Secret Weapon for Multiple Choice Tests

Which of these multiple choice testing strategies have you never heard of before? That’s your new secret weapon.

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multiple choice

1. Before you start, note the structure of the test and plan your timing.

Here’s a nightmare you want to avoid. You turn to the final page of a test with two minutes left on the clock, only to find that the last question is a long-form essay question worth half the test points—and you’ve got zero time to write it.

If you know what’s coming, you can plan your time accordingly.

2. Read the question stem twice, then try to think of the answer yourself—without peeking at the choices.

The “stem” means the question itself, not including the answer choices.

Reading the question stem twice will help ensure that you won’t get answers wrong due to easily avoidable reading errors. And thinking up the correct answer in your head on your own—when possible—will help you instantly recognize the right answer when you see it.

3. Always read all the multiple choice answer choices.

Yes, the correct answer might jump right out at you, but carefully read the other choices as well. Sometimes you’ll realize that your original prediction actually needs to be reconsidered.

4. Don’t assume that the most familiar sounding answer choice is the right one.

Sometimes, the familiar sounding choice was planted there specifically to distract you from the right answer. When you’re choosing a correct answer, quietly ask yourself for some logical reasons why that answer is probably right.

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Top 9 Books I Most Love For Parents and Students

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can literally change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

(Are you worried that your teen won’t read a non-fiction book? See my helpful article on How to Get a Teen to Read a Non-Fiction Book.)

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can actually change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

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Starting a New Job? 3 Important Items To Bring the First Day

Your daughter is starting her first real job after college. Or maybe it’s you, the parent, starting a new job. No matter the age of a new full-time employee, bringing these three things on the first day of a new job makes a strong positive impression, and sets an employee up for maximum future success.

new job

1. Bring a clean, blank notebook and a pen to the first day of a new job.

You’re going to be learning a lot the first day, week, and month, right?

Pull out your notebook and take notes on what you’re learning. Write down passwords and assigned tasks, and note the names and titles of people you meet so that you can greet them by name when you see them, and later, connect to them on LinkedIN.

In the back of the notebook, make a list of tasks and projects you see at your new job that you might be able to take on at some point. There’ll be many times in the future when you’ll be able to say to those who supervise you, “I noticed that this needs to be done. How about if I take that on?”

When the first day of your new job is behind you, continue to take notes on what you’re learning each day, always including the day’s date at the top of each page. Review your notes each night. You’ll be viewed as a careful person who can be trusted with details—because you’ll actually be a careful person who can be trusted with details.

“Can’t I just enter the things I need to know about my new job into my phone?”

No, don’t do that.

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The Meme Every Kid Needs to See

Here it is—the meme every kid needs to see.

the meme every kid needs to see

Copy and forward this meme to the kids you love right now.

Tweet this meme out to the people who follow you!

When you’re a parent, it feels great to know you’re taking practical steps to set your kid up for successful college and career life.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, get your copy of my book:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

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The 5 Love Languages, Explained with Burritos

By this time nearly everyone’s heard of Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. It’s sold over 11 million copies, it’s the 12th most popular book on Amazon (where it has more than 13,000 5-star reviews), and it’s been a New York Times Bestseller 8 years running.

Want a super fast explanation of The 5 Love Languages?

This funny explanation by @Alonzo_Creed has been retweeted 52,000 times on Twitter:

1. Words of Affirmation: “This is a good burrito.”

2. Acts of Service: “I made you a burrito.”

3. Receiving Gifts: “Here’s a burrito.”

4. Quality time: “Let’s go get some burritos together.”

5. Physical touch: Arms around a person wrapped in a warm hug, like a burrito.

Are you wondering which one or two of The 5 Love Languages your teen, spouse, or other loved one is most wired to receive? Use the quick free 5 Love Languages assessment that author Gary Chapman offers on his website. You might also love Gary’s other book: The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively.

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Dropping a Kid At College Feels Like a Train Wreck

You’ve just dropped a son or daughter off at college for the first time—or you’ll be doing so soon, Part of you knows you should be getting a lifetime achievement award for making it this far, but instead, dropping a kid at college may feel like a train wreck in your own front yard.

dropping a kid at college

Blunt and raw, here are my own feelings about dropping a kid at college.

My own oldest son headed off to college just days ago, and here’s what I said to my dear mom friends who are on the same railroad tracks as I am:

“It’s like riding a speeding freight train 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 19 straight years. The train speeds up every year and goes faster and faster and faster AND FASTER until it becomes your life and your identity and your reality—and then SUDDENLY BAM! The train screeches to a halt and everyone you love flies off and runs away happy, and you’re left concussed and dazed and shell shocked and bruised by your seat belt—with only fragmentary memories of the journey.”

My friends laughed—and then they cried. They understood.

I love these words by Beverly Beckham on the subject of dropping a kid at college:

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Grisham NAILS IT in this Novel About Law School Debt

In March of 2018, I spent 12 days on vacation with my family. On the plane and on the beach, I read a fantastic John Grisham novel that contained a surprise for me that made my hair stand on end. What was it? The principal characters were all coping with horrific law school debt.

I’ve spent my entire professional life getting college students and grad students to careers they excel at and love with zero student loan debt. I spent years researching and writing a book on this subject. I can tell you, Grisham’s research on this topic is right on the money. He nails it.

law school debt

BEWARE. Law school debt has the potential to destroy your kid’s life.

I am not overstating this. Students who attend law school are at frightening risk of not being able to earn enough afterward to pay even the required minimums on their law school debt and interest. Law students from elite law schools who land the “big time” jobs will still struggle to pay—many times while working grueling 80+ hour workweeks that can feel more like indentured servitude than a great, fulfilling career.

Don’t fool yourself. It’s possible to get a great, fulfilling, high-paying professional career while avoiding law school.

Pages 133–151 of my book explains exactly how parents can use three career assessments to figure out what that great, fulfilling, well-paying career might be for their teen or 20something.

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My Best Debt-Free College Interview Yet

Listen On Your Drive to Work Today

To listen to my best debt-free college interview yet, click here.

Listen while you’re driving or getting ready in the morning, and you just might change the life of a student you love.

free college

In March of 2018 I was interviewed by Andy Earle, a Loyola Marymount University researcher who focuses on parent-teen communication and teen thriving and flourishing. I’ve been interviewed many times since my book LAUNCH came out in 2017, but this interview is by far the best. It’s the best produced, the most in-depth, the most inspiring, and the most informative.

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

You’ll feel a growing sense of hope for the teens and 20somethings you love.

I love what Andy Earle says about the debt-free college strategies I provide in LAUNCH.

After reading LAUNCH cover to cover, Andy says:

LAUNCH has become one of the most well-respected books on this subject (it’s the go-to reference book for financial planners and college consultants and coaches) because Jeannie isn’t just about doing college cheap, she’s about doing it debt-free and so effectively that it results in a great, satisfying career after college is over.”

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Oh, No — I’m MARRIED to Student Loan Debt

What to Know When Your "I do" Includes "I Do Intend to Pay."

If your spouse has student loan debt, what does that mean for you and for your financial future?

What can you do now that will keep you safe throughout the decades ahead, even if something bad happens?

Immediately address the biggest thing you must worry about when your spouse has student loan debt.

spouse has student loan debt

Think, for just a minute, of the unthinkable. What if your spouse dies, leaving you with a mountain of student loan debt that you have to pay off? Are you doomed? Or is there something you can do now to get out of paying thousands back all by yourself later?

To understand what your risks are and what you can do now to protect yourself and your family, be sure you’ve read the article I’ve written entitled “What Happens to Student Loan Debt When You Die?

Take all the safe, legal steps you can to free yourself from your spouse’s student loan debt now.

You don’t have to get a divorce in order to accomplish this. Just do the following six things as soon as you can:

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The 5 Essential Elements of Wellbeing

In their book Wellbeing, authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter outline what they call “the five essential elements of wellbeing.”

Wellbeing

Think about your kids as you read this list:

Physical Wellbeing

Social Wellbeing

Community Wellbeing

Financial Wellbeing

Career Wellbeing 

I think it’s fascinating to look at what happens in the spaces where two or more elements of wellbeing overlap. There’s great joy, for instance, in having a career—however humble—that gives you financial stability enough that you can give money away to help others who need help with their physical wellbeing.

And for teens and 20somethings, even if they temporarily have very limited money and zero career stability, they can still increase wellbeing by partnering with others around them (social) to do projects that help others (community).

According to Gallup research, this can actually be a faster route to happiness than going to an Ivy League university! (See the article I’ve written on this subject here.)

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