CFA CFA General How Insights from Psychology & Buddhism Can Improve Test Scores

How Insights from Psychology & Buddhism Can Improve Test Scores

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      Researchers from UCSB have shown in a recent study that just two weeks of simple meditation exercises can have a measurable impact on GRE scores. They believe that meditation can improve cognitive performance by increasing working memory capacity and reducing mind wandering.

      Here are links to the article:

      How many of you are meditators? Any suggestions for novices?

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      Meditation is not really a set method. It’s like self-defense – there are many ways of calming your mind and eliminating stress. In general it has 4 concepts:

      Focused state of mind. Forget the ’empty your mind’ stuff if you need to. I have never been able to ’empty my mind’ but what I prefer is either envisioning a calm surrounding (on top of a mountain in a tropical island), or focusing on a particular part of my body, starting from my head and moving my way down (a mental massage if you will). The point is to focus on something else apart from what you usually trouble yourself with.

      State of physical relaxation. You can sit ramrod straight in full lotus position if you like, but if you can’t you don’t have to. Just lying down comfortably on the floor would work, or child position in yoga. If you’re straining something you shouldn’t use that position.

      Controlled, conscious breathing. Focus on your breathing. Make it slow, calm and controlled. Breathe like it’s the only physical task you have to do, i.e. you have all the time in the world. If you find you’re running out of breath with all that fancy slow breathing, just take a deeper breath than usual but maintain a slow tempo.

      Calm and quiet. Choose a place where it’s quiet, where you feel safe and calm, where no one is likely to barge in and disturb your peace in the next 15 minutes or so, or ask you what the hell are you doing stretched out on the floor.

      Meditation is really good and definitely works, but you have to take it seriously, and practice at it.

    • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
        • CFA Charterholder

        I always have trouble focusing – will give this a shot. Thanks @tim – resident guru.

      • Avatar of ReenaReena
          • CFA Charterholder

          I have tried meditation @CFAin80days, but I do find that my mind wanders and I can’t focus!

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