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Reload this page Learning How to Learn

This page has tips on how to learn -- and get certified -- easier and faster. Let me know what you find helpful and what else I could include here.

“I think you should profit from the mistakes of others. You don't live long enough to make them all yourself.” —Lowell Ferguson (airline pilot who once landed on the wrong airport)


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on this page Adventures
on this page Memorization 
on this page Reading 
on this page Preparing for Exams 
on this page Taking Exams 
on this page Scenario Exam Tips 
on this page Response Statements 
on this page Your comments???


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Set this at top of window. Adventure Learning

    Bill and Helen Thayer exploring the Artic

    Assiduus usus uni rei deditus et ingenium et artem saepe vincit. Latin for “Constant practice devoted to one subject often outdoes both intelligence and skill” —Cicero (M. Tullius Cicero)


    Theme music from "Raiders of the Lost Arc"

    Feed a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you get rid of him for the whole day!

    My mom told me how she learned to swim. Someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. That's how she learned how to swim. I said, “Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'” —Paula Poundstone

    “As long as there are tests, there will be prayeranother page on this site in schools.”

    “Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” —Leo Buscaglia

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Set this at top of window. How to Memorize Anything

    Each of us learns in a different way. Each of us has a preferred style of learning. We have an easier time learning if we use our natural strengths.

    Bombard ALL your senses — seeing, hearing, talking, smelling, touching.

    1. KINESTHETICS: Write or type what you have to remember on a card.
    2. CONCEPTUALS: Find where the information fits in an outline.
    3. CONCEPTUALS: Read what is around it to understand the context.
    4. CONCEPTUALS: Find examples of how it is used.
    5. VISUALS: Close your eyes and from memory see the words in your head.
    6. VISUALS: Post the card up in several places (refrigerator door, computer screen, mirror, briefcase, etc.)
    7. VISUALS: Carry the card with you and look at it several times a day.
    8. VERBALS: Say the words out loud whenever you see the card.
    9. KINESTHETICS Movement: Learn how the deaf use sign language for the words.
    10. AUDITORY Sound: Tape record the words and play it back on a portable casette player (while you are driving, etc.).
    11. SMELL: Get scented markers and mark up the words.
      • Purple - grape - person's name
      • Brown - cinnemon - physical object (house, car, etc.)
      • Blue - blueberry - inputs of time or money
      • Cyan - mint - place name
      • Green - apply - action or process
      • Orange - orange - adjective, description
      • Red - cherry - documents or outputs
      • Black - licorice - moral or lesson learned


    Ask a pre-school or Kindergarden teacher for ways to make learning fun.

    Knowledge fills a large brain; it merely inflates a small one. —Anon.

    “The more I advance, the more clearly I perceive that the greatest human knowledge amounts to a more pompous proof of our ignorance, by showing us how little we know about anything.” —John Newton

    “I always have trouble remembering three things: faces, names, and - I can't remember what the third thing is.” —Fred Allen

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Set this at top of window. Reading

  • Every January, the American Library Association awards its Newbery Medal to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. and its Caldecott Medal to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
  • The Children's Literature Web Guide is so great, it's the only starting point you'll need on Children's Lit.
  • The Pulitzer Prize is annually awarded for various aspects of journalism, plus books and music. It is widely considered as journalism's highest honor, founded by the publisher Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) in a bequest to Columbia University.
  • The Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • The New York Times Best Seller List - Fiction and Nonfiction in Hardback, trade, and paperback formats for adults and children.
  • BookWeb - American Booksellers Association features book news and events, research and statistics, bestseller lists and a bookstore directory.
  • BookWire - Find thousands of links to book-related homepages. Includes complete texts and reviews of titles.

Message on a leaflet:

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Set this at top of window. Why Take Practice Exams

    'Christina's World' by Andrew Wyeth, 1948.  Get this print framed on your wall!
    Get this print framed for your wall!
    Answering practice questions provide more than just the correct answer.

    Comfort with thinking

    Reading through sample quesions just for the answers is a bad habit because during the actual exam you will instictively expect answers and feel uncomfortable. Be conscious of the logic you use to settle on an answer. Will you be able to ...
    • Recognize twisted logic such as double negatives?
    • Avoid confusing items that are similar to each other?
    • Differentiate subtle facts that invalidate the applicabilty of a common answer, such as the version of software?
    Use sample questions to help you be more comfortable with the thinking process behind the questions. If you acquire the discipline of thinking rather than reactive memorization, you become better at taking tests.

    Can you sit in a box alone for 2-4 hours?

    Transcender and others provide an entire set of questions a real test would ask. Don't breeze through them or take them a little at a time. For one or more days before the exam, put aside the two hours -- or whatever time your test will take -- and take the test without stopping. Stage actors call this a dressed rehearsal. Such preparation is vastly more important than most test-takers realize. This is important because it helps you build the discipline needed to endure the long hours in a testing room, without Instant Messenger, games, websites, telephones, MP3 players, coffee lattes, snacks, etc. Will you ...
    • Need to go to the bathroom more than once?
    • Get claustrophobic?
    • Be able to think about the test at the present rather than what happened in your past or your future?
    • Can't help looking at the clock and thinking about how little time you have left rather than thinking about the answer?
    Prove to yourself that you can do it comfortably. Have no other application running on your computer except the test simulation program. Doing mock exams help you feel comfortable living through an actual exam. Don't short change yourself by thinking you can skip a mock exam.
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Set this at top of window. Tips for Sitting Though Certification Exams

  • Schedule time. to scan through book, attend a class, Read, Take Quizzes, Analyze, Organize Notes, Brain dump Heaven, Take Practice Exam.
  • Call Sylvan Prometric 1-800-755-EXAM or visit
  • Take the day off or schedule your test on a weekend.
  • Reschedule if you must. You can always reschedule with no penalty 24 hours in advance.
  • Schedule the test for the middle of the day, when you're awake but not tired out.

    Leaving for the Exam

  • Cram on a few key sections in the morning.
  • Bring water, pencils with erasers, two forms of ID

    Arriving at the Exam Site

  • Pick a comfortable spot that doesn't have glare or cold draft.
  • Ask for a blank piece of paper.
  • Go to the restroom so you won't have distractions during the exam.


  • After you log on, make sure you have the test you intend to take. Don'g get 10 question into an exam before realizing you're taking the wrong test!
  • Before starting test, write down key mnemonics.


  • Return the piece of paper for the proctor to destroy.
  • Wait for your certificate.
  • Write down questions you had difficulty doing.
  • Reward yourself. Take the afternoon to relax and unwind.


  1. Reactions - a "smilesheet" is used to determine the learner's perceptions of whether they liked the topic.

  2. Learning - the learner answers pre and post tests to determine differences in knowledge, skills, and attitude.

  3. Transfer - the learner is observed to determine the extent new learning is being applied.

  4. Results - metrics of what the learner produces are taken to determine the impact in the operational and financial terms of the organization.

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Set this at top of window. Tackling Case Study Scenario Exams

  1. Avoid rewriting information from the case study onto paper unless it's to answer a specific question.
  2. Read the questions for each case study before reading the scenario.
  3. Practice navigating to every screen quickly. When you first arrive at a new case study in a Prometric GUI, there is NO button to go directly to the questions. You have to first click “Start Case Study”, THEN “Next” to see the first question for that case.

    But once you've got the first question, you can toggle between Case Study and Question.

    In the Prometric world, an “Item” is one entire case study.

    WARNING: Avoid the common mistake of clicking “End Case” by mistake. Entry and exiting a case creates a new process, which takes several seconds from you.

  4. Avoid needing to move your mouse as much by keeping your fingers on Alt and N to press the Next key.

  5. Before reading the Case Study for the first time, click the “All” tab instead of clicking the tab after reading each section. This enables you to read faster because you have all the information in front you. This technique also makes sure you don't skip a section of information when clicking.
  6. Smooth scroll. As you read, keep holding down the scroll bar and drag your mouse. This allows you to read without taking your eye off the scren to look for a button to press.

  7. Don't be intimidated by big numbers and complexity in the scenarios. You're being quizzed on policies. Avoid reading information into the case study.
  8. Read the question again before and after answering. Answering the wrong question is the most common reason for getting a bad score.

    For example, if the question asks for a “security requirement”, one answer is NOT “NTFS" because that is a feature, not a requiremnt.

  9. If you're not sure of an answer, select your best guess answer rather than skipping the question without answering. Click the “Mark” checkbox if you are not sure. Do this in case your time runs out before you can go back to answer the question. An unsure answer has a better chance of being correct than no answer at all.
  10. If you do have to write, abbreviate to save time.

  11. Use a two-dimensional matrix when appropriate.

    There are different modes of operation:
  • Drop and Connect Relationships box or Connectors box

    webpage article Why you got the grade you got: Rubic for grading.

    “Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fishburger and I realize, Oh my ...I could be eating a slow learner.” —Lynda Montgomery

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Set this at top of window. Response Statements

  1. You're a really quick study!
  2. Looks like you're ready for a tougher question.


  • Oops.
  • Try again.

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