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What do peppermint and stellar test scores have in common?


We’re sharing a few secrets about how Dr. Maruko made it to Harvard.

Around finals time, she used to sit in Doheny library with her stack of books, and eat candy canes. The candy canes are definitely not recommended to eat all day but just by accident it turns out that the peppermint from the candy canes help with focus and concentration. “I don’t recommend the CANDY part of the cane” says Dr. Maruko

Todd Smiley, Scrum Master and Manager at a major consulting firm, uses a little healthier method, PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL, on the back of his hand between his index finger and thumb, and sniffs it while he is studying his material. When faced with a difficult certification, his boss told him not to expect to pass the first time because most people have to take the test two or three times. He said, “No way. I don’t have time to take the test two or three times.” He put it on his hand while taking the test and used this little known tip to help pass in one go. Taking a test two or three times is just not time efficient nor good for one’s ego.

Mindset is also important.

Todd is also a former educator for Princeton Reviews who helped students gain high scores on their National exams like the GRE or LSAT by also working on mindset. SET YOUR MIND FOR SUCCESS and know your weakness. The biggest help for Todd was when students let him know their subject weaknesses so that he could help.

Dr. Maruko used the same approach when studying material for her DAT test to get into dental schools. Having the mindset that she would only review the vast amount of material once helped FOCUS her attention to the material at hand. Her weakness was the multiple choice format, so practicing that helped her. I guess it worked because she was accepted to every school that she applied.

Also Dr. Maruko recommends what she calls the Disney approach: Make it memorable and experiential by engaging multiple sense. She used to work at Disneyland and remembers that the park wafts scents of yummy baked goods down Main Street as part of the experience. She can still remember the smells of Main Street as she walked towards Frontierland towards the and the twang of the banjo music. Listen to music that helps you focus. They’re a little different in this aspect. Dr. Maruko likes classical mellow and Todd likes heavy metal. Dr. Maruko also liked making things colorful with markers and highlighters.

Alternate power studying and short power naps - people retain the most information right when they wake up and just before they go to sleep. Dr. Maruko is a big fan of naps and uses this technique a lot.

So to review:

  1. Make it Multisensory

  2. Peppermint scent helps with focus and concentration

  3. Set your mind for success

  4. Plan ahead by looking at weakness and strategies to help them

  5. Play with music and color

  6. If you’re fatigued try a short power nap

For some fun, we are giving away 5 bottles of peppermint essential oil. Enter the drawing at our office. Contest ends. January 16th, 2020.

For more information, here are a few arcticles:

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