American Mensa’s Supervisory Psychologist has provided these tips to help you do your personal best when you take the Mensa Admission Test or Culture Fair Test
- Breathing from your belly in even counts will make your brain rich with oxygen which makes it optimize your intelligence. For example, if you take an in-breath of 4 counts, breathe out to 4 counts. It would be good to practice this “power breathing” a few days before a test so you won’t panic if you get stressed and hyperventilate.
- Listen to some “power music” before taking a test. Peppy rhythms will pep up your brain and help it coordinate easier between your various parts, such as memory and organization.
- Chew gum. The chewing action helps pump blood through your memory and emotional centers keeping you calm and focused.
- Practice mindful meditation. Mindful meditation is the practice of focusing on the present instead of the past or the future. For example, you might want to focus on your breathing for ten minutes or the feelings in the feet as you walk. By learning to focus on the present, you are training your brain not to worry about non-essential issues, such as what you do if you pass or fail the test, what mistakes you made, what your friends are going to discuss, etc. You can teach your brain to focus on the test before you instead of distractions.
- Eat for brain power. It has shown that you can add IQ points by eating a good protein meal before taking a test. Good protein means lean meat or fish, boiled eggs and nuts. Foods that are prepared in high temperatures (frying and grilling) lose their power.
- Don’t lose energy on high sugar food or alcohol beverages/ drugs. High sugar will cause your brain to slow down after a high boost, causing you to be more easily confused and slower response times. Alcoholic beverages and drugs will do the same thing, only faster.
- Talk to yourself. Although it may have to be in silence, research has shown that if you reason out problems verbally, more of your brain power can be maximized. Writing out your thoughts can help although it may cost you time.
- Keep positive thoughts throughout the test. For those items you feel good about, give yourself an “atta boy” or “girl” thought. As you process in the test item, think of a cheering section who is cheering you on. This process is being done as a success story so live through it with an anticipation of optimism.
- Don’t downgrade yourself with negative thoughts, especially on any one item. If you call yourself a critical name, your mind will downgrade your performance to fit your self-image, so don’t evaluate yourself in a negative light. If you call yourself “dumb” your brain will be the first to listen and believe.
- Basically anxiety is an enemy of the brain. It robs your self-confidence and uses up energy. Using a focus of taking each item at a time, giving it your best shot and moving on will help keep your emotions from paralyzing you. Don’t rush but don’t diddle around with the compulsion to be perfect. Just breathe and move forward.
- Be sure and get a good night’s sleep of 8-9 hours. This helps detox the brain from the previous stress and any environmental elements you have been exposed to.
- Eat two boiled eggs for breakfast. Studies have shown an increase in IQ for college students when they have done so.
- Be optimistic and use imagery for success. Attitude has a lot to do with positive in brain power. It tends to add that extra energy in solving problems.
- It usually helps to have a friend go with you. The combined energies tend to give support and energy.
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