How did you do on the test?



Aced it

available on or before

May 30, 2016

Be smarter for the test.

Try these 5 tips to sharpen up.

1. Chow down.
Dark chocolate (for flavonal), almonds (for vitamin E and magnesium), blueberries (for antioxidants), and protein (for its orexin-stimulating properties) can all improve your ability to focus.

2. Man up.
According to this study, mice that exercised harder had greater improvement than their less avid peers in neuroplasticity, and did better on learning and memory tests. Don't overdo it, but keep up the intensity when exercising, and never just go through the motions.

3. Tick something off your todo list that's stressing you out.
If you are preoccupied, you won't be able to concentrate on your work. As soon as you confront whatever is hanging over your head, your performance will improve. Need to make a phone call you've been putting off? Get it over with, and your focus will instantly sharpen.

4. Give yourself a brain-gasm.
Are you rolling with the tide of ASMR that has washed over YouTube? If you are among the un-ASMR-able, then you won't have a clue what any of it means, but if you have the bug, you may already know that the experience is said to up your seratonin, a neurotransmitter that boosts cognitive function. Tune up with some trippy tingles.

5. Read a chapter of great writing.
Prime your faculties of expression and imagination by immersing yourself in the words of deep minds. Reading can be like de-fragging your hard drive: you can feel the restoration of balance and clarity as your awareness conforms to well-ordered prose. Recommended:
Rene Descartes, Discourse on the Method (short essays)
Samuel Johnson, The Idler (short essays)
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady