Six Workouts for your Brain to Prepare for the HSC
Our brains are a multi-faceted production made up of five separate parts, all of which require constant exercise in order to stay sharp. When it comes time for the HSC, everyone is nervous, even those that have worked hard with tutors to properly prepare, yet if all areas of your brain are tuned and ready to go, you will have nothing to fear. These 6 tricks will get you on your way to boosting brainpower.
1. Daily Dose of Games
We all know that preparing for the HSC is a long process that isn’t easy for anyone. Therefore, you deserve to sit back, relax and bust out a board game! There are a wide variety of popular games that not only provide comic relief, but that also work the brain in new ways that count as fundamental brain fitness. Steer clear of games based only on luck, pick those that require strategic planning and thought process in order to win, all of which will help one succeed when problem solving on the HSC.
2. Listen, Write, Read
Taking notes gets our brain working in multiple ways, first we hear it, then we write it, and then later we go back and re-read it. This is a great tool for all styles of learning because it touches all bases while increasing the strength of ones’ memory. For those that are auditory learners, it’s always a good idea to later read your notes aloud. By hearing something, writing it down, and then reading it, we are improving the chances our mind has of remembering something, all because we are exercising multiple parts of our brains to remember it in the first place.
3. Create Your Own Games
Think of any language based game that you know, such as a crossword puzzle; now imagine if this game was full of words likely to show up on the HSC. With a little imagination, and perhaps some help from a parent, this is 100% possible. Creating from scratch or adding onto original games will help students understand and remember key vocabulary, plus this takes it a step above the routine flashcards.
4. What do You See?
This one is fun: focus in on an unfamiliar space for a set amount of time—1 minute, 30 seconds, that parts up to you—then remove yourself from that environment and write down every detail that you can recall. At first you might be surprised to see how off you are about certain details, but with time you will only get better. This is a great mind game because no one needs to know you are playing it, therefore you can test out your memory and work to improve it at the store, or even at a friend’s house!
5. Reverse the Order
Explaining something is a great way to know if you truly understand it or not. When forced to put any information into our own words we begin to comprehend it on a higher level, therefore while instinct is to solely teach students, there are times when students benefit from teaching the material to others as well. As a parent you can let your kids teach you the latest materials, this will help shift information into their long-term memory, where it will be available when needed. Plus, who knows, you might learn something new yourself!
6. Break From the Calculator
Some parts of the HSC do allow the use of a calculator, but don’t let a dependency on technology be the downfall of your score! If you always use a calculator you will unavoidably develop lazy Math skills. In order to have plenty of time when taking a test, it’s adamant one have quick multiplication, addition, and subtraction capabilities. Depending on a calculator for every facet of a problem will really slow one down, or perhaps cause them to make small mistakes that mess up the final answer. Test your students’ mathematical skills by taking away their calculator while they complete a series of problems. When using a calculator we can space out and not think, therefore using your brain to solve problems will give you a workout that calculators never will.