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Obstacles to Effective Learning

June 22, 2015

By: Abe Flanigan, 2015 MSRE graduate assistant

 Study every day.

Pay attention during all of your classes.

Ask questions.

Chances are good you’ve heard these three keys to success during your years of schooling. There’s a reason why your parents and teachers recommended those learning strategies: students do better when they try harder. But how effective is a study session if your friends or the temptation to check Facebook constantly distract you? How well can you pay attention in your American history lecture if you only got four hours of sleep last night? While the specific learning strategies students use receive a lot of attention, we often lose sight of other factors that influence our ability to learn new information or perform well on tests and quizzes.

The purpose of this blog is to share information with you about how your sleeping pattern, exercise habits, and exposure to distractions impact your brain’s ability to learn and process information.

I need my six hours of sleep

 College students are notorious for staying up late to hang out with friends, binge watch Netflix, or study for an upcoming test. Sure, we all like to spend time with our friends, get caught up on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or feel prepared for our Intermediate Stats test. However, most of us fail to consider how maintaining such an unhealthy sleeping cycle impacts our brains and bodies. Dr. James Maas, author of Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program that Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance (1999) and widely regarded sleep expert, has dedicated his career to studying the effects that sleep has on our capacity to learn and perform at our highest levels.

How much sleep do you get every night? Four hours? Six hours? Eight hours? One of my roommates during undergrad always used to tell me, “As long as I get my six hours of sleep, I’m good to go.” If you’re like most college students, six hours of sleep sounds pretty good. But, what if I were to tell you that Maas’ research has found that people who sleep 4-6 hours every night for an entire week and then perform a series of challenging cognitive and physical tasks perform just as well as participants who are well rested, but legally intoxicated? It’s true. A lack of sleep can severely impact how well our brains and bodies perform. Maas suggests the average adult needs between 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Sound impossible? Make sleep a priority. If you sleep every night from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. (or from midnight until 8 a.m.), you’ll get your eight hours. To give yourself a chance to wind down and get more sleep at night, make the most of the daylight hours.

Another reason why sleep is helpful relates to a process known as Memory Consolidation. Throughout the course of the day, we learn hundreds of new pieces of information as we talk to other people, listen to the radio, read newspapers, or scroll through Facebook and Twitter. Our brains process thousands (maybe even millions) of sights, sounds, and other stimuli through our senses. That’s a TON of information. We can’t possibly remember it all! While we sleep, the brain sorts through all of the information from the previous day. This is when the brain decides what was important and what wasn’t, keeping important information and “deleting” the unimportant. This is the process of memory consolidation. If you spent four hours that day studying for your French history class, then your brain is going to identify that information as important and begin the process of storing (or, consolidating) it into long-term memory. The information the brain deems less important (e.g., the information you spent less time paying attention to) is going to be “deleted. This is why it’s difficult to remember what you had for breakfast four days ago – it’s really not that important so the brain removes that information from your memory.

Here’s why sleep is important to memory consolidation: the longer you sleep, the more information your brain can sort through and begin to consolidate into long-term memory. If you only give yourself six hours of sleep instead of eight, then your brain has less time to consolidate information into your long-term memory.

Besides setting an earlier bedtime for yourself, what else can you do to get more sleep? Maas has three suggestions. First, remove as many stimuli from your surroundings as possible. Remember, one of the purposes of sleeping is to give your brain a rest from processing information. So, if you sleep with a radio or television on, your brain picks up on the noise and your sleep rhythm is disrupted. At a speech he gave during the 2010 Great Plains Psychology Conference, Maas described how even the light emitted from an electronic alarm clock is enough to interfere with sleep. Second, if you like to workout late in the evening before bed, there’s a chance you’re messing with your sleeping habits. As you exercise, your body temperature rises. But, in order to go to sleep, your body temperature needs to lower. Working out shortly before bed makes it difficult for your body to cool down, so it’s more difficult to fall asleep. Or, you may be able to fall asleep, only to wake up a couple of times during the night or you feel groggy the next morning. Third, Maas advocates setting up a pre-bedtime routine. Calming activities such as reading a book, writing in a journal, or listening to soft music are all things we can do to help our bodies calm down and prepare for sleep.

 Exercise is for more than getting that “beach body”

 A healthy exercise routine also has positive effects on our ability to learn new information. No, you don’t have to run eight miles a day, do 500 sit-ups, or 100 pushups. Researchers have found that simply doing aerobic exercise (such as going for a jog or riding a bike) for just 30 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week is enough to boost your brain’s learning capabilities for up to 6-8 hours after you finish exercising. How? As we exercise, our brains release a chemical known as brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). Simply put, BDNF is a natural steroid. The presence of BDNF positively impacts our cognitive efficiency and makes it easier to process information and store it in long-term memory. The more regularly you exercise, the more regularly you have elevated levels of BDNF in the brain. So, even if you aren’t motivated to get a perfectly sculpted beach body before Spring Break next year, you can use your academic goals as motivation to get into the gym or head out for a bike ride.

 Facebook, texting, and other distractions that hinder your learning

 Getting enough sleep and exercise can improve your brain’s ability to learn and process information. However, simply being well rested and settled into an exercise routine is not enough to guarantee success. You also need to pay attention to how the environment around you may benefit or harm your brain’s capabilities.

Take a minute to visualize the environment you typically study in. Is your cell phone within reach? Do you have distracting Internet sites open (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) on your laptop? Is the television on in the background? Having these distractions present in your study environment increases what educational psychologists call motivational interference (e.g., Fries & Dietz, 2006). Motivational interference refers to the decrease in our motivation and on-task behaviors as a result of the presence of tempting distractions. Unfortunately, students who experience high levels of motivational interference experience diminished motivation to continue studying, produce lower quality homework, and perform more poorly on tests and quizzes than students who minimize motivational interference.

So, you could be well rested and settled into an exercise routine, but that doesn’t guarantee success. Instead, it could all be wasted if you surround yourself with distractions during your study and homework sessions. In addition to motivational interference, research has found that the human brain cannot multitask (Medina, 2008). Most of us think we can switch between one task and another (like switching between studying for a quiz and sending text messages) and still function at an optimal level. Wrong! Instead, asking our brain to switch back and forth between one task and another challenges and makes our brain tired. Trying to multitask reduces the how much information we retain from study sessions. By minimizing the presence of distractions in our study and homework sessions, we can increase the quality of those sessions. So, put your phone on silent, close the Facebook tab on your laptop, and focus on studying. You’ll be surprised by how much easier it is to learn when you don’t have so many different things competing for your attention.

 Closing thoughts

 Remember, specific study strategies are important for your success. Study, work diligently on your homework, and ask questions. Being a proactive student will pay off in the form of good grades, positive relationships with your instructors, and enhanced opportunities for graduate school. But don’t forget that other factors also impact your learning outcomes. By getting enough sleep, your brain has time to rest and consolidate information into your long-term memory. Getting plenty of sleep also helps your brain function at its peak during the day. Exercise releases BDNF in the brain, further enhancing its ability to function at a high level. Finally, minimizing distractions when you’re studying allows your fully rested and BDNF-filled brain to process information more easily. By taking sleep, exercise, and the presence of distractions into account, you can make it easier on yourself to learn new information and perform at a high level.

Perspective is Everything: How Mindset Influences Your Success

June 15, 2015

By: Abe Flanigan, 2015 MSRE graduate assistant

Students’ beliefs about their ability to learn can have an incredibly positive or negative impact on their college success. Take Alan and Maria, for example. Both are college freshmen taking an introductory-level chemistry class. Alan never felt like he was any good at science. Instead, Alan likes to tell himself, “Tiger Woods was born to be a great golfer and Emily Dickinson was born to be a writer. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, I’m just not cut out to be a scientist.” Maria, on the other hand, has a different mindset. Although science has never been her favorite topic, she knows studying and working hard make it possible to do well in those courses. While thinking about chemistry, Maria often tells herself, “I know it might not be my best subject, but I can earn an A or B in this class by working hard.”

Last week, Alan and Maria took a chemistry quiz. Both of them failed. While neither was happy about failing, they interpreted their performances differently. Alan saw his poor performance as confirmation that he’s simply not cut out for science and, no matter how much time and effort he devotes to science classes, he’ll never succeed in chemistry. Maria understood her poor performance as an indication that she needs to devote more time and effort studying, asking questions, and visiting her professor’s office hours. She believes that, by working hard, she can do better on future quizzes, learn the material, and succeed.

Alan’s and Maria’s interpretations of their quiz performance represent two opposite mindsets about the nature of learning. According to educational psychologist Carol Dweck (1999), most students have one of two mindsets about the nature of learning: fixed and growth.

Students like Alan have a fixed mindset. For these students, intelligence is an innate gift. You’re either born smart or you’re not. You’re good at math and science, or you aren’t. Students with a fixed mindset don’t see the value in working hard or taking challenging academic courses because there’s no point. If you were born with natural ability in math, then you’ll always be good at math; if you weren’t born with natural ability in science, then you’ll always struggle in classes like biology and physics. It’s as simple as that and there’s no way around it.

Fortunately, not all people think this way.

The Wright Brothers had to overcome several crashes before successfully flying the first plane. Crick and Watson had to work for over a decade before uncovering DNA’s true structure. Marie Curie only discovered radium after years of intensive work and study. All of these people understood that they needed to persevere and overcome obstacles to reach their goals. People who view intelligence as a malleable quality that can be developed over time through hard work and effort possess a growth mindset. These people understand that sometimes learning doesn’t come easy. In order to succeed, you need to apply yourself, take on new challenges, confront failures, and work hard.

What influence does our mindset have?

Dweck discovered important differences between people who possess fixed and those with growth mindsets. She found that mindsets influence (a) how we respond to setbacks, (b) our beliefs about the importance of working hard, (c) academic performance, and (d) the amount of anxiety we experience during college.

Response to setbacks. If students believe success in school is fixed, that it’s determined by how much natural ability they have in each subject, then their failures or successes will only confirm those beliefs. Alan thought he was bad at chemistry. When he failed the quiz, Alan decided his performance confirmed his belief. He was unable to see how a more concerted effort would’ve helped him boost his performance on the quiz.

Students with a growth mindset view setbacks as opportunities for improvement. Maria didn’t do well on this quiz, but used the experience as motivation. She studied frequently, asked more questions, and visited her instructor’s office hours. Maria believes that, with a more dedicated effort, she can succeed. Setbacks are going to happen; they’re a natural part of the learning process. If your faculty research advisor doesn’t like the way you wrote the first draft of your research manuscript, does that mean you will never be able to write scientifically? Of course it doesn’t. It simply means you have room to improve. Believe me, even doctoral students (and faculty members) receive constructive feedback from peers and advisors.

Beliefs about effort. It’s empowering to know that the ability to learn new information and master new skills is in your hands. Students with a fixed mindset believe working hard is pointless because intelligence can’t be developed over time and natural ability won’t disappear. They are wrong about both of these things.

First, research has shown how taking more notes, studying regularly, and setting a goal to master course content are positively associated with course achievement. Hard work does matter. Second, ability does decrease over time if you don’t continue to practice and apply yourself. For example, let’s say that Alisha’s high school teachers always told her she was a good writer. When she got to college, Alisha felt that she didn’t need to spend time improving her writing ability because she was already a “good writer.” But if she doesn’t practice the skill and hone her abilities, Alisha will have trouble rising to the more demanding writing tasks in college. After all, it’s much more difficult to write a research manuscript in college than to write a two-page book report in high school. Previous success does NOT always mean that you’ll continue to be successful in the future. It takes effort to continue developing the skills to be successful in college, graduate school, and beyond. Students with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace this reality than students with a fixed mindset.

Academic performance. By using setbacks as motivation to improve and work harder, students with a growth mindset set themselves on the path to academic success. The same can be said for growing as a researcher. Learning how to write scientifically takes work. Exploring relevant literature, designing experiments, and analyzing the results can be draining, time-consuming, and mentally exhausting. However, all of us have the capacity to become competent researchers who contribute to our respective fields. By embracing this truth and working towards it, you will already put yourself ahead of students whose fixed mindsets hold them back.

Anxiety. Finally, students with fixed and growth mindsets feel different levels of anxiety during their academic experience. Sure, everybody feels a little anxious sometimes. In fact, studies have shown that feeling slightly nervous before a test or speaking to a group of people can actually boost your performance! People with a fixed mindset, however, experience what educational psychologists refer to as “invited anxiety” – the anxiety that arises from a lack of preparation and feeling like they can’t learn new skills. Why invite anxiety? You have enough to focus on, so keep a positive attitude towards learning!

What does all of this mean for you?

Now that you know a little more about fixed and growth mindsets, you can begin to think about how your mindset impacts your motivation, behavior, and performance. If you have a fixed mindset, take steps towards developing a healthier growth mindset. If you’re struggling in calculus, talk to friends who took the course before you, learn about their struggles. Find out how they overcame them. Read Carol Dweck’s work on fixed and growth mindsets and learn how mindsets influence the performance of students, people in the workforce, athletes, and more. The more educated you are about the benefits of a growth mindset, the easier it’ll be for you to accept how influential your mindset really is.

As you work to develop your academic, research, and professional skills, don’t forget about the importance of your mindset. If you attend graduate school, you can expect to be challenged. You’ll learn new, complex forms of statistics. You’ll receive feedback on how you design research studies and write reports. You may even receive a teaching assistantship and need to learn how to communicate effectively, develop lesson plans, and design assignments that promote student learning. If you’re like most people, you’ll struggle in some (or maybe ALL) of these areas. That’s okay. By keeping a growth mindset, positive attitude, and putting your best foot forward, you can chip away at the obstacles in front of you and achieve your academic and professional goals.

2015 McNair Recognition Reception Video

April 27, 2015

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln 2015 McNair Recognition Reception Video honoring the graduating Scholars as well as other current McNair Scholars is available for viewing at:


I Survived MSRE…Now What?

September 4, 2013

by Maggie Gossard

You’ve just finished the McNair Summer Research Experience (MSRE), and you’re excited about what comes next. Here are a few suggestions that helped me have a successful post-MSRE experience.

Give yourself a break
You ate, slept, lived, and breathed your project this summer. You went to Berkeley and completely rocked out your presentation. Maybe you want to start on the next project quickly. But don’t forget to relax. All of your hard work has paid off (and will continue to pay off), and now it’s time to do something nice for yourself. Whether it’s going to get a massage, having a night out with friends, or simply catching up on some much needed sleep, do your best to just take a breather. There is more work to come, but creating balance in your life is a healthy habit to get into. The ability to maintain balance in your life will help you during the next academic year and beyond in graduate school.

Continue your research
This fall, take all of the new skills that you learned during MSRE and apply them to your research. Whether you continue work on your McNair project or starting a completely new research project, know that you’re competent and ready for whatever comes your way. If you’re continuing your existing study, consider making it your senior thesis. After all, thanks to your McNair paper, a good bulk of the work will already be done! You’ll perhaps just be adding in some additional results and bulking up your discussion. If you’re starting a new project, use your McNair paper as a template to help you build your next paper and develop it into a senior thesis.

Market yourself
You’ve accomplished so much! You’re not only a fantastic student, you’re now also a scholar. This sets you apart from your peers in an important way, and it’s important to market yourself as an asset. For example, if you’ve worked in one lab and have done a great job, consider adding another lab to the mix. You’ll have a track record of excellence behind you, and you have a lot to offer a new lab. Plus, don’t forget, you need three letters of recommendation for graduate school; adding experience in a second lab is a great way to secure another letter. Additionally, check out any departmental academic or research awards that you may be eligible for. These look great on your curriculum vitae and solidify your reputation as a scholar.

Prepare for the graduate application process
McNair has given you the tools for applying to graduate school. Don Asher has given you some helpful tips and advice. Now it’s time to put everything into motion. The application process is intense, but completely manageable if you make it a priority and stay organized.

  • If you haven’t already done so, study for and take the GRE. Ideally, you’ll want to give yourself 2-3 months to prepare. There’s no magic formula, book, or app to get you through the GRE. There are tools that can aid you in your study, but when all is said and done, it’s about good old-fashioned studying.
  • Begin researching and narrowing down the schools you plan to apply to. Focus on fit.Remember, as Don Asher said, “Fit and match trump grades and scores”. Don’t get hung up on “big name” schools; there may not be any faculty there researching what you’re interested in. Along those same lines, don’t compromise doing what you’re passionate about to go to a prestigious school. It can turn into a very long five or six years in graduate school if you are not doing something you love.
  • After identifying the programs and faculty members that you’re interested in, email the professors to see if they’re taking students. It could be the best match in the world, but if they don’t have an open spot for you, it will be a waste of time applying there.
  • Begin drafting your personal statement. I recommend that for the first draft, you don’t think too much. Sit down and just pour your heart out on paper. Then begin to revise with the help of your mentor or graduate student mentor. Writing your statement this way will ensure that the “uniquely you” part of your statement is present. Remember to address any adversity you have faced in the past as something you have overcome, not something that happened to you. Give your statement a positive, inspiring message filled with clarity of purpose.
  • Begin identifying your letter writers and gathering information for them. They should be given a copy of your cv, statement of purpose, McNair paper, information on each school you are applying to, the faculty you’re applying to work with (and their research interests), and all the information about when and how to submit their letters to each school. Do your best to make writing and submitting your letters as easy as possible for your writers. The less time they have to spend looking for the information they need to submit their letter, the more time they can spend on writing you a strong letter. 

Keep your grades up
In the middle of all of the chaos, be careful not to neglect your coursework. If you are applying in the fall, your fall marks will be the last set of grades that admission committees will see before they make your admission decision. Strategize your course load and make those grades count.Try to take a “light” course load (no more than 12 credit hours) of enjoyable, manageable classes so that you can make the application process a priority while comfortably balancing your classes.

If you follow these steps, you can effectively use your MSRE experience as a springboard to continued success from college and into graduate school. You have proved to yourself that you can do this: you belong in this domain, you are a scholar, and you are on the path to greatness. Work hard, stay organized, be committed to your plan, and enjoy the ride! The future is yours for the taking.

Making the Most of Your Presentation

July 22, 2013

by Morgan Conley

Think about one of your favorite presentations when you were an audience member and the presenter used PowerPoint. What was that presenter doing that made his or her presentation memorable? How did he or she speak? How did he or she move? Chances are good that the presenter clearly organized slides, engaged the audience, and practiced before the presentation. Below are a few tips to make the most of your presentation.

1. Organization. An organized PowerPoint presentation helps keep your presentation on track. Remember that the slides don’t make up the whole presentation; they are tools that keep you on track. Slides should be brief and to the point, not weighed down with text. Where appropriate, add visuals like pictures, charts, and diagrams to further explain a concept. PowerPoint presentations are linear, so your presentation will flow from one slide to another. The ordering of slides should make sense for what is being presented..

2. Engagement. As mentioned previously, you, the presenter, are the star of the show. Engaging the audience makes whatever you are presenting that much more exciting and interesting. One of the easiest ways to get your audience engaged is by asking a question related to their own experience. Ask them how they generally think about something related to your topic, and solicit a few responses. Then follow up their comments with how you are thinking about something in your presentation. For example, if you’re presenting on the benefits of parallel circuits over series circuits, ask your audience to imagine a string of Christmas lights. Have they ever wondered why, even when one light is burned out, the rest light up? From there, you can present the differences between the two types of circuits. Because your audience has connected your presentation with their own experience, they are able to relate to your topic more easily and remain engaged. This is only one of many ways to get your audience engaged.

3. Content. As much as your presentation is about performance, content matters too. More than likely, people will come to your presentation because they’re interested in what you have to say, so what you tell them is important. For starters, make sure what you are sharing is correct and honest. Share your PowerPoint with graduate students in your lab as well as your faculty mentor. If possible, practice your presentation with your lab as an audience. They’ll be able to provide feedback on your content and your presentation style.

4. Practice and Preparation. Prepare for audience questions by thinking about potential questions and how you’d answer them. Also practice ways of acknowledging a question you can’t answer. For example, an audience member might ask you about a topic that’s tangential related to your research (but may be central to her own research!). By thanking the person for the question, explaining that the topic wasn’t within the parameters of your research, and briefly touching on one or two ways your research could expand to include the topic, your presentation stays on track, and you aren’t trying to sound knowledgeable about an area you haven’t researched. Nerves can sometimes make people forget and they make share something that is incorrect by accident. To avoid this, practice. It feels necessary to say this multiple times; practice, Practice, PRACTICE! This is the best way for you to become comfortable with your material and confident about the information you are sharing.

Obviously, this list is not exhaustive of all the ways you can prepare for your presentation. Consider these tips as foundational and think about ways you can expand to make your presentation fit into a style you are comfortable with.

Flipping the Classroom

June 14, 2013

by Brett Sallach

Sitting at home working on an assignment and thumping your head against the wall in frustration, have you ever said to yourself, “This seemed so easy when the teacher did examples in class!”? This has been a common occurrence during my educational journey, and it is common for many students. This also seems like it is the time when students decide “I’m not good at math or science” or “I don’t like math and science”. The idea of flipping the classroom is a technique hoping to end these frustrating experiences.

Flipping the classroom is an idea that is a key component of Salmon Khan’s Khan Academy. The idea is that lectures are available in short (8-12 minute) videos online that students access on their own, outside of class. Homework, or practice problems, are completed in the classroom. In my experience, when I’m doing practice problems, I get caught up with some minor error, like an incorrect negative sign, or a mislabeled variable. These are easy corrections for a teacher/coach to correct and get quickly on my way to understanding the greater concept.

This opens up an entirely new dynamic in terms of teacher-student interactions. In a traditional lecture, students take notes on concepts presented by the professor. Hesitant to ask the professor to pause, students scramble to take notes on the lecture and may not understand key concepts. In a flipped classroom, however, students take the wheel and steer their own learning. If a concept is more difficult to understand, the self-guided learner can re-watch a video as many times as needed to master a concept. Can you imagine rewinding and replaying a lecture as often as you wanted? In class, students can actively ask questions of the instructor because the topic isn’t new. As a result, students can master a concept in class. Learning then becomes a self-paced journey supported by group work. We all know that teaching a concept is the best way to master knowledge. This system gives opportunities for increased quality interactions between students and teachers as well as students and their peers, so that students are actively acquiring knowledge rather than passively sitting in a lecture and hoping they understand the concepts being taught.

This summer, the MSRE program will be instituting this flipped classroom approach for a few of the weekly seminars. Scholars who actively participate in the flipped classroom will make the most of group sessions. Take advantage of this system! Watch the videos when you’re mentally prepared and in a place to soak in the material. Watch videos before the session to prepare. Find a time and a place that you’re free to focus on the task at hand and can avoid distractions. Watch the videos, and practice the concepts taught in them. Then, bring your questions to the session.

If you’d like to learn more, click the link below and watch Salmon Khan’s TED Talk about this innovative approach to learning. I guarantee you’ll be excited about learning when you get done. Additionally, I’m challenging you to be an active learner this summer. Take advantage of this system and see if it changes your learning experience!

MSRE 2013: You Get What You Give

May 15, 2013

by Maggie Gossard

Heading into MSRE 2013, scholars are bound to be feeling many conflicting emotions: excitement, fear, passion, dread, etc. This is normal and okay! Embarking on any new experience can be both scary and thrilling at the same time. Coming from someone who went through MSRE just last summer, I remember feeling all of these same emotions. However, looking back now, here is the best piece of advice that I feel I can give: Scholars get out of this experience what they put in. Here’s why….

  • You’re in McNair because you want to attend graduate school. Advanced study generally requires a good amount of research. If you truly give 100% to your project and this experience, you’ll have a good sense of whether you want to devote yourself to research by the end of the summer. Doing things half-heartedly will not give you a true picture of what life as a graduate student would be like. It is important that, as scholars, you’re giving yourselves the opportunity to make the most informed decision possible about going to graduate school.
  • Like many other scholars, you may choose to continue working on your McNair project during the fall semester through UCARE. And if you decide to do a senior thesis, putting together a good quality, solid McNair manuscript during summer research can make life so much easier. While you may choose to collect some additional data or run some additional analyses for your thesis, much of the heavy lifting of actually writing it up (literature review/introduction, methods, and parts of the discussion) will have already been done. You’ll just need to go in and add/edit the new information.
  • A big part of academia is building relationships. Giving your all to your project during MSRE can get you off on the right foot with building a relationship with advisors and mentors. Working hard, communicating effectively, and being an active learner will speak volumes to faculty mentors about the your potential as a graduate student (which will come in very handy when they are writing your letters of recommendation!). Remember, it’s crucial that MSRE is your opportunity to show yourself as a future scholar.

So the moral of the story is: put in your best effort and it will pay off tenfold. The work is worth it, because you get what you give.


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