Aptitude tests to discover your passions: On-line and self-made

Since my “What are my passions? What should I study?” post (dated 7 February 2016), I have further explored my aptitude for psychology studies. This helped me come to the conclusion that I am perfectly suited for psychology studies as well as a career in psychology. Not only this but I have an aptitude for writing and photography as well.

How I came to my conclusions was by doing various career aptitude tests. Some I created myself (to discover my TRUE passions/interests) and some I found on-line (which I could answer truthfully using the knowledge I gained during my self-made tests). This whole process was very interesting and lots of fun!

As mentioned above, what I did firstly was to create a few aptitude tests of my own, as to enable myself to really think long and hard about my interests as well as my abilities. This was fairly easy to do and really did help me to be truthful with myself about not only the things I am passionate about, but also the things I now know I will be able to do (and do well). It doesn’t really help much if we have an interest or passion but we totally suck at it, and by creating your own self-made aptitude tests, you  enable yourself to not only ask questions about your interests/passions, but also your abilities regarding these. Always answer the questions you ask yourself truthfully because, honestly, if you don’t, you will just be lying to yourself.

Note that your self-made tests should not only be done once but should be repeated at least three times a week at different times. This reason for this being that you might change your mind as your mood changes. If all your test answers come out fairly the same each time you repeat the questions/tests, you can then proceed to use the knowledge gained to complete as many free on-line career aptitude tests as you can find. This whole process will give you a fairly good and accurate idea of what your true passions/interests are and if you should study/pursue these.

So just how do you make a self-made aptitude test? Well it is really simple, you start of by asking yourself a few questions that will force you to think (and answer) truthfully regarding your true interests/passions, AS WELL AS your ABILITIES regarding those interests/passions. An example of these questions are as follows:

1.) What do I really enjoy in life that I can see myself studying and then following a career path in?

2.) Do I have enough passion and interest in this/these (needed to study and follow a future career in this/these line/s or field/s)?

3.) Am I honestly capable of doing this (studying/career wise)?

4.) Are my chosen interests/passions something that can be studied and followed as a future career?

5.) Have I ever achieved anything in life regarding this/these passion/s or interest/s? (Note: For instance I held various trophies in high school for English and writing, plus I achieved very high percentages for my writing in university and I have had some poetry published Et cetera – I regarded things like these as achievements when answering this question).

6.) Am I sure I won’t get bored or tired of studying this/these (interests or passions) or bored or tired in/of a career in this/these line/s?

The above are just a few examples of questions you can ask yourself and/or add to your self-made tests. Think of other questions you could add that will help you to think hard and honestly about your passions/interests and abilities.

Some people might read this and say that they don’t have any interests and passions (and use this as a further excuse of why they never studied or even attempted to study), this however is total bull. we ALL have interests/passions, we just don’t always realise what these are. For instance if you enjoy cooking or gaming, those are your passions/interests. Just think carefully, be honest with yourself and then ask and answer a few questions such as those given above.

Remember, although all the “experts” in the world might be able to give you some guidance and advice regarding yourself (and what you might be interested in or good at), only YOU can truly find the path that is your destiny.

Good luck and happy testing.


Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016

Study tips

Even though I hated studying with a passion I became quite good at it. So I thought I would share some of my study tips as some readers out there might like them or find them useful. If study time for you is worse than going to the dentist for a root canal, try some of the following as they might just help you as they helped me.

                                         BeingMe’s/Debbie Nel’s study tips

1. If you find that you are slow at learning the vast amounts of work you need to know for an upcoming exam or test, try to make keyword notes as opposed to full study summaries. How this works is, you simply type/write keywords down pertaining to the section you are summarising. This is much faster and easier than making full summaries and you can turn learning into a game for yourself by trying to recall the full text (in your book) by looking at your keywords. Note, you should read through the chapter you are summarising with keywords a few times first before deciding on what/which keywords to take out/use. This will help you in the learning process a great deal as well (because by reading through the work to search for keywords to use, you are in actual fact starting the learning process). The keyword method makes your notes pages much shorter and easier to learn and revise. Note: I used to type/write my notes on coloured paper to make things more interesting for myself.

2. Always play soft classical or instrumental music in the background whilst learning/studying, even if you normally don’t listen to this type of music. This will help you to focus so much better on the content you are learning/studying or summarising, and also prevents boredom (to a degree).

3. Take lots of mini breaks while learning/studying. Every 30 minutes or so. During these breaks stretch your muscles. Mini breaks are essential since a brain that gets too tired (from constant learning) is useless. Tip: Why not colour in a picture from an adult colouring book, during your breaks? Adult colouring books are designed to relieve stress in adults and are quite therapeutic. They are available all over the internet. There are some good examples at Ali Express. Just go to the website and type “adult colouring books” in the search box.

4. Don’t always learn/study in the same areas. I found that I got really bored learning/studying by my desk all the time so I changed the areas I learnt in each time I studied. Try learning/studying on your bed, in the garden or even on the floor of your living room for a change.

5. Start studying/learning a few weeks before the time or better yet, at the beginning of the semester. This is hard to put into practice but trust me, it has many benefits. For example, you only need to study for an hour or two a day (depending on how much work you have to learn) and your written assignments become much easier to do because you will already have a good grasp of the learning content when you start them.

6. Make studying a bit more fun by writing/typing your notes/keywords in different colours, recording your notes/keyword summaries in a funny voice and playing it back to yourself and/or by drawing little pictures next to your summaries/keyword notes. The picture drawing method is a great learning tool, as it is much easier for many to remember the pictures (and their meanings) than it is to remember the text. Another thing I used to do and that you can try (if you are “adventurous” and silly like me), is to turn your difficult learning content into a song. Use the tune of your favourite song and turn the learning content into lyrics to that song. This works great if you love music. You don’t even have to record the song you just need to sing it to yourself. Note though that you get frowned upon by your lecturers if they catch you singing/humming to yourself in the exam room (I know), so rather sing to yourself in your head if you are trying to recall the work during the exam.

And that’s it. Those are all the tips I can remember for now. I will add others if any come to mind. Please try some (or all) of these and let me know which worked for you, also if you have any tips to add please do so (via comments). Remember you can comment anonymously if you don’t want to create a special account in order to comment and/or if you wish to remain incognito.

Good luck with your studying!


Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016

The influence of others can make you or break you

It’s truly amazing how others can influence your feelings.You can start out enjoying something and then land up hating it because, as most humans do, you let someone else (or a few others) get into your head.

Studies/academics are no exception. All it takes are a few snipe comments or bad/ill treatment from others to make you cringe at the mere thought of your studies, field of study or even your career.

For example, say you loved playing nurse or doctor as a child and you grew up reading medical magazines and journals, always knowing you had a passion for medicine. As a result, you worked really hard at school to get good grades and therefore achieved your goal of admission to medical studies. Not only that, you managed to get into your dream university of choice. You are elated and feel like you can conquer anything.

Then as time passes, others keep telling you how you won’t really make a good doctor or nurse, and/or have other jealous actions or remarks towards you. You shrug this off at first but eventually you start believing them and doubting yourself. Some might quit their studies at this point but not you, you decide to go on and finish. You manage this and your graduation is a very proud moment for you and your family, so you start forgetting all the ill remarks and actions of others during your studies.

Then time comes for your internship. You are very excited, but from day one you are treated like a dog. You are spoken down to, you are used for all sorts of degrading tasks. Naturally you take this treatment in the beginning because you believe it is all just a part of your orientation period and that in time it will get better. Only it doesn’t and it just worsens. This makes you start to believe that those who tormented you during your studies were maybe right all along. Your self-image and confidence in yourself begins to break down. You start to despise medicine. Eventually you cannot take it any more, and so you convince yourself that medical studies and practising in the medical field are not for you after all. You quit and your future all of a sudden becomes very uncertain and bleak.

Sound far fetched? Well not really. Scenarios like this play out all the time, and I know it is hard but DON’T let others get to you or have an influence on your life and choices. No matter how bad their words or actions are. If you let them into your brain and thoughts they will shatter your soul.

I understand this is easier said than done and trust me, I have made this mistake all too often, but you can prevent/fight this. How?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Practice blocking people out when they have negative things to say towards you. You can do this by following a little trick of mine. When someone starts being negative/nasty, start picturing them as babies or toddlers. Imagine how they looked at this/these stages of their lives, then tell yourself you are listening to the selfish, jealous words of a mere child. Nod, smile and think scr*% you (or something similar in that line).

2. When people treat you badly, and make you do menial or degrading tasks that are beneath you (often whilst taunting you), take it in your stride and do these tasks whilst smiling. All the while KNOWING (and this part is TRUE) that your actions are p-ing them off because their whole jealous aim is to make life hell for you and if it appears that you don’t give a hoot, you are winning and they are losing. With time this should make them leave you alone because abusing/taunting you gets them nowhere and just makes them feel like idiots. However, some individuals (slash idiots) might not do this (leave you alone) and might decide as a result to provoke you in more vicious ways to retaliate. This however grants you the golden opportunity to report them, because you did everything right like a total angel, and they came across as being persistently evil and vindictive.

The above are just two examples of ways to handle certain actions/behaviour of others. If you need any other ideas/suggestions pertaining to your own unique situations, leave a comment here-under and I will try to help you. I am sure some other readers will have some great suggestions for you as well.

Remember, DON’T give others the power over you! It is your life and your choices!


Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016