or have 500 hours of work experience as a pharmacy technician. However, you can apply to take the test if you are within sixty days of finishing your program. Your certification will be granted once you provide proof of completion. This could be a copy of your certificate with your name, completion date, and the title of the program you finished. It could also be an official letter from the training program with the same information.

The pharmacy technician certification exam takes about two hours to complete. It currently costs $129 to take the PTCB certification exam, but make sure you check their website for changes. Once you pay the required amount, PTCB will email you to let you know if you are authorized to schedule your exam. Some employers may even pay for employees to take the certification exam.

Licensing or Registration

Almost half of all states require licensing or registration in addition to national certification. Pharmacy technician classes can prepare you for both.

The registration process may look a bit different in each state, but you can probably expect an application, an application fee, and proof that you’ve completed the training that your state mandates. Check the State Board of Pharmacy for specific requirements.

If you decide to take pharmacy technician classes, or if your state requires them, the time requirements can vary. Programs can range from a few months to two years. Programs may offer a certificate, diploma, or degree.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists requires accredited programs to include a minimum of 600 hours of instruction over at least 15 weeks. Longer programs may offer you an associate degree and extensive hands-on training in the field.

The length of the program is just one factor to consider. You will want to make sure the program you choose can meet your other needs.

  • Does it meet your state’s requirements?
  • Can it help you achieve your personal career goals?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Will the school help you find a job after graduation?

Other Considerations

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists are taking on more patient care roles, like giving flu shots. This means pharmacy technicians are also being asked to play a greater role in pharmacy operations.

Even if your state does not require licensing, registration, or certification right now, requirements are getting stronger all the time and could change in your state. Employers may also prefer to hire pharmacy technicians who have completed a program and obtained certification.

Look for a school that offers flexible, accelerated programs to meet state requirements and give you an edge in the pharmacy technician field. You will leave with an associate degree and preparation for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).

You can complete an accredited training program and become a licensed pharmacy technician in less than two years. Find out what your state requires and choose the right path for you.

Student Life

5 Ways to Prep for Pre-Med

June 26, 2021

Congratulations on being admitted to a pre-med program! All the hard work you have put into your academics in the last couple of years has finally paid off, but if you’re planning on a career in the medical field, your work is only just beginning. Pre-med will be your first main challenge in pursuing your dream, and you need to prepare carefully if you want to make it through the selection process.

Start Studying for the MCAT

The MCAT, or the Medical College Admission Test, is used as the standard exam for those seeking admissions to AMA-accredited programs. It’s often considered one of the toughest preliminary admission exams out there. The exam covers four sections (biology, chemistry, psychology, critical analysis) and takes place over a lengthy 7.5 hours.

Due to the tough syllabus and questions, it’s never too early to start studying for the MCAT exam, especially during college. You will need a lot of prep materials which includes books, notes, and test papers. Make sure you’re choosing high-quality materials. For example, get the best MCAT prep books to maximize your chances on the actual exam. Your MCAT studies can give you an upper hand in your pre-med classes as well.

Reach Out to Your Advisor As Soon As Possible

The role of an academic advisor is an important one, especially if you’re gunning for a career in STEM fields. This is doubly important for pre-med since there are almost innumerable branches and specializations in the medical field. A good advisor can help ensure that you stay on track and fulfill all the basic pre-med requirements.

Reaching out to an advisor can also help you get a sense of what the program will be like in practice, get advice for classes to sign up for, and so on. A written recommendation from your academic advisor can make a favorable impression when you actually start applying to med school, so don’t ignore this aspect.

Know Your Long-Term Plan

You will have a hard time focusing on what you need to do if you don’t have a long-term plan. Being a doctor is a noble ambition, but it’s also a long road filled with many hurdles. By the time you finish both med school and college, you’ll likely be in your mid to late twenties. Investing in such a lengthy period of time requires deliberate planning.

Your long-term plans need to account for med-school admission and the financial investment behind your studies. You’ll also want to determine how to maintain a social life and participate in extracurricular activities. Once you get through med school, there are other things to consider, such as applying for a residency program, passing your medical license test, and finding a job.

Connect With Other Pre-Med Students

While preparing to begin your pre-med program, reach out and connect with other pre-med students in your program. Your school and program likely have events set up, either virtually or in-person, to help incoming students get to know one another. Take advantage of these opportunities.

Doing so will provide you with like-minded people to communicate and make friends with. By working on your preparations together, you can pool resources and help each other out in studying. This also gives you built-in accountability partners.

Remember to Relax and Enjoy the Summer

Last but not least, don’t forget to relax and enjoy the summer. While preparation is important, you also need to remember to enjoy the current moment. If you just graduated from high school, you owe it to yourself to relax and enjoy life a little before devoting yourself to your college and pre-med studies for the foreseeable future. Make memories that you can carry with you for the rest of your life!

If you’re short on cash, you can also start working part-time to save up some money. Training to be a doctor is expensive, from the MCAT prep materials to medical school itself. It can never hurt to have some extra savings.

Be Ready for the Long Run

Preparing for college can seem overwhelming under any circumstances, and getting ready for a pre-med program can seem even more so. However, with enough planning and preparation, you can pull it off!

Student Life

How to Manage Your Time While Studying Online

December 26, 2020

Online learning definitely has its perks, including no commuting, flexibility, and studying at your own pace . But since there’s little to no authority, the responsibility of sticking to your schoolwork is solely yours. You can only make it work with proper management skills.

If you’re an online scholar and find it hard to manage your time, this piece is for you. Here are eight tips on time management for learners pursuing online courses.

Designate Space for All Your Learning Tasks

A common challenge online students encounter is finding a suitable place for studying, classes, and group discussions. As a result, allocating time for studying and actually focusing can be difficult. You need a conducive environment for studying- whether in the house, at a café, or even local library.

Study space will help develop the proper mindset and actually focus. Also, ensure that you have the required software, a strong internet connection and power outlets nearby.

Don’t forget these important features of your study space:

  • Well lit
  • Clutter-free
  • Comfortable
  • Away from noise or disturbances

Plan Your Week Ahead

The flexibility that comes with online studying also bears a cost. If you are not disciplined, you won’t accomplish anything. Your regular schedule outside of schoolwork can take the majority of your days if you let it. That’s why you need to take charge of your commitments by planning. Set aside time ahead for reading, participating in group discussions, and tackling assignments.

Also, go through your schoolwork and figure out how you can prioritize. Some tasks will require more time, while others won’t. You’ll make better use of your time if you assess your syllabus to determine when you will work on particular tasks.

Use a planner and write down things like:

  • Assignment deadlines: paper drafts and submission copies
  • Virtual classes and meetups with educators and academic counselors
  • Other academic activities: group discussions, networking meetups, etc.

Devise a Routine Using a Schedule

When it comes to online learning, there’s usually no such thing as a routine. This freedom that comes with studying asynchronously online can sometimes lead to procrastination and laziness. Therefore, it falls upon you to develop a daily routine for tackling assignments and studying for your units. Start with making a daily schedule and to-do list and try to be consistent about following it.

Break Up Your Coursework

Some courses and even assignment might seem intimidating at first glance. And, you may be hard-pressed when scheduling them within your tight schedule. An excellent tip to managing your time and accomplishing things is to break up your coursework. Check what you’ve got to cover and break it down into sizeable parts that you can cover at different times.

Come Up with a Work-Life-Study Balance

You need to formulate an excellent work-study program, especially if you’ve got to attend online learning sessions and still show up at work. To develop a well-balanced plan that keeps you from wearing down, arrange your time to focus on these three essentials- school, job, and your personal life.

Go for a simple schedule that is easy to follow. And remember to pay utmost attention to every area of life at each moment.

Overcome the Urge to Multitask

Refrain from multitasking when studying online. Often, doing this undermines your productivity, making the learning process ineffective. Always focus on a single study activity at any given moment, for example, revising for a test, reading a section in a book, or attending a Skype appointment.

How do you plan your undertakings to avoid multitasking? To overcome this habit, many people recommend that you plan your activities according to importance. The first 3 or 4 time-sensitive and important tasks should come at the top of your list. Feel free to use various project management tools to enhance your focus.

Get Enough Rest & Start Your Day Early

Do you get enough rest? Do you wake up early? As a student, you need always to be well-rested and, better yet, an early riser to make the most out of your academic pursuits. How can you achieve both of these? To get enough rest and still wake up early, you must get to bed early and ensure that you get some quality sleep.

Today, many online programs allow for much flexibility, making it quite easy to extend your day well into the night to accommodate various activities. While this might seem ideal initially, this habit often wears down even the most hardworking of learners. Without enough rest, your memory and learning capabilities are undermined.

Stay ahead of your studies by getting a full night’s sleep throughout your online course. Try formulating a sleeping schedule that allows you to sleep for at least 8 hours each night and wake up around the same time each day.

Figure Out What Distracts You & Avoid it

What takes your attention when it’s study time? Whether it’s entertainment, social media, or a neighborhood gossip site, it’s best to identify and address it. Distractions tend to undermine the learning process by taking up your focus. As such, you can miss out on important concepts, making you waste a lot of time to understand.

If your distractions are on the internet, you could use website blockers such as KeepMeOut. Such tools will help you stay off social media or other platforms during study time.

Taking an online course remains an excellent idea for anyone who wishes to further their education. To make sure the process is as beneficial as possible, one must take command of the learning process right from the start. The tips in this article will go a long way in ensuring that your studying is effective.

Student Life

6 Great Places to Study on Campus

November 3, 2020

Studying is a must in college. It’s how you turn those grades into a degree. Unfortunately, studying can sometimes be a hassle to your busy schedule. Also, finding a quiet place to study and keep you focused can be an issue. Typically, it’s hard to study in your dorm or your apartment with all the distractions around you. You may want to hang out with your friends or watch some Netflix. However, you have to get up and start studying!

Here are some of the best places to study on your campus:

Outside

Studying Outside

Depending on the weather outside, studying under a tree or at a picnic bench can be the perfect study area. You can enjoy the outdoor weather while studying your notes and getting your homework done.  If you don’t want a lot of noise where you’re at, try finding a place on campus away from the dorms where you can study.

Empty Classrooms

Empty Classroom

Another area to study is in an empty classroom. Generally, by the end of the day, most teachers and students will be out of the classrooms. This is your chance to study in a classroom where no one else can distract you and you can get some excellent studying done.

Campus Coffee Shops

Campus Coffee Shop

If you don’t mind some background noise, coffee shops throughout campus can be a perfect option for studying and getting homework done. The coffee shop will typically be full of students ordering coffee to wake them up for homework, but you can take advantage of the lively atmosphere inside and get some homework done. This is also a perfect place to meet up with classmates to share notes and go over what happened in your lecture.

Dining Halls

Dining Halls

Just like the campus coffee shop, your local dining hall can be another option for getting work accomplished. Most college students are hungry, and what better way to study and eat as much food as possible. You can meet up with group members or friends to discuss projects and homework with them.

Campus Library

College Library

The most obvious option is the campus library. Everyone goes to the library for peace and quiet. It’s a distraction-free zone to get all your work done. Your library will usually have study rooms or quiet floors. Take advantage of the study rooms! You can rent one for a certain amount of time and its a great option to getting a lot of work done without distractions. Watch out during finals week in the library. Hoards of students will come to study and it might be a distraction for you. Try renting out a room a week or more in advance so you’ll be guaranteed to study without the distraction of all the new students in the library.

Graduate Libraries

Graduate Library

If the campus library is too crowded or distracting for you, try going to one of the graduate libraries on campus (business, law, medical). You’ll be able to find nicer furniture and study areas and be less likely to run into anyone you may know. Also, some larger universities have smaller libraries spread throughout campus and these can be quieter areas for getting much-needed studying done.

If you want to find more ideas of places to study, click on these links!

Best 10 Places to Study on a College Campus

How to Find Great Study Spots on Your Campus

The Best Places to Study on Campus

Sources:

http://collegelife.about.com/od/academiclife/a/10PlacestoStudy.htm

Career Other

The World is My Classroom: Strategies for Online Learning Success

February 11, 2020

Learning never ends. It may be an old saying, but it’s one that’s taking on new resonance in today’s technological age. We now have more information at our fingertips than ever before in human history. Whether you are 20, 40, 60, or older, if you want to keep up and remain professionally relevant and cognitively sharp, you have to continually refine your existing skills and work to develop new ones.

That may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The great news is that today’s technology makes it easier than ever to advance your education or pursue new professional certifications no matter where you are or how busy you may be. There are online courses and academic programs, for example, at most every level, from basic skills to Ph.D. and Ed.D.

However, before you decide to enroll in an online course, it’s important to remember that e-learning is every bit as rigorous as a traditional, on-campus study. In fact, the time commitment may be even greater because you don’t have the benefit of attending a physical class to prove your participation. If you’re self-motivated and ready to commit, though, online courses can be the ideal solution, especially for busy working adults with families. However, to thrive in online courses, you need a bit of strategy.

Make It Work

If you’re considering taking online courses, there are a few study habits you need to embrace to get the most out of your learning experience and save yourself a lot of stress. Here are some highlights:

  • Get your tech in order: There is nothing worse than enrolling in an online course, only to find you don’t have the kind of equipment you need to use all functions of the online course effectively. While many online learning management systems (LMS) will enable you to access all course features from a cell phone or tablet, that’s not always the case, so make sure that your tech is compatible with your online course.
  • Check your access: You can’t very well be successful in an online course if you don’t have reliable internet access, so make sure you always have a Plan B, such as access to a local Wi-Fi hot spot should your internet go out. Many libraries, coffee shops, and fast-food restaurants provide free Wi-Fi but are careful about the security of the network. Have a reliable and efficient way to send and receive documents and other files without losing the formatting you need. Various kinds of PDF converters are available online to make sharing well-formatted documents a breeze.
  • Study every day: When you are taking an online course, it can be easy to put off until tomorrow what you need to be doing today. After all, you don’t have regular class meetings and your teacher’s appraising stare to keep you on schedule. In an online course, though, the work can mount up very, very quickly. To manage an online class without becoming overwhelmed, it’s better to study a bit every day than to try to cram it all in a once or twice week panicked study session.
  • Do NOT isolate: One of the most dispiriting and detrimental things an online student can do is isolate. It can be easy to feel lonely when you are taking online courses but remember you are NOT alone. There is an entire classroom full of students on the other side of the computer screen, not to mention your professor and advisors. Reach out to them early and often. That is why they’re there!

Learning should always be constant and consistent. So whether you are wanting to get a new degree, or simply trying to learn a new language through an online course; as long as you follow these tips from GradGuard, you will definitely be set up for success.

Other Student Life

6 College Campus ‘Lifehacks’ that Often Slip Under the Radar

November 21, 2019

College can be an overwhelming experience. Class schedules, living in a dorm for four years, and generally setting up a life away from home can be an intimidating prospect. If you’re preparing for life on campus, here are some less-well-known tips to give you a leg up on the challenges.

1. Get the Right Cooking Gear

It’s common knowledge that cooking your own food can save money on campus, but who has time for that every day? Besides, you can’t install an oven in a dorm room. If you want to keep your food costs down, consider getting an Instant Pot or a slow cooker to help make mealtimes quick and easy.

2. Wield Your Student Loans Wisely

Student loans are for more than just classes and books. In fact, you can use them for pretty much any of life’s necessities. The keyword here is necessities. Entertainment and spring break trips don’t count. However, if you’re in a financial pinch, consider using your loans to cover:

  • Student housing
  • Meal plans
  • Groceries
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous school fees

3. Record Lectures

Sometimes lectures are recorded for you. Other times, it’s not allowed at all. For every other situation, you may want to use your smartphone to record your professors, especially during classes with information you know you’ll want to reference in the future. This is an underutilized option that can be invaluable when it comes time to study later on. Many times questions on the test are pulled directly from a lecture, so listening to lectures during commutes or during study time allows you to be more freshly prepared than if you had just taken notes.

4. Take a Parking Stroll

It can be easy to buckle under the pressure to pay for that outrageously priced parking pass. However, you may be able to work around it. Take a preliminary stroll around campus and look for places where you may be able to cash in on some free parking. You may even get a little exercise out of the trek.

5. Don’t Limit Your Study Spots

Even if you’re a creature of habit, it’s good to take time to scout out a variety of ideal studying locations, like:

  • The campus library
  • A local community library
  • A coffee shop
  • Your dorm room
  • The student union
  • The great outdoors

If you have several different places available, you can tailor each study session depending on things like the weather, your mood, what you’re studying, and your study buddies.

6. Space Out Your Study Time

For students, cramming is common. So is burning the candle at both ends. In fact, unhealthy academic studying behaviors are stereotypical and too often praised by college students. Don’t fall victim to the hype. Make sure to space out your study time as much as possible. Your brain will thank you for the opportunity to rest in between sessions.

Surviving the College Experience

College is full of challenges. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you encounter a professor on a bad day, run into financial issues, or upend your schedule at the end of a semester. 

Arming yourself with lesser-known lifehacks like these can make a world of a difference as you try to go with the flow. They can help you keep your grades up, your professors happy, your finances in order, and your brain sane.

Bio:  Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Other Student Life

How to Find Your Perfect Study Spot

August 15, 2019

As a college student, it is important to figure out how to effectively study. This is a crucial aspect of finding success in college. There are many options for places to study on and off-campus and it is helpful to figure out what works best for you. Here are some options to consider when looking for your perfect study spot:

The Library

This is a classic option for students who are seeking a quiet place to study. Your school’s library may contain different areas for those who prefer different levels of silence. The library may also have different resources such as tutoring and study rooms available to students. This is a great option for many students but is far from the only place on campus to study.

The Student Union

This is a great option for students who are looking for a more lively place to study. If you prefer more background noise this may be the place for you. If you go to your student union, there will most likely be many tables, chairs, and couches for you to study at. Your student union likely gets very busy, so you may have to figure out the best time for you to go. One downside to this study spot is that it may be distracting if you run into lots of people that you know and are easily caught up in conversation. 

Your Dorm Room

This spot can be a hit or miss depending on your situation. If you have a roommate this may not be the best option. It can also be an issue if you are studying on your bed and not a desk as you may be more prone to falling asleep. If you desire privacy when studying this may be a good choice. This may also be a good option on days when you are feeling sick or don’t have the energy to leave your dorm. 

A Local Coffee Shop

A coffee shop is a great choice for students who have a desire to study somewhere off-campus. Depending on your location, there may be many choices near campus. It can be fun to explore your area and hunt for the best local coffee shops. Many students find it helpful to go off campus to study in order to better concentrate and find motivation.

Outside

When the weather is nice, it could be a great change of pace to study amongst nature. Find some friends and scope out a nice patch of grass on campus or travel to a local park to soak up some sun. Be careful when studying outside because although it may be a good option for some it could be distracting for others. 

Throughout the semester, it could be helpful to try out different locations to figure out what works best for you before finals season begins. There are many options that extend beyond this list that may be available to you depending on your college. Have a fun time testing out different study spots and studying strategies

Check out GradGuard for more information on how to make the most out of your college experience and follow us on social media @gradguard to stay up to date on new information.

Health Other

Five Ways to Reduce Exam Stress

April 23, 2019

When it comes to exams, everyone deals with the apprehension we feel in different ways. There are people who just breeze through exams and studying with seemingly little effort. But for the majority of us, when an exam approaches, stress levels can run high.

If left unmanaged, the stress of studying and preparation can leave us drained and burnt out, leaving little energy for the exam itself. So it’s useful beforehand to start preparing to prepare. Preparing isn’t only about cramming knowledge in before the big day, but ensuring that mentally we are in the right place when we sit down to write our paper or take the exam. Here are five handy tips to ensure that you make the best of your preparation time.

Write It All Out

When it comes to stress, we can tend to have a habit of letting our internal dialogue dictate our mood. We catch ourselves sitting in front of our books or computers, staring vacantly into space, and before we know it an hour has gone by and we’ve achieved nothing, driving us further into stress. Sometimes we see this as a character flaw which is holding us back, that we’re easily distracted or spend too much time ‘daydreaming’.

But these moments of reflection are our way of attempting to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem. If you find yourself slipping into the cycle of internal questioning, it’s a good idea to get a pen and write it all down. In the act of writing it down, we are both affirming our worries and issues and addressing them. In the act of writing, we have put our worries at a distance, so that we can analyze them and group them into tangible subjects that can be addressed.

Schedule Your Time

Having written down what issues you might be facing, it’s important to get into the habit of organizing them into time-specific tasks. To-do lists and prioritization tasks are central to time-management skills, and once used effectively can come in very useful in our careers. But it also helps us to visualize our end goals in a more realistic way.

Planning out each task and the time you give it can be time-consuming in itself. Although you should attempt to stay on schedule, you should also understand that some flexibility isn’t a bad thing, and you need to make time for self-care and relaxation.

Take Regular Breaks

Part of self-care is to take regular breaks, so make sure you put some time for breaks in your schedule. Burnout from stress is detrimental to your health and wellness. Spending time reading or in front of a computer for long periods can cause undue strain on your eyes, leading to headaches. It’s also unhealthy to stay inside for too long. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks outside can lower stress levels, even if these breaks are as short as five minutes.

“Taking regular breaks means that you can return to your revision with a clear head, seeing your tasks with fresh eyes,” says Sue McCluskey, author at LetsGoAndLearn and Viawriting, “Seeing the task ahead in a new light helps mitigate the stress it may cause.”

Eat Well

Hunger can be distracting. When we crave food, our cortisol levels go up and we get stressed. If we wait too long, we end up carb loading or binging on sweets. A good way of combatting this scenario is to keep ourselves well stocked with healthy, stress-busting snacks and drinks.

Eating too much sugar or caffeine will actually increase your stress levels, so before you go and buy that energy drink, try opting for green or black tea instead. Ditch the gummy sweets and instead opt for some pistachios or blueberries – equally as snackable but better for you in terms of stress and brain power.

Sleep Well

At one time or another, we all end up ‘burning the midnight oil’. We believe that in order to maximize efficiency we have to extend our day into the early hours of the morning. “Sleep is crucial to performance,” says Robert P Russell, contributor to Studydemic and Academized, “Reducing how long we sleep affects our productivity as well as our health.”

Studies have shown that lacking sleep is a sure way to increase your stress levels, and in turn, stress can affect your sleeping patterns. Getting stuck in this cycle is a sure way to ruin your exam preparations and will affect your performance during the exam itself; but don’t worry! With these tips from GradGuard, your exam season should be a little easier.

BIO: Chloe Bennet writes for Revieweal and State Of Writing on a range of subjects such as education and finance. As an expert on administrative support management, she enjoys writing for Essayroo.

Career Other

Tips to Improve Testing Performance

April 3, 2019

No matter how confident you may be, final exams are almost certain to provoke anxiety. Your performance on these tests is crucial to your academic standing, and the opportunity for do-overs is rare to nonexistent. That’s why you may be stressed out, even if you understand the material. But letting it overwhelm you could lead to serious issues. You might begin to second-guess yourself, lose sleep or forget the things you spent so much time studying. This is why it’s a good strategy for students to embrace a proven routine to prepare for tests and manage stress.

Taking care of your body can be almost as beneficial as studying when it comes to improving your performance on midterms or finals. That’s because your physical state can have a significant impact on your ability to memorize, think and reason. Neglecting to take care of your health and well-being could result in your brain functioning at less than full capacity. Getting plenty of sleep, eating right, and drinking enough water can all boost your test-taking abilities and maybe even help you attain better grades.

For example, many students don’t realize that proper hydration is crucial to their performance at exam time. Dehydration can lead to irritability, fatigue, and lethargy — all of which will keep you from doing your best work. People who drink a bottle of water while taking an exam perform slightly better than those who don’t, according to research. Good nutrition also can play an important role in how well you’ll do on your tests. That’s because the brain uses as much as 20 percent of the body’s daily energy needs. Eating healthy can help you remain alert and energetic, so you won’t falter during the marathon that is finals week.

Given how important grades can be to your future, you need to be at your best during testing time. Don’t let bad habits like filling up with junk food or sleeping poorly hurt your chances to succeed. See the following tips you can use to reduce stress and ensure that you’ll be firing on all cylinders during exams.

Breathing Techniques

It is scientifically proven that using proper breathing techniques can help improve the ability to retain information while studying and taking an exam. While you are studying, take a deep breath through your nostrils, then hold for 3-5 seconds. Then, exhale for 1-2 seconds.

Proper Rest

It is important to sleep well before an exam, as your mind responds more quickly and efficiently when it is well rested. In turn, there is no need to stay up all night trying to “cram” information. Make sure you are attempting to get at least 8 hours of sleep before an exam. Try to set your alarm 1 hour before the time you need to actually wake up. This way, you can benefit from hitting the snooze button a couple times in order to feel more rested.

Hydration

Researchers have found that those who drink a bottle of water during their exam have scored an average of 5% higher than those who don’t. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish, irritable and tired. Bring a bottle of water to your finals. Your brain will thank you!

Healthy Diet

Although the brain is one of the smallest organs in the body, it can use up to 20% of the energy we need every day. By having the right foods and drinks to energize your system, they can improve attentiveness and help sustain you through many exam hours. On the contrary, making the wrong dietary choices can make you feel slow and tired. It’s important not to skip meals — especially breakfast. After waking up, your body hasn’t had any food for several hours during sleep. Breakfast can give you the energy you need to start the day right.

*Opt for healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, popcorn, fruit scones, dried fruit, yogurt or nuts to keep you going throughout the day.

Testing season is definitely a stressful one, but as long as you remember these tips from GradGuard, it will be smooth sailing!

Author bio: Dr. Kenya Grooms is a clinical psychologist and Dean of Student Affairs at MacCormac College, the oldest two-year, private, nonprofit institution in Illinois. MacCormac offers educational programs for court reporting, criminal justice, business administration and more. Dr. Grooms has written and presented about family life, international partnerships, personal resilience, support services for non-traditional students and many other topics in psychology.

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Basic Research Skills for Academic Success

March 5, 2019

As a student, you are no stranger to the value of assignments within your academic journey. Assignments are an integral part of every student’s college life and it’s essential to be an expert on writing these. However, most of the time, students can have a knack for writing but get stuck during the research process.

Research is quite an important step of the assignment process. In fact, it is the basic step of composing a good quality essay. For academic success, excellent research skills are quite important and students must polish them to improve and maintain their good grades. Here a few tips to help you.

Categorization and Summarization

The internet is a sea of information. However, you can’t use all of it. Additionally, there is information on almost every topic in the world. You need to know how to categorize the information appropriately according to your assignment topic. After that, you need to summarize the information so you can fit it into your word count along with complimenting all the other relevant requirements.

Critical Thinking

When you are doing an assignment, the whole purpose of it is to form new conclusions and add in a new set of information in the existing one. Therefore, it’s very important for you to think critically so you can form new ideas and also look at the existing information from a new perspective.

Analytical Thinking

Similarly, you must know how to analyze and then use the information for your own papers. There’s a ton of information available on the internet and since not everything can be used. It’s essential that you’re able to analyze different sources and can form an opinion on the quality of the information.

Clear Explanations

Not everyone can easily write out their thoughts and explain them to others. However, if you’re not good at explaining your point you won’t be able to convey your understanding through assignments which can automatically affect your grades. So, it’s important that you have the explanation skills that can help convey your thoughts and understanding into words, in turn letting your teachers easily grade your assignments.

Academic success is important as it could affect a person’s future career. You can’t risk it for anything and the wise thing to do is to polish your research skills, which will help improve your college grades. Don’t forget to follow GradGuard on social media for all of your Tuesday tips and college hacks!

BIO:The professional researcher Mitchell Starc is a qualified writer at Best Cheap Essay Writing Service – 7DollarEssay as well. He has been serving the writing industry for the past 15 years and has expertise in writing on almost all the subjects.