E “Self-testing”

All of this book is a lesson in simulation, because this is a book with words in it, and words are simulations of reality. This lesson is an exercise to fearlessly take action. Since you’ll be writing, it works better if the “action” to take is, itself, a writing task. It could be an upcoming exam, or writing your will. The exercise works whether you are 75% done or 5% prepared to start.

Task 1. 3m, 40w.

Think about the challenging task you’ve identified. Finish a sentence like this: “The purpose of this task is to…” Perhaps “demonstrate my knowledge of the endocrine system,” or “communicate my values and divvy up my valuables.”

So that I don’t continue to prime your death, the remainder of this lesson will focus on the youthful experience of learning.

Task 2. 2m, 0w.

Picture someone who doesn’t struggle to do this task. They would score 100% or write the perfect paper/assignment. Assume they weren’t born able to do this. How did they get that skill? Edit the same 4 things to try to make them more concrete and tractable.

Task 3. 8m, 100w.

Assume that ideal performer writes a custom quiz on the very areas you’re struggling with. Write quiz questions that tests your learning objectives. For example, I’m working on a paper that deals with how talking happens in the brain. A question in my quiz is, “define the two contrasting theoretical positions in 15 words, each.”

Task 4. 2m, 0w.

Revise your quiz so that it would take about 30 minutes for your expert to complete, with questions that can be answered in 5 to 25 words. Add word and time limits for each question.

Task 5. 20-25m.

Take your quiz.