3 Study Tips To Help You Pass A Certification Test


As a college student, a lot of your time is spent preparing for tests and exams that you’ll have to take. And while many of these tests are important for your classes or your overall GPA, having to take certification tests in order to become qualified in a certain field can have even more pressure on you to study well and pass. Because of this, you may feel an additional amount of test anxiety accompanying these exams. Luckily, there are things you can do when studying to help you get as prepared as possible for any test or exam. To show you how, here are three study tips to help you pass a certification test.

Plan What You’ll Study

If you look at the field of study in which you’ll be tested on as a whole, you may quickly become overwhelmed at the amount of material you have to be familiar with. This can cause you to try to study everything at an accelerated rate, which could very well result in you not diving down deep enough into any of the material to really learn it.

To combat this, Alice Johnston and Sophie Gadd, contributors to, suggest that you create a plan for what you’ll study and for how long. Especially when you only have a short amount of time to prepare for your exam, it’s best to focus on the most important areas to know rather than trying to cram everything you possibly can into your brain. And once you’ve created a sectioned plan, you’ll feel like your task of studying will be much easier to tackle.

Talk It Out

While reading your own study materials and doing practice tests can be helpful, there’s a deeper level of learning that happens when you attempt to teach what you’ve learned to someone else. To accomplish this, Peter Jacobs, a contributor to Business Insider, recommends that you partner up with someone either in your class or taking the same exam as you so you can talk out the material and concepts together. Try to teach them everything you know about your area of study. Because they’ll have been studying the same things, they’ll be able to inform you if you’ve left anything else or don’t quite have a solid grasp on something.

Focus On Concepts Rather Than Facts

When you’re worried about taking a test or exam, you may find yourself getting fixated on memorizing certain facts and figures. However, when it comes test time, The University Blog shares that you’ll usually have more success by focusing on concepts rather than facts. When you’re able to link concepts together and draw rational conclusions between them, you’ll be much more likely to have a good idea of the materials in general and strategies out correct answers.

If you have a big test or exam to take for a certification, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you study effectively.

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5 Pros and Cons of Choosing an Art Major

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Choosing a major in college may be one of the most daunting tasks you have faced so far in your life. It can be overwhelming to try and decide what you want to do for your career and working years. Many who are artistically inclined dream of pursuing an art degree and fulfilling the “love what you do” mantra. Included here are a few of the pros and cons of going into art.

Pros of Pursuing an Art Major:

1) Love What You Do

Everyone wants a career that is both fulfilling and pays well. While careers in art can be hit or miss, you are nearly guaranteed to enjoy your job. If you are lucky enough to be successful doing freelance artwork and graphic design, you can literally choose your own hours and work only when you want to.

2) Help People

The benefits of art therapy are on the rise and have recently become more widely accessible. Choosing a career as an art therapist will allow you to help people of all ages while doing what you are passionate about. Park West Gallery recently wrote an article exposing the fact that art therapy has been proven to delay or prevent the effects of dementia while also helping older patrons grow new brain cells. If that doesn’t sound rewarding to you, you might need your brain cells counted!

Cons of Pursuing an Art Major:

1) Lack of Job Security

The job prospectives for an art major can be hit or miss. You may be comfortable becoming a high school art teacher or working at a college. However, if you choose to pursue creating art full-time, you lose a lot of that comfortable job security. A lot of success in the field of art depends on who you know and whether your creations are timely.

2) Creativity Required

Some jobs you can shut your brain off for and not have to work hard to live comfortably. If you genuinely choose to pursue creating art for a living you are going to be heavily dependent on your creativity and inspiration. When you hit a wall, or a block in thought processes, it can be hugely detrimental. If you are unable to work for months on end due to a feeling of being stuck in a rut, you could potentially find yourself running low on grocery and rent money.

3) Uncertain Income

If you have settled on becoming an art teacher, your income level may be fairly certain. However, many who pursue art degrees wish to continue creating art full-time. In order to be successful in that industry you must have buyers and people interested in your art. Keep in mind, nobody liked Van Gogh’s work until after he was dead.

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4 Romantic Stories that Will Make You Cry


loveValentine’s Day is a sweet holiday. Every year on the fourteenth of February it’s celebrated with cards, chocolates, flowers, and gifts from the heart. What makes Valentine’s Day special and what speaks to our hearts can be described in the stories that are told. But it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s to reminisce the romance. Here are some very touching stories for the sentimental soul.

1. A swift message

A woman’s daughter decided she wanted mom to meet her new boyfriend after she had talked about him for some time. The day the boy arrived, he introduced himself while his parents were out in the car.

The mother asked the daughter what they were going to do on their date and the daughter said they were going to watch some movies. After confirming the date with the boy’s parents, they left.

The mother couldn’t help but think about how tall the boy was and how her little girl was growing into a young lady even though the mother was in no hurry for that to happen. Then the mother’s cell phone went off. It was from her daughter’s phone, but the text message was from her new boyfriend: “I think your daughter is the most beautiful girl in the world.”

2. An old Roman tale

Josephine Preston Peabody’s story from the last century, “Cupid and Psyche,” comes from an ancient myth in which Love himself gives his immortal heart to a mortal maiden. Cupid had shot an arrow meant for Psyche’s heart but hit his own.

Everyone would ask Psyche where her husband was. At first she couldn’t see his face, and because he wasn’t present, people laughed at her. The Oracle had named her husband, and Psyche was led to believe he was a dragon.

She wondered what misfortune she would experience. She thought Love had forgotten her. However, her husband did send for her. She drank from a cup of ambrosia and became immortal. From then on, they were never parted again.

3. The story behind the holiday

Then there’s the tale of Valentine’s Day itself and its history. St. Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and wed others against the emperor Claudius’s wishes. The emperor believed that love and family made people weak.

St. Valentine was imprisoned for going against the emperor. His last note was to his daughter and signed “From Your Valentine.” He was executed on February 14th, 270 A.D., on what we know now as Valentine’s Day.

4. Got to get that message through

The final story is about a woman who got snowed in on Valentine’s Day evening and couldn’t be with her boyfriend. She hung out with family, but he was in her mind and heart all day.

Hidden away was the Valentine’s day gift she had bought him. She asked herself why she had never said to him the things she wanted to say. Inside her heart she believed that day would arrive and she told herself there was a reason that men and women are different inside.

It was a most convenient Valentine’s holiday but with the most inconvenient weather. Sending messages is alright, but some events like Valentine’s Day are better shared in person.

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6 Famous, Successful People Who Were Once Wards of the State

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Foster care systems strive to find supportive and loving families for thousands of children. Positive role models can provide stability for kids in foster care and help them achieve unbelievable success.

A number of celebrities, CEOs, and entrepreneurs have flourished in the care of their foster families. They’ve grown up to make their mark on the world. Take a look at these former foster children who became successful professionals.

1. Bruce Oldfield

This foster child grew up to be a world-renowned dress designer, with outfits gracing the figures of major celebrities and historical figures from Princess Diana and Barbra Streisand to Taylor Swift and Catherine Zeta-Jones. His foster mother may have instilled a passion for clothing in Oldfield; she supported him through her work as a seamstress and dressmaker.

Today Oldfield works in England, crafting fine bridal wear and high-couture fashion for international clients. He serves as an icon of creative inspiration for foster children who hope to develop their passions into a future profession.

2. Tony Shellman

You may recognize Shellman’s iconic clothing brands, Enyce and Mecca, which have resonated throughout the hip-hop community. He co-founded these fashion companies and worked closely with P. Diddy to ensure his trendsetting fashions became legendary.

Shellman’s innovative sportswear has led to new business endeavors, such as Parish Nation. Shellman, who’s from Seattle, relied heavily on social services during his youth. He has advocated for many foster care programs and appeared in NPR to discuss how families can positively influence children’s lives.

3. Dave Pelzer

This nationally acclaimed author, veteran, and Centennial flame holder for the Olympics has succeeded through immense challenges and overwhelming adversity. Dave Pelzer is known for his candid and painful memoir, A Child Called It, which details a personal history fraught with child abuse and neglect.

Concerned teachers and social workers managed to remove Pelzer from a dangerous domestic situation and place him in foster care. Despite the deeply traumatic experiences he endured during his childhood, Pelzer has achieved great success throughout his life. Pelzer’s writings and achievements impart positivity and wisdom for other children who are survivors of abuse and neglect.

4. Charlotte Ayanna

This well-known actress and author is also a survivor of childhood neglect. Her mother suffered from mental illness and was considered unfit to care for children. Ayanna entered the foster care system with her siblings, and found a foster mother who encouraged her to pursue her goals.

After initial success in beauty pageants, Ayanna went on to become an icon for foster children everywhere. She has appeared in a variety of TV shows and films, including Beverly Hills, 90210, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Kate and Leopold, and The Insatiable.

5. Steve Jobs

After the CEO and founder of Apple passed away in October 2011, many were surprised to learn that he had been adopted as a child. Author Walter Isaacson revealed details about Jobs’s upbringing in a biography of this immensely successful technology innovator and businessman.

Jobs developed strong ties with his adoptive parents, and he was inspired by his father’s electronic experiments in the garage. These activities led to a passion for technology and the eventual creation of Apple Inc.

6. Alonzo Mourning

NBA champion and Sports Hall of Fame member Alonzo Mourning entered foster care when he was twelve years old, after his family was torn apart by a painful divorce. A former schoolteacher and family friend named Mrs. Threet took the aspiring athlete in, pushing him to train hard and take basketball seriously. Mourning has never forgotten her influence. He has since founded the Alonzo Mourning Charities to raise money for children and families.

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Sleep Driving Is the Newest Defense Against DWIs

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It sounds like a story out of a dream. After driving at speeds of nearly 100mph, a man wakes in his “sleeping clothes” to find he’s crashed his car into a median after rear-ending and injuring a fellow motorist, and he’s fractured his own spine.

Truth in the nightmare

As unlikely as this sounds, the “sleep driving” defense is being argued more and more frequently, with varying levels of success, especially in cases of alleged drunk driving and sexual assault. “Sleep driving'” is exactly what David Hamnett, a 47-year-old resident of Lancashire, England, said caused the accident which occurred Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Hamnett, a marine engineer, was on the M5, a route that connects his Ormskirk home to his job in Devon. He reportedly drove his Volvo S40 erratically and at increasingly high speeds when the incident occurred. The crash, which began with the rear end of another vehicle and ended with at highway’s center partition, caused so much damage to Hamnett’s vehicle that the rescue team was forced to cut him out of the car’s wreckage.

They found a man who was clearly intoxicated (twice the legal driving limit), barefoot, and wearing a T-shirt and shorts, an outfit he would later describe as his pajamas.

A sleep driving defense

A married man with two children, Hamnett admitted to drinking whiskey and wine before putting on his “sleeping clothes” and going to bed, and claimed that due to his parasomnia he had absolutely no recollection of driving, and simply woke up to find himself trapped in the wreckage of his collapsed Volvo.

In his defense, Hamnett said: “I was in my pajamas, I had no money and wallet, and I had just driven all the way back from work, so why on earth would I want to go back there on a Saturday morning?”

Dr John O’Reilly corroborated Hamnett’s parasomnia claim, testifying that Hamnett had previously been treated for sleep disorders at the North West Regional Sleep Service in Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital. During the time of the accident, Hamnett was being actively treated for sleep apnea, which causes sufferers to stop breathing while they are asleep.

A questionable crime

Still, the probability of such an extended episode of parasomnia, involving a two-hour, 150-mile drive before the crash occurred, has been questioned by individuals like Dr Chris Idzikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre who called Hamnett’s version of events “highly unlikely.”

Nonetheless, Judge Peter Barrie, who called the incident “highly dangerous … high speed, weaving on a motorway,” and reminded Hamnett that he and “occupants of another car suffered significant injuries,” did not impose jail time on Hamnett due to the “aggravating feature” of Hamnett’s blood alcohol levels.

Instead, the judge agreed that the defendant’s sleeping disorder was real and that it was possible he’d been asleep when he entered his vehicle on the night in question.

The judge also made it clear that he believed the majority of Hamnett’s fateful trip had occurred while he was conscious. Barrie convicted Hamnett of dangerous driving and sentencing him to 12 months of community service with a suspended license for six of those months, to be followed by a driving test.

Since the crash Hamnett has lost weight, which he says has improved his sleeping and stopped his sleepwalking.

Defending against DWI

Building a defense against DWI and DUI has become increasingly difficult over the years. Well-intentioned groups like MADD and SADD have taken the reins in many municipalities where they feel drunk driving isn’t being seriously addressed, and made it complicated and expensive to argue against DWI and DUI charges.

Knowing the charges against you, and the mitigating and aggravating factors that offer avenues for defense is essential for successfully clearing a drunk or impaired driving charge. For someone like Mr. Hamnett, a citizen with no previous history of DUI, the “sleep driving” defense was critical to preserving his freedom.

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7 Industries Struggling to Find Talent

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The job market might be improving, but employers in a few industries are desperate for workers. Some of these jobs require a specific degree, but others might require only a little experience or the right personality.

For job hunters who want low-hanging fruit, check out these seven industries that need workers STAT.

1. Transportation

This includes everything from light rail operators to bus drivers and CAT operators. The great thing is that these jobs also pay relatively well, they’re stable, they often have a great benefits package, and no degree is required. However, a commercial driver’s license is necessary, but this is not difficult to study for and earn. The transportation industry is booming, so right now is the perfect time to join.

2. Skilled trades

Electricians, solar panel installers, plumbers … if it’s a skilled trade, there’s a high demand. To get in on these fields, you can often find apprenticeship programs in place. There’s no degree, but a willingness to accept low wages or other compensation for an apprenticeship is necessary to start.

3. Auto manufacturing

Detroit might be suffering, but auto manufacturing as a whole is booming. It’s estimated that up to 100,000 of these jobs may be added every year through 2020, and this is another career with no degree requirement. The salaries are often high and there’s plenty of room for advancement.

4. Health care workers

From physicians to medical assistants, there’s a growing need for health care workers. Applicants can opt for an entry-level assistant position or use their newly minted MD as a negotiating tool. There are also increasing opportunities overseas; plus, these fields come with the added bonus of helping people on a daily basis.

5. Engineering

This includes software design, Wimax engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering … the list goes on and on. Usually, at least a bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree may be preferred. There are entry-level positions with no degree requirements, but a natural tech ability is a must.

6. Teachers

There might be cutbacks, but schools can’t survive without teachers. There are also options for loan forgiveness if teachers work in a high-need district after graduation. Private schools can offer more security and higher pay. Of course, public school teachers also get the benefit of a pension.

7. Customer service reps

If you have mad sales skills, you can make a fortune. Even during a recession, people will spend, so this is always a safety net. No degree is required, but your personality has to mesh well in this high-stakes environment.

Employers who want to properly train new employees should start with a well-designed training program. This can’t be thrown together willy nilly.

Seek the guidance of training professionals, consider both personality and background when hiring, and remember that to attract the best candidates, the benefits have to be impressive.

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Five College Students Who Made Millions on the Market

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A Stanford University professor inspired his students to create Facebook apps and put them on the digital market, back in 2007. These apps began to gain popularity, turning several students into millionaires within weeks. Few expected that these students would rise to new levels of innovation and entrepreneurship so quickly. In this case, famously known as “The Facebook Class,” students showed the world what was possible if you take a good idea and run with it. Take a look at these five college students who have turned their efforts into million-dollar companies.

1. Mark Zuckerberg

The iconic tale of a rambunctious and hyper-productive Mark Zuckerberg has been immortalized in film and print. By partnering with his dorm roommates at Harvard University, this computer programmer revolutionized how people meet and communicate online. The team’s creation, Facebook, went on to make Zuckerberg a billionaire by age twenty-three. Since the beginning of 2013, Facebook has been embraced by over one billion active users. Companies and celebrities use this ubiquitous social media tool to connect with millions of fans and followers.

2. Dan Greenberg

This student was part of Mr. Fogg’s famous “Facebook Class,” helping to inspire college kids around the world to put their ideas on the market. His company, Sharethrough, helps other businesses create viral video content to entertain masses of internet fans. He got his start as a graduate student and teaching assistant for Mr. Fogg, and then became interested in creating his own apps. Since he dropped out of Stanford, Greenberg has launched several successful apps and has raised millions of dollars for his Sharethrough company.

3. Shahid Balwa

This entrepreneur from Mumbai made his mark on the world after leaving college to help his father with a hotel business. He partnered up with real estate expert, Vinod Goenka and amassed a fortune in large construction projects. Forbes has added Balwa to their list of India’s richest entrepreneurs.

4. Gabe Newell

Before he became known as the co-founder of Valve, Gabe Newell started as a Microsoft employee after leaving college to pursue his program management career. He was involved with several early versions of the Window OS, quickly turning him into a Microsoft millionaire. His success led him to follow his interests in gaming. After partnering with his former Microsoft colleague, Mike Harrington, the pair hit it big with their Half-Life release. Since then, Newell has created the famed Steam game distribution system and several hit gaming titles.

5. Matt Mullenweg

The blogging giant known as WordPress was created by this web developer during his freshman year at the University of Houston. The blog solutions quickly gained attention and led Mullenweg to drop out of college and build his WordPress business. With over 70 million websites using WordPress, Mullenweg has secured his fame as a college student turned millionaire.

Students who are interested in learning more about finance should keep tabs on economic news and trading tutorials. When it comes to young, student millionaires, a common theme can be seen: following one’s passions and interests. Take the time to cultivate ideas and get them out into the market.

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A Diva’s Dream Come True: Derek Jeter’s Single

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After we heard the earth-shattering news – no, not the earthquake we had earlier this week, or the drama Hurricane Irene is stirring up – that Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up, we realized how much better life will be. Derek Jeter, one of the most eligible guys on the market ever since 1996 when the Yankees made him starting shortstop, is single again for the first time in three years. Take a second for that to settle in, then snap back into reality.

Personally, I’m more of an ARod fan, but I see where all you Jeter swooners are coming from. He’s charming, he’s talented, hello, he’s a professional athlete – and everyone (on TV) says he’s such a great guy. Who wouldn’t want a chance to see the inside of his now-bachelor pad?

I don’t know what Minka could have done to lose such a guy – I mean he accomplished breaking one of the greatest records in Major League Baseball this year, hitting 3,000 hits –  but let’s face it, she was never the brightest crayon in the box if you know what I mean. Now with Jeter out on the market, I’m thinking a few extra nights out in NYC, some extra hours spent at Yankee Stadium…I guess really some stalking has to become part of our everyday life if we want in with this guy.

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Drugs, Dirt, and Destruction: Bonnaroo 2011

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After months of preparation and anticipation, Bonnaroo ’11 finally happened this past weekend and was everything I imagined it would be and more. The best way I can describe it is a weekend of drugs, dirt, and destruction. My friends and I anxiously left our house in New Jersey, Tuesday night around 11 and drove through the night for a 13-hour painkiller induced haze of a ride to Atlanta. We decided to spend the night with my parents, who hooked us up with mad food and supplies, which were clutch all weekend. Thursday morning, we finally left for Bonnaroo and made it there by 1. Our next mission was to set up the tent, scope out the neighbors to make sure they were chill, and smoke a fat blunt. Thank god we got awesome neighbors from Manhattan that we chilled with the entire weekend because everyone else around us were complete toolbags. Suffice to say, Bonnarroo was fucking amazing.

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Conan O’Brien’s Epic Dartmouth Commencement Speech

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Harvard graduate, comedian, and now honorary doctor of arts Conan O’Brien gave the commencement speech for the graduating class at Dartmouth, and he really killed it. The man lovingly known as Coco made jokes at everyone’s expense, including his own. But subtly tucked into the speech were notes of seriousness; great advice for attending graduates, as well as for any young adults in the world today. It’s a neatly packaged 23 minutes of comedy and life lessons that you’d be silly not to watch. Check it out after the jump.

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