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Harnessingthe Brain Power

The brain is one unique wonder of God that should ordinarily baffle any right thinking person; being one of the important organs in the body, the brain performs an incredible number of tasks including the following: it controls body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. It accepts a flood of information about the world around us from our various senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching). It handles our physical movement when walking, talking, standing or sitting. It enables us to think, dream, reason and experience emotions. Although scientists have documented a number of discoveries about the workings of the brain, there are still much to know about the powers our brains have. I’d like to share some bits of wisdom about what is known and how as students we can apply these into our academics.

The first truth I would like to share is that everyone has a complete and a well equipped brain to accomplish as much as he could ever imagine. This knowledge is needful in our drive towards academic excellence. It is a strong catalyst to approach our studies with the “I can” attitude and helps us develop a strong drive towards accomplishing the goal of outstanding results.

The brain is capable of acquiring, storing and retrieving information. These processes occur every day and we can get as much as we desire if we are willing to harness it. And for those preparing for or writing an examination it is an active on-going process. Examinations tend to test the skills we have acquired or what we can remember. In harnessing this power of the brain, there are proven keys of studying that are helpful.

The SQ4R system of reading presents to us a systematic approach to studying which makes recalling or retrieving the information to be done with ease. S stands for Survey- it means to look through the study material, the content, in other words, an overview. Q stands for question, ask a few questions or look at a typical past question on the subject. R stands for Read – Reading through the study material word after word. While reading, try to write down the main points, read through everything but do not write down everything. The next R stands for Review – it involves going through your notes, what you wrote down when reading and difficult aspects of the study material. The next R stands for Recall – during recall try to retrieve the information you have read without looking at the notes or study material, a time to ask a few questions and try to answer. The last R stands for Re-Read, during this process, try to read through the entire material again, this strengthens whatever has been learnt earlier.

Most importantly, I encourage students to constantly commit their reading to God before starting.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.Proverbs 3:5

Why? Because God is the One who makes us excellent.

I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Isaiah 60:15b.

If you will be an outstanding student, then you must go by the rules of examination: no cheating, no external aids, no lateness, and stop when you are told to do so.

Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of   them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize.I Corinthians 9:24.

Read the instructions on every examination very well before starting.

Some food and fruits that you can take include walnut, carrots, oranges, pineapples and apples as well as dark chocolate, red beans, red grapes, potatoes, strawberries. These are known to be rich in antioxidants, which help cell function in the body. In addition give some time to sleep and exercise- play a sport that you enjoy. Lastly, remember to come back to say thank you to God when you see your much awaited success.

For with God, nothing shall be impossible! Luke 1:37


Abimbola Idowu

Department of Physiology,

Lagos State University College of Medicine

Ikeja, Lagos

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