• Preparing for the exam based on the type of student you are, avoiding so-called energy drinks and getting enough sleep are fundamental aspects

start the countdown to the selectivity. Nerves, extra coffees, library hours, review and exchange of notes, sleepless nights… There are even students who take intensive courses in private academies. What is the best method to prepare for – and pass – the college entrance exam? Beyond the obvious answer (study), selectivity evaluators, teachers and disseminators offer us some essential keys to succeed in the Evau, the academic test that more anxiety generates the students (and their fathers and mothers) even though it is not exactly the Chinese Gaokao, a very tough exam that few applicants pass. Nothing to do with selectivity in Spain, where 90% get the green light.

Prepare the exam based on the type of student you are

You have to think about what type of student you are because the way you prepare for the exam has nothing to do with it. “Basically there are two models: the one with the habit of studying and the one that does not. The seconds are bound to memorize like a beast. Learning is not the same as achievement. Little can be learned by memorizing a lot. These students cannot acquire the habit in a few weeks, so it is up to them to retrieve the information in the best possible way and try to organize that massive data emphasizing keywords & rdquor ;, explains Juan Fernández, professor, disseminator and author of the essay ‘Educating in complexity’. The expert, meanwhile, encourages students with a study habit to prepare for selectivity as if they were facing driving licence: taking many tests. “Repeating a lesson out loud is not as effective as writing it down & rdquor ;, he adds. During these weeks, Fernández recommends that applicants do not stop practicing what they are going to do on selectivity days: write, make text comments, solve exercises… “It is best to practice with model models and use them as a guide”concludes after giving a trick for both models of students: “On the day of the exam it is better to start with the easiest questions because that gives confidence”.

“This is not the time to study new topics or different approaches, but to review what you have already studied during the 2nd year of high school, which is a course dedicated exclusively to passing the Evau & rdquor ;, advises Carlos Elías, Professor of Journalism at Carlos III (Madrid) who has also been selectivity evaluator and secretary of selectivity courts. Elijah, author of ‘Science on the ropes’, where he analyzes the impact of the ‘gaokao’ on economic and technological performance in China today- looks suspiciously at the business that has been set up by many private academies that carry out intensive courses for the Evau. “High school teachers have direct contact with those responsible for selectivity and they are the ones who know best what the exams will be like. In my opinion, it is not necessary to go to any private center & rdquor ;, she adds.

“The more knowledge, the less nerves & rdquor ;, summarizes Marta Babe, secondary school teacher and member of the Improving your public school association. It’s a truism, but to pass selectivity you have to study. But not in any way but by setting weekly goals. “Every day you have to do one. review of topics studied and leave time to review in case you can’t master them at the scheduled time & rdquor ;, adds the teacher.

“It is better to decide what race you are going to do once you have the grade, not before”

Carlos Elías, Professor of Journalism

For any aspiring to enter college, anxiety is the main enemy. Without having to resort to Mr Wonderful slogans, it is important to think positive. “You have passed Baccalaureate, so calm down. You also have to be aware that 90% of students pass the Evau. It is not risking everything on one card because the exams pay off & rdquor ;, recalls the Carlos III professor. Driven by anxiety, some students – aware that they are not succeeding in the test – write “rare messages & rdquor; in examinations to arouse the compassion of the examiner. For example: “I didn’t know the subject very well, but I need a high grade because I want to study medicine.” That type of message – Elías concludes – only disqualifies the student. The university professor recommends that applicants not fantasize too much about the degree they want to study once the Evau has been passed because that gives them added pressure. “It is better to decide what race you are going to do once you have the grade, not before”, underlines. As nervous as the students are, Elías exhorts them not to cheat. “Don’t play it that way, it’s not worth it & rdquor ;. He also advises fathers and mothers not to accompany their children because their presence and constant questions only create more stress for them.

Avoid neuromyths and energy drinks

Neither the brain needs sugar to function nor is mindfulness limited to 20 minutes. Running away from neuromyths and embracing science is another excellent recommendation for these days of intensive study. Misnamed energy drinks they have so much sugar that you will only get cavities, in addition to damaging your liver, your heart and your brain. “Caffeine is a stimulant, but it does not provide any nutrient that we can consider capable of raising the energy level, but rather it transmits a feeling of alertness and decreases sleep, recall the doctor Carlos Casabona and nutritionist dietitian Julio Basulto, authors of the scientific essay ‘Drink without thirst’. Drinking one of these drinks is similar to drinking 15 sugar cubes and three coffees. The main adverse effects of their consumption -the greatest danger is mixing them with alcohol- are related to the device cardiovascular and central nervous system. “Your brain does not need any external help because it has the capacity to train itself. Habits are more powerful than substances & rdquor ;, recalls the author of ‘Educating in complexity’, who insists that in order to remain attentive and concentrated for as long as possible it is better not to have outside stimuli. That is, you have to leave the mobile phone and not put it on the study table. the high school teacher Marta Babe suggests taking small breaks of 5 minutes. “You can take advantage of that time to walk a little, even if it’s around your house. Or have a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit & rdquor ;, she says. “Many male and female students go to herbalists to buy infusions that relax them. And surely there are those who take some tranquilizer. It is not a good idea. What you have to do is take care of food and rest & rdquor ;, she concludes.

If you have to choose between sleeping or studying, sleep

Sleep is a “superpower”, in the words of scientist Matthew Walker, an authority on the subject and author of ‘Why We Sleep’, in which he makes it clear that sleep is the fundamental pillar of human well-being, along with healthy eating and physical activity. Not sleeping enough hours (adults have to do it between seven and nine hours) affects all organs: destroys the immune system, alters blood sugar levels, blocks coronary arteries and impairs concentration. “Sleep is essential for memory & rdquor ;, adds Professor Fernández. On the eve of selectivity it is not good to binge on notes. “You don’t have to study because you don’t retain anything. The only thing you have to do is rest and sleep,” concludes Elías.

It seems like a truism, but the day before the exam -in addition to resting- you have to plan everything. From the pens that you are going to carry to the calculator or the Latin dictionaryrecalls the examiner Elías. Fundamental, leave home in plenty of time. Marta Babe adds that, on the day of the exam, it is not uncommon to receive calls from students saying that they have missed the bus and cannot find a taxi. They are 18-year-olds and we teachers look like their mothers & rdquor ;, she laughs.

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