Tag Archives: Tips

USMLE Step 1 Exam Prep – 4 High-Yield Brachial Plexus Tips For The Step 1 Exam

While many people preparing for their USMLE Step 1 exams tend to focus on the tougher subjects like Pathology and Pharmacology, it is imperative that you do a good review of your Anatomy material because you are guaranteed to get a few really easy questions. If you take just a little bit of time to go through the high-yield anatomy notes from your review books or course, you are going to get an easy 5-7 points on your exam, which as you may know can be the difference between a sub-200 score and an above-200 score.

In order to make this process as easy for you as possible, I am going to outline five common injuries that are related to the brachial plexus, which is a very high-yield USMLE topic.

Here we go:

Median Nerve Injury – this commonly results from an injury to the supracondyle of the humerus, and results in a loss of the following:

– forearm pronation

– wrist flexion

– finger flexion

– thumb movement

And it also results in a loss of sensation to the thumb, lateral aspect of the palm, and the first 2.5 fingers.

Radial Nerve Injury – this occurs commonly when there is an injury to the shaft of the humerus, and results in the following:

– loss of triceps reflex

– loss of brachioradialis reflex

– loss of carpi radialis longus

These symptoms lead to the commonly known “wrist drop”, as well as a loss of sensation to the posterior antebrachial cutaneous and the posterior brachial cutaneous nerves.

Ulnar Nerve Injury – this occurs with injury to the medial epicondyle of the humerus, and causes the following problems:

– impaired flexion and adduction of the wrist

– impaired adduction of the ulnar two fingers and the thumb

There is also a loss of sensation to the medial aspect of the palm, as well as loss of sensation to the medial half of the ring finger and the pinky.

Axillary Nerve Injury – occurs as a result of injury to the surgical neck of the humerus and/or an anterior dislocation of the shoulder, resulting in the following:

– complete loss of deltoid movement

– loss of sensation over the deltoid muscle as well as the skin covering the inferior aspect of the deltoid

These are four common brachial plexus related injuries, and are very likely to present themselves on your USMLE Step 1 and/or Step 2 CK exams. Be aware that they will be disguised as clinical vignettes, but also refer back to your basic knowledge in order to choose the most accurate answer.

New Teacher Tips on Dealing With Discipline Problems

Discipline problems is a fact of every new teacher’s life. The most important thing to remember is to avoid entering a panic mode and attempt to regain class control. Make the most of your time in the classroom by finding ways to deal with problems instead of becoming stressed by them. Discipline problems usually come as a threat to their ability to manage the classroom. But you as the new teacher there are a number of important ways to deal with discipline problems.

The first thing is to look at your lesson plan and incorporate the following tips:

1) Have a motivating lesson plan. Students usually act up when they are frustrated or bored. Keep the momentum in the classroom lively and energizing by providing engaging activities that the students will be motivated to do. The level of the activities should be challenging but no too difficult. If you are motivated to teach, your students will be too.

2) Have a back-up plan when activities do not go as planned. Some activities fall through for many reasons, and you’ll need some S.O.S. kits for those unpredictable moments.

3) Be flexible. Success with managing a classroom is dependent on how well you are adapt to new classroom situations as they pop up. Inevitably, new teachers need to think fast and change an activity or regroup students or deal with a problematic student after the lesson.

4) Keep updated on new methodologies and learning approaches and experiment with new activities. Some methodologies and approaches may not appeal to each and every class, and as a result, discipline problems may occur.

Practice these tips for preventing discipline problems and soon you’ll be making the most of your lesson planning and classroom management time, too.

Three EMBA Program Survival Tips

Once you decide that you need to go through an EMBA program, you have to prepare yourself for the experience. The biggest mistake many executive students make is to assume that the program won’t be that difficult, since the hours tend to be part time. What they fail to realize is that juggling any MBA program with a full time career and possibly a family life and personal life can be stressful and exhausting. The following tips are designed to get you off on the right foot so you know how to survive the next year or two of study.

1. Choose your program according to hours and program structure, not just reputation.

When you went through degree programs in the past, you probably considered the reputation of the school before you thought about anything else. While that still remains important when getting your EMBA, you have to give more thought to the structure of the program you select this time around.

You probably have a lot more going on in your life this time, since you are now working full time and may have more serious personal relationships or even a family to take care of now. This means you need a program that will fit into your lifestyle in a reasonable manner. It may not be entirely comfortable or easy, but it should be possible to juggle other responsibilities while going through the program.

It doesn’t matter how reputable a program is if you cannot possibly meet all requirements of the program right now. Find something that fits your life right now.

2. Be realistic about what you will have to give up in order to make it through the program.

The EMBA is designed just for working professionals like yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to sacrifice to get through the program. Once you know what the schedule will be for the program, figure out your schedule and take account of what you may have to give up to make it through the program.

For example, you may have to give up watching your child’s football games or being home on time for dinner every night. You may have to sacrifice weekends to be in the classroom while spending weekdays locked in the office at work.

If you are mentally prepared for these sacrifices going into the program, you will handle the stress much better. It is when these things come as a surprise that EMBA students struggle emotionally.

3. Keep your mind open to learn new things and expand your skill set.

Too many EMBA candidates come into the program thinking they have at least a few years of working experience in the business world and they already know it all. They feel like the degrees they have already achieved and their work experience has already prepared them for a successful career in management or even at the corporate level. They have closed minds and do not get the most out of their programs.

Whether you are going into your EMBA program on your own ambition or you have been required to undertake the degree by your employer, acknowledge that you still have a lot to learn. No matter how far you climb up the ladder at work, there is always something more to work. Keep your mind open and you will get more out of your time studying.

ACT Or SAT? Five Tips to Pick the Right College Entrance Exam

The SAT and ACT are both respected, nationally-recognized tests. Historically, there’s been a geographic divide between the two; nowadays, very few colleges require or prefer one test over the other. So which one should you take? Well, since you can’t really say one test is any easier than the other, that all depends on your skills and preferences. Basically, you should go for the one you’ll score higher on!

Here are some tips to help you make your decision:

1. Who says size doesn’t matter?

The ACT is a shorter test. The SAT takes a whopping 3 hours, 45 minutes, while the ACT comes out to a hefty 2 hours, 55 minutes, making the SAT about 30% longer than the ACT. Either way, you’re stuck taking a long test. If you have a ridiculously short attention span, then the ACT might be right for you, but realistically, after nearly 3 hours, why sweat an extra 50 minutes?

2. When in doubt, just guess… right?

The SAT has a guessing penalty – minus a quarter of a point for each incorrect response. Not so with the ACT. Guess away! So you should answer every question on the ACT, but on the SAT, you should just leave the answer blank when you can’t eliminate at least one answer choice. Does this make the SAT “harder”? Not really. With the right strategies, you can even make the SAT’s guessing penalty work to your advantage.

3. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s superscore!

The SAT reports each of your three “subscores” separately-one each for critical reading, writing, and mathematics. So, many colleges will combine your best three subscores from all the times you’ve taken the SAT to make a “superscore.” In the past, schools would not do this with the ACT. Recently, however, many schools have begun to make ACT “superscores” too.

4. What is the difference anyway?

Both tests have a grammar, reading comprehension, essay and math portions. The ACT has an extra “science” section, but don’t worry. I used quotes because it’s really just another test of your reasoning skills – not much chemistry, physics or biology knowledge needed. Broadly speaking, the ACT tests skills that you (should have) learned in high school, while the SAT tries to evaluate your innate problem-solving abilities.

For example, the ACT math section tests a few topics that typically aren’t covered until pre-calculus. While the SAT leaves out these topics, its math problems generally have more complicated setups.

The ACT’s essay is optional, but some colleges require it anyway. Its essay topics are always questions of school policy, while the SAT’s essays deal with more abstract moral or philosophical issues.

In the critical reading sections, the SAT’s vocabulary is harder, but the ACT taxes your critical reading and analysis skills. The ACT English section gives you a couple of long passages with grammar and critical reading questions mixed together; the SAT tests reading and grammar separately.

5. You can’t know if you like it till you’ve tried it!

How do I know which test is better for me? Try them! Take some free practice tests online and see which one fits your fancy. Both the SAT and ACT offer practice questions or tests on their official websites.

New Teachers – Lecture Tips That Will Keep Students Interested

You’ve all seen the Charlie Brown episode where the teacher is lecturing and all the students hear is “wa wa wa wa wa wa.” We remember watching that as kids. Unfortunately, seeing this as kids taught us that this was what school was like. Now, as we are adult teachers, we are constantly afraid of becoming the teacher from Charlie Brown. Well, what if we could avoid this? What if we could use this knowledge to create inspiring and organized lectures using Best Practices? I have developed 6 tips for you to help you in creating fun and memorable lectures that will leave your students with long lasting knowledge.

1. Create an objective. We have heard this before from our administrators. Often times we hear this when the administrators come to observe us in the classroom. Write your objective on the board! Say it at the beginning of class! Say it at the end of class! Well, they’re right! By telling the students what they are to be learning and why they are learning, they are more apt to pay attention and way more apt to remember what you’re talking about. It will also help them when coming up with what they should actually be writing down.

2. Have your students do something productive. Your students should not be just sitting there. If you are engaged in best practices, your students should be doing something active with their learning while they are listening to your lecture. More often than not, this means that they will need to be taking notes. But give them structure. Maybe this meaning Cornell notes or maybe it’s powernotes. It’s your call!

3. Break it up. Break your lecture up into different segments. I would say no more than 4 or 5. This way, those who have difficulties processing long bits of information will be able to compartmentalize what you are telling them easier.

4. Separate the sections with different activities. Throughout your lecture, break up your talking by having the students do different activities. For example, have students turn to a near by partner and repeat the top 5 parts of the lecture they have heard so far. Doing this will help them to remember because they are actively participating.

5. Have them repeat through questioning. As you lecture, don’t just talk. Question your students. Question them on different background knowledge that they will know information about. Tapping into this will help them to succeed in acquiring new knowledge.

6. Wrap it up effectively. At the end of your lecture have your students do something with the information. Perhaps its a quick little quiz on the board. Perhaps they will write a paragraph summary.

Whatever you lecture about, make sure to follow these 6 tips to have your students remain actively engaged. This will increase their knowledge and participation. No Charlie Brown Effect here!

5 Great SAT Tips – What to Expect on Test Day

1. Start Preparing Early

To get the most out of SAT prep, you should start early. In fact, many National Merit Scholars-who usually score above 2100 on the SAT-begin preparing for the PSAT and SAT the summer before they become sophomores so they can make the most of the PSAT they have the option to take that year. Don’t start wondering whether or not third-order polynomials will be included in the math section the week before. Create a plan! If you need more structure or guidance, consider SAT prep classes, private tutoring, or an online course.

2. Dress Well

Think about this: the thermostat at the testing center on the morning of the test is likely to be set by someone just as groggy as you. You don’t want to trust them with your comfort-and shivering while you bubble is a sure way to “make a stray mark.” Avoid this by dressing in layers of comfortable clothing so you can adjust to your surroundings easily.

3. Be On Time

The College Board is not happy when you’re late to an SAT. To them, late is showing up after they’ve closed the doors to the testing rooms-between 8:30 and 9:00 am. In fact, their official policy states that late students will not be admitted to the testing center and will have to reschedule to take the test. Of course, there is a $24 fee for that. It’s fine if you don’t want to reschedule, but the fee you paid to take the test is nonrefundable. That’s $47 gone to waste. How do you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Show up before 7:45 am, as the College Board recommends. A few days before the test, map out a route to your testing center and make sure you’re familiar with it. If you’re particularly bad with directions, you might want to practice getting there-just think of it as another thing to study.

4. You Are Getting Very Sleepy…

Falling asleep during the SAT: fail. You could nap during one of the five-minute breaks you get, but we doubt it would do you any good. Instead, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before the SAT. Caffeine in the morning-be it coffee or an energy drink-might be a good idea, but if you should avoid it if you aren’t accustomed to it. Too much caffeine can lead to jitters and, ironically enough, difficulty concentrating.

5. Oops! I Did It Again…

If you mess up, don’t worry: In 2009, the College Board introduced Score Choice, which allows you to select which test scores you want to send to a college on your score report. It is an optional service; if you do not elect to use it, all of your scores will be included on your score reports. Though it allows you to not disclose poor scores to the schools when applying, you should check your institution’s policy on SAT score reporting-often it is helpful to report all of your scores.

5 Tips to Buy Children’s Apps

With the festival season not very far away, many children are about to receive electronic gifts from their family and relatives. The good news is that apps have emerged as a promising tool to support literacy in general, and science, mathematics and life skills. The challenge for parents is to pick up the right app, more so, if the child has autism spectrum disorder or has special needs.

#1 The education and entertainment combo

Kids learn when they’re engaged. Educational apps like Just Match or Math on the Farm forge a perfect balance between learning and engagement. The Math on the Farm app teaches mathematics skills in a fun way. Here, the child has to answer multiple-choice type questions to score points. The stories in the app are themed on a farm that has flowers, vegetables, domestic animals, and cattle. Bright colors and interactive animation are the highlights of this app. It’s important that the child learns by playing and the Math on the Farm app does just that.

#2 Play with your child

Studies have shown that children learn better if parents join the fun. Take an active role and choose and app that’s likely to hold your kid’s attention. The Just Match app could be perfect for you. This fun educational app teaches matching skills, where you’ll be shown to game figures and an outline which matches only one of them. You’ve to drag and match the figure with the outline. A lively animation will hail your efforts every time you match correctly.

#3 Select appropriate games

Determine whether a fun educational app is correct for your child. Not all four-year old will be equal. So, different apps would appeal to different kids at different times. Ask yourself whether your child will be able to follow the app’s storyline. The touch screen system is a major advancement in the field of communication. Make sure the fun educational app has audio cues and not only words.

#4 Set limits and encourage other playing and learning forms

Well, setting the proper “media diet” is important for your child. It’s almost like balanced food. The more variety, the better it’s for your child. Consider the number of hours the child will spend in front of a screen. A possible rule could be not allowing TV until the homework is complete. The same should apply to a touch screen, unless it’s required in school, which of course is increasingly happening these days.

#5 Download from reliable, trusted sources

Look for established brands that specialize in fun educational apps. Are you comfortable with the app’s characters? Kids imitate popular media characters. Make sure the language and behavior in fun educational apps are appropriate for your kids. Avoid apps that have a lot of violence or are frightening to play. Such apps may have an adverse impact on the child’s mind. The Math on the Farm and Just Match app can fit the bill perfectly. These two apps are sensitive to children’s needs, and are among the best fun educational apps around.

Fast Track Ivy League Admissions Tips

The Ivy League is an athletic union of American educational institutes based in the north-east of The States including Harvard, Yale and Columbia University. Many people mistakenly believe MIT and Stanford are members of this union. While we reference these institutes in this article, they are not.

There are a series of factors that will determine your acceptance to the Ivy League or other elite institutes. Here we’ll analyse the best approach. Let’s begin with your GPA.

GPA Requirements

Of course, your GPA is a pillar of your application. But is your application a house of cards without it? Not necessarily. Why is it that some students with 4.0 GPA’s are rejected, while others with sub-3 GPA’s are accepted? Because the value of the courses you took is often of equal value to your result. Because your application needs to demonstrate extra-curricular pedigree.

Your record at school needs to display academic rigor – don’t opt for the easiest courses. A prescribed high school path featuring 4 years of the cornerstone subjects, English, Math and Science, are best complimented with 4 years dedicated to History and learning a foreign language.

That brings us on to Extra-Curriculars.

Those Darn Extra-Curriculars

Meet John. John has a 2.7 grade point average and equally unremarkable SAT results. Although John was never the best student, he excelled in sports, holding the post as captain for his Baseball, Basketball and Football teams, winning awards for his sporting ability. It’s these strengths that secured his place at Harvard. Meanwhile many thousands of students are rejected every year with outstanding academics.

Stories of a sub-3 GPA turned Harvard graduate are the exception, but there’s a moral to this tale. If two students are equal academically, universities like employers, will opt for the candidate who has held leadership roles or displayed an extra-curricular spike. Without these traits, your application will be lost.

Financial Aid

Unfortunately, you’ll have to factor cost into attending your dream school. Fortunately, though, the world’s most prestigious schools are often in possession of the largest financial aid endowments. Consider Harvard which has a financial aid budget of $172,000,000. This aid is reserved for students whose parents are earning under $60,000 per year. The net result means the cost of attending actually matches or bests 90% of other universities. Before preparing your FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you’ll need to know where you stand.

What About Reach Schools?

Universities with low admissions rates, including Harvard and Yale are considered ‘Reach Schools’. A ‘Match School’ is one that has a high probability of acceptance. Identifying reach schools and match schools is smart forward planning.

Perhaps your heart is set on attending Yale. You may dream of being published in Yale Law Review before one day running for Congress. Students negotiate a path towards their dreams every year. Equally there are who students fail to reach the school of their dreams without Plan B. Identify other institutes with a prestigious record of graduating the finest minds in your field.

Post-Graduate Success

When creating a shortlist of schools, it’s wise to assess the post-graduate success student’s are likely to experience. Let’s take MIT. While the US economy struggles and jobs are scare, MIT bucks the trend. Studies demonstrate just 20% of students find employment on graduation. MIT students however, fare better than the national average with on-campus hiring still prevalent.

The idea that your post-graduate success is purely dependent on your education, however, is mistaken. History is shaped by those who defy the rules and define their own route. Be they a Harvard reject Warren Buffet or Princeton reject Ted Turner. So, you don’t need to graduate the Ivy League to be a success… But it helps.

LSAT – 5 Great Tips For LSAT Success

1. It’s All In the Timing

As you flip through a practice LSAT test book, you read the questions and think to yourself, “Yeah, I could answer that question”. But can you answer 20+ of them within 20 minutes? And can you count on yourself not to panic when you hear the proctor shout, “5 minutes left!” Reviewing test-taking strategies and doing practice problems are undoubtedly helpful, but be sure to take full, timed LSAT tests for practice as well. Not only will timing yourself reveal which sections need the most and least work, but it’ll also help you inoculate yourself against the pressures of taking a timed test. The more like the real deal your practice sessions are, the better prepared you will be on your actual test day.

2. Learn From Your Mistakes

Taking practice tests and doing practice problems is a great way to prepare for the LSAT. But in order to get the most out of your practice, it’s important to know not only which questions you missed, but also why you missed them. After all, if you don’t know what mistakes you made, how can you learn from them?

3. One and Done

The LSAT sends a complete record of your LSAT scores to law schools to which you apply. If you’ve taken the test more than once, these law schools will average your scores together and use that score in considering your admission. Don’t try to take the edge off by telling yourself that you can always retake the test — do your best the first time around! Even if you take the test again and get an amazing score, any past, lower scores are going to dull its luster. No pressure or anything.

4. Always Be Prepared

You may have left the Boy Scouts of America behind long ago, but you will most likely never outgrow their universally applicable mantra. Don’t forget to bring everything that you need to bring with you to the testing center. Print out your admissions ticket the night before the exam, and make sure that all the information on the ticket matches what you think — sometimes testing rooms will change with little or no notice. Research and know the route to the testing center so you don’t let test-day jitters throw you off track. Mechanical pencils are not allowed on the LSAT, so bring several fresh No. 2 pencils and a pencil sharpener, as well as several good erasers. It may be helpful to bring a highlighter for close reading and an analog (non-digital) watch for keeping track of time. You can bring a ziplock bag (up to one gallon in size) with you, so cram all that stuff in there and be prepared for anything and everything!

5. Leave No Bubble Behind

There is no penalty for guessing on the LSAT. Obviously, you want to get the answer right, and an educated guess is always better than a shot in the dark, but if you find yourself out of time and with empty bubbles, just fill them in. Your LSAT score is calculated based on the number of correct answers you have, and there are no point deductions for incorrect answers, so leave no bubble behind!

Tips for Imbibing Ethics and Moral Values in Children

Going to school, listening to teachers, going home with a heavy head and finally end up with the roll of a mark sheet. Is that all? Are we among the ones in the rat race, chasing the rolls of certificates without realizing the responsibility that we owe towards the society at large? Certainly not.

We can always contribute our share towards the betterment of the society. Lending a helping hand can be imbibed at home through moral values as they lay a strong foundation in the child’s life. Children usually have the tendency of imitating their elders ( parents, teachers).This will also help you to mould your child as an ideal citizen.

These moral values serve as a magical potion to children as most of the times their parents are their first teachers. Herein, the parents need to have very strong morals in life to be a role model to their child. They need to help the child in figuring out the moral philosophies, moral and immoral nature of deeds, practices and the like kinds. This helps the child to have his/ her opinion based on the moral education imparted to him/her.

Using real life examples becomes an informal way of helping the child understand these ethical issues clearly.

Schools should also share an equal responsibility of inculcating these values in children as schools serve to be the child’s second home. These teachings in school are enforced through formal education that leaves an everlasting impression on the child.

Children absorb all the moral values and ethical issues irrespective of the type of education imparted to them. This helps them to contribute their share in the mere future towards the society.