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Exam Code: FSDEV Practice test 2022 by Killexams.com team
FSDEV BCS Foundation Certificate in Systems Development

One hour 'closed book' with 40 multiple choice questions
Pass mark is 65% (26/40)
Specific learning objectives
A comprehensive range of courses are covered, including:
Introduction to systems development
Life cycle types and their rationales
Business analysis
Requirements engineering
Making a business case
Programming and development approaches
Systems modelling and specification techniques
Systems design
System architecture
Quality and testing
Implementation and changeover
Evaluation and maintenance
Software support tools

Introduction to Systems Development (5%, K2) 7
2. Lifecycle types and their rationales (10%, K2) 7
3. Business Analysis (5%, K2) 8
4. Requirements Engineering (10%, K2) 8
5. Making a Business Case (10%, K3) 9
6. Programming and Development Approaches (10%, K2) 10
7. Systems Modelling and Specification Techniques (10%, K2) 10
8. Systems Design (10%, K2) 11
9. System Architecture (5%, K2) 12
10. Quality and Testing (10%, K2) 13
11. Implementation and Changeover (5%, K2) 14
12. Evaluation and Maintenance (5%, K2) 15
13. Software Support Tools (5%, K2)

This BCS Foundation Certificate in Systems Development is designed for anyone involved in or affected by the development of IS/IT systems: this extends to Business and Systems Analysts, Designers, Developers, Testers and other users and practitioners who want an understanding of the coverage of Systems Development. Candidates will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles systems development and delivery, including, life cycle approaches, architecture, business analysis, requirements engineering, systems modelling, design, development, testing, implementation and communication between the various roles involved in systems development and delivery.
This test sits below the range of BCS modular Certificates in Systems Development and the BCS Diploma in Solution Development. It can be used to provide a foundation in the subject for specialists in other disciplines.
A pass in this Certificate is an optional requirement of the BCS International Diploma in Systems Development, for candidates wishing to follow that certification pathway later.

Specific Learning Objectives
A comprehensive range of courses are covered, including:
 Introduction to Systems Development
 Life Cycle types and their Rationales
 Business Analysis
 Requirements Engineering
 Making a Business Case
 Programming and Development Approaches
 Systems Modelling and Specification Techniques
 Systems Design
 System Architecture
 Quality and Testing
 Implementation and changeover
 Evaluation and maintenance
 Software Support Tools

For each top-level area of the syllabus a percentage and K level is identified. The percentage is the test coverage of that area, and the K level identifies the maximum level of knowledge that may be examined for that area.
1. Introduction to Systems Development (5%, K2)
The objective is to understand the scope of systems development work and its relationship to other associated disciplines.
1.1 What is systems development
1.2 The scope of systems development
1.3 Relationship with other disciplines such as project management, programming, testing, service management, change and configuration management
2. Lifecycle types and their rationales (10%, K2)
The objective is to understand the range of systems development lifecycles, their application, advantages and disadvantages. 2.1 Systems Development Lifecycles
 Waterfall model
 V model
 Incremental model
 Spiral model
 Unified Process
2.2 For each lifecycle
 Principles and rationale
 Structure and stages
 Advantages
 Disadvantages
 Selection criteria
 Team roles and responsibilities
2.3 Adaptation and customisation of the lifecycles
2.4 Project management and the lifecycles
 Responsibilities of project managers in systems development
 Difference between project life cycles and systems development life cycles

3. Business Analysis (5%, K2)
The objective is to understand the objectives, activities and deliverables of business analysis
3.1 Definition of Business Analysis
3.2 Holistic discipline
 Focus on business problems and opportunities
 Bridge between business and IT
3.3 Place of Business Analysis in the development lifecycle
 Feasibility study
 Requirements analysis
 User acceptance testing
 Implementation
 Post-implementation review/benefits realisation
3.4 Outcomes from Business Analysis
 People change
 Process change
 IT/IS change
 Organisation change
4. Requirements Engineering (10%, K2)
The objective is to understand the core activities of the requirements engineering approach
and the techniques used to define, document and manage requirements.
4.1 Key areas of Requirements Engineering
 Requirements elicitation
 Requirements analysis
 Requirements negotiation
 Requirements documentation
 Requirements validation
4.2 Techniques for requirements elicitation
 Workshops
 Interviews
 Observation
 Questionnaires
 Scenarios
 Prototyping
 Document analysis
4.3 For each elicitation technique
 Purpose of the technique
 Advantages
 Disadvantages
4.4 Types of requirements
 Functional
 Non-functional
4.5 Prioritising requirements
 Reasons for prioritisation
 Approach to prioritisation
4.6 Managing requirements
 Recording requirements documentation
 Change control
 Version control
 Traceability
 CASE tools
4.7 Analysing and validating requirements
 Feasibility checking
 Ensuring the consistency and correctness of the requirements
 The validation process and roles
 Responsibilities of the reviewers
5. Making a Business Case (10%, K3)
The objective is to understand the purpose of producing a business case and the structure and contents of a business case.
5.1 Feasibility checking
 Business feasibility
 Technical feasibility
 Financial feasibility
5.2 Elements of a business case
 Background and context to the business case
 Options
 Costs and benefits for each option
 Impacts of each option
 Risks of each option
 Recommended actions
5.3 Identifying, evaluating and selecting options
5.4 Principles of cost/benefit analysis
5.5 Principles of impact and risk analysis
6. Programming and Development Approaches (10%, K2)
The objective is to appreciate the different approaches to programming and development of software solutions and identify the key features of each.
6.1 Types of development approaches (these are not necessarily mutually-exclusive)
 Agile Approaches
 Extreme programming
 Iterative and incremental approaches (Dynamic Systems
Development Method)
 Exploratory/empirical approaches (Scrum, Adaptive Systems
Development, Crystal, Lean Development)
 Feature driven development
 Test driven development
 Procedural
 Waterfall lifecycle
 Structured Programming
 Object-Oriented approaches
 Service Oriented
 On Demand Software
 Application Service Provider (ASP)
 Open source development
 Commercial off-the-shelf packages (COTS)
7. Systems Modelling and Specification Techniques (10%, K2)
The objective is to understand the importance of modelling and documentation in the systems development process, to identify the different types models and be aware of the various perspectives they address.
7.1 Reasons for modelling
 To aid communication between actors
 As a basis for rigorous development
 To provide a standard approach
 To ensure consistency across the development
 To assist in the identification of re-use
 To compare the current situation with the required
7.2 Modelling from different perspectives
 Examples of models
 Modelling perspectives of ‘Why; What; How; When; Who; Where
 Modelling static data (top down and bottom up)
 Modelling process and business rules
 Modelling dynamic behaviour
 Modelling user interface
7.3 Cross-referencing different modelling perspectives
 Cross-referencing process and data (e.g. CRUD)
 Cross-referencing process and objectives
 Cross-referencing user roles and processes
7.4 Documentation and specification
 Importance of documentation
 Documentation configuration management and version control
 Keeping documentation up to date
8. Systems Design (10%, K2)
The objective is to recognise the fundamental objectives and principles of good systems design.
8.1 The location of systems design in the systems development lifecycle
8.2 The objectives and constraints of systems design
 Objectives reflect many of the software qualities also identified in section
10. They include the need to deliver required functionality, reliability, maintainability, flexibility, expandability, usability, efficiency, re-usability, testability and adherence to standards
 Constraints on design include budget, time, skills available, influence of current (legacy) systems, target hardware and software platforms and internal politics
8.3 Input design, input technologies and their application
 Keyboard input considerations including data validation and data
verification requirements
 Existence check
 Range check
 Format check
 Cross-field (consistency) check
 Cost, time and accuracy advantages of direct data input
 Direct data input technologies including signals, voice, scanning, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR), Optical Mark Recognition (OMR), bar codes, swipe cards and mouse
 Application of direct data input technologies within given scenarios
8.4 Output technologies and their application (screen and form design is covered in the interface design and usability section of the syllabus)
 Output design technologies including different types of screens, printers and digital media, public display screens (for example, at bus stops) and mobile telephones
 Application of output design technologies within given scenarios
8.5 The objectives and principles of process design
 Stepwise refinement – the process of the elaboration of requirements
 Expressing processes through the constructs of sequence, condition and repetition
 Modularity and the principles of coupling and cohesion
 The principles of abstraction, encapsulation and generalisation
8.6 The objectives and principles of data design
 The aims and principles (but not conduct) of normalisation
 File organisation methods: serial, sequential, index-sequential and random
 File access methods: searches, indexes and algorithms
 Principles of hierarchical, network, relational and object-oriented database
management systems
8.7 The design of codes
 Factors affecting the design of a successful code, including uniqueness, stability, expandability and length
 The principles of facetted codes
 The use and definition of check digits
8.8 The scope and principles of security design
 Physical security of the computer environment
 Logical security measures such as passwords
 Firewalls, anti-virus software and spy-ware
 The function and content of audit trails
 Principles of the Computer Misuse Act
 Principles of the Data Protection Act
9. System Architecture (5%, K2)
The objective is to recognise the importance of a well-developed architecture as an integral
part of good system development.
9.1 Types of architecture
 Enterprise architecture and IT architecture
 Systems and application architecture
 Data architecture
9.2 Objectives and principles of systems architectures
 What is an IT architecture?
 Why is an architecture important?
 Underlying principles of architectures
9.3 Stakeholders and roles in architecture
 Customers and sponsors
 Service and product providers
 Designers and developers
 IT architect
9.4 Management of the architecture
 Monitoring compliance
 Handling change
 Evolution of architecture
9.5 The tiered architecture approach to IT system development
 The components of an IT architecture
 Interface, process and data layers
9.6 Service Oriented Architecture and Service Oriented Development Applications
 Services and technologies
 Examples of services
10. Quality and Testing (10%, K2)
The objective is to recognise the role of testing through the lifecycle.
10.1 The definition of software quality
 The need to meet robustness and reliability requirements
 The need to meet functional requirements
 The need to meet non-functional requirements, particularly usability
 The need for inherent software product qualities such as maintainability,
flexibility and efficiency
10.2 The objectives and limitations of testing
 The causes of software defects and the distinction between errors, faults
and failures
 The distinction between static and dynamic testing
 General testing principles
 Testing shows the presence of defects
 Exhaustive testing is impossible
 The principle and benefits of early testing
 The recognition of defect clustering
10.3 The structure and purpose of the static test stages of the V model
 Requirements
 Functional Specification
 Design Specification
 Module specification
10.4 The purpose and content of the dynamic test stages of the V model
 Component (unit) testing
 Component integration testing
 System testing
 Functional testing
 Non-functional testing
 User acceptance testing
10.5 Static testing
 Reviews and the test process
 Informal review
 Walkthrough
 Technical review
 Inspection
10.6 Dynamic testing
 Specification-based or black-box techniques
 Structure-based or white-box techniques
 Experience-based techniques
10.7 Re-testing (confirmation testing)
10.8 Regression testing
 Definition and scope of regression testing
 Opportunities for automating regression testing
11. Implementation and Changeover (5%, K2)
The objective is to recognise the importance of careful implementation.
11.1 The task of file and data conversion
 Technical feasibility of converting data
 Alternatives to automatically converting data, such as printing data out and re-entering it
11.2 The principles and problems of data mapping
 The principles of data mapping
 Common problems in data mapping, such as field type incompatibility, field
length differences, different field structures and absence of required fields in the current system
 Approaches to dealing with different field structures (for example, converting from one address field to three address line fields) and issues arising from populating newly defined fields with valid data
11.3 Plan, test and undertake data conversion
 Plan the steps and the timing of data conversion
 Write and test the data conversion programs
 The possible role of an automated test comparator in the testing process
 Undertake the actual conversion of live data
11.4 The role of supporting documentation, including user manuals
 The role and structure of an online help facility
 The role and structure of a printed user guide or user manual
 The role and structure of printed operational manuals
 The role and structure of technical documentation designed to allow the continuing support of the delivered software
11.5 Approaches to training
 Conventional lectures and workshops
 Remote mechanisms, such as web-casts and tele-conferencing
 Computer-based training (CBT) and e-learning initiatives
11.6 Define training needs and evaluate training effectiveness
 Identify current and proposed competencies
 Define an appropriate strategy, using approaches to training (11.5), to support the gaining of proposed competencies
 Assess the effectiveness of training in supporting these proposed competencies through post-course questionnaires and tests 11.7 Systems implementation
 The principles of direct changeover/conversion
 The advantages and disadvantages of direct changeover/conversion within a given scenario
 The principles of parallel running
 The advantages and disadvantages of parallel running within a given scenario
 The principles of pilot running
 The advantages and disadvantages of pilot running within a given scenario
12. Evaluation and Maintenance (5%, K2)
The objective is to recognise the need to evaluate a delivered system and to enhance it through subsequent maintenance.
12.1 The location of maintenance in the systems development life cycle
 Maintenance in abbreviated waterfall and V models
 The explicit reference to maintenance in the b model
 Maintenance in an iterative environment
12.2 The range of metrics which might be used to evaluate a delivered software product
 Characteristics of good metrics (for example, quantifiable, relevant, easy to collect)
 Metrics associated with the business objectives of the project (for example, concerned with improving profitability of the organisation)
 Metrics associated with the functional fit of the delivered software product (for example, number of corrective maintenance changes raised after implementation)

BCS Foundation Certificate in Systems Development
ISEB Certificate techniques
Killexams : ISEB Certificate techniques - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/FSDEV Search results Killexams : ISEB Certificate techniques - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/FSDEV https://killexams.com/exam_list/ISEB Killexams : Certificate of Deposit (CDs)

A jumbo certificate of deposit is a CD that has a larger minimum deposit, which is $100,000, compared to regular CDs. Traditional certificates of deposit typically have a minimum deposit of $2,500. As with traditional certificates of deposit, interest earned is paid at maturity along with return of the principal.

Sat, 21 Jul 2018 04:37:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.investopedia.com/certificate-of-deposits-4689733
Killexams : Are Permanent NYS Teaching Certificates Really Permanent?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For months, News10NBC has been reporting on the teacher shortage being felt across New York State. 

Many districts across our region have plenty of openings and there just aren’t enough new teachers in the pipeline to fill them. That’s why exact retirees are surprised to find out that their permanent teaching certificates are becoming inactive. 

See more of our coverage:

Diane DiGiacomandrea was a teacher at Victor Primary School for more than two decades.  Her favorite part of the job, “actually watching the kids grow and learn and become independent little people who think for themselves and who become comfortable with you and become your family,” she tells News10NBC.

DiGiacomandrea decided to retire at the end of 2020, “when I originally planned on retiring, I planned on going back and doing consulting work, we had an entire plan together on what I would do to go in and continue to support the schools,” she says but the combination of health concerns and COVID delayed those plans.  Still, Mrs. D as she’s affectionately referred to by her students didn’t worry, “both of my certifications are permanent certifications,” she says so she figured she could return at any time. 

But then she and some other retirees she knows pulled letters out of their mailboxes that caught them by surprise, “we got this notification that all the sudden a permanent certification was now no longer permanent and we were going to be cancelled and there were several of us,” she says.

The letter was from the NYS Department of Education and says DiGiacomandrea should only renew her certification if she’s planning to work at least 90 days at the same school in the same school year, “if you do not plan to participate or practice, if you’re retired for example you can just ignore this notice, “ DiGiacomandrea says, “but then what happens if I want to get back in?”

A spokesman for the NYSED tells News10NBC that permanent teaching certificates are valid for life. The Department does not “cancel” them but NYS Education Law was amended beginning with the 2016-17 school year and now requires teachers who hold permanent certificates and who are practicing in New York State register with NYSED every five years.

If a teacher who holds a permanent certificate is not practicing in New York State due to retirement or any other reason, NYSED directs them to change their registration status to “inactive” in the TEACH system. When a teachers’ registration period expires, they are not required to re-register if they do not plan to practice in an applicable school in the future. If they practice in an applicable school in the future, they should re-register and select the “active” status. There is not a time limit on being in inactive status.

DiGiacomandrea will switch to inactive for now as she continues conversations with school districts about how she and her fellow retirees may be able to continue to support schools and students, “when we talk about purpose, I’m talking about people with multiple degree and years and years and years of service and they are truly experts and then when I watch and see we have so many holes in our schools on a daily basis, it made me start to consider what could we do, how could we help that,” she wonders.

Fri, 23 Sep 2022 22:48:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.whec.com/top-news/are-permanent-nys-teaching-certificates-really-permanent/
Killexams : What Are Grounding Techniques?

Source: Jandré van der Walt / Unsplash

Co-authored by Zamfira Parincu and Tchiki Davis

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you find yourself overwhelmed. Maybe you experienced a loss. Perhaps you find yourself pondering the meaning of life. Or maybe the current state of world affairs makes you feel lost. Whenever you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed, you can use grounding techniques to reconnect with yourself and the present moment. This research-based strategy may be helpful for anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, or even dissociation.

Grounding techniques work by “grounding” you in the present moment and pulling you away from intrusive thoughts or feelings. This refers not only to having your “feet on the ground” but also your “mind on the ground.” When you turn your attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, you can refocus on the present moment (Fisher, 1999).

Grounding techniques are useful because they help you distance yourself from an emotional experience. When you experience negative emotions—for example, perhaps you accidentally remember a painful memory—the brain's natural instinct is to start the involuntary physiological change known as the “fight or flight” response. Although this response keeps you safe by preparing you to face, escape from, or fight danger, memories do not present a tangible danger. If you find yourself in moments like these, grounding techniques can help the body calm itself and return to the present moment.

The 5-4-3-2-1 Technique

This is one of the most common grounding techniques. It helps by grounding you to the moment and reconnecting you to all five senses by naming:

  • 5 things you can see. Look around you and name five things you can see. It can be anything that’s in front of you such as the phone or the wall. It can also be things that are further away, such as the buildings or sky.
  • 4 things you can feel. This is important because it makes you pay attention to your body. You can think about how your hair feels on your back, how your feet feel in your shoes, or even how the fabric of your clothes feels on your skin.
  • 3 things you can hear. Pay attention to your environment: Do you hear birds, construction noise, the AC working? Say any three things that you can hear.
  • 2 things you can smell. Smelling is a powerful sensation, yet sometimes we move through life without paying that much attention to it. If you can, walk around a bit and notice the smells. If you can’t smell anything or can’t move, you can just name two smells that you particularly like.
  • 1 thing you can taste. Can you still taste lunch, coffee, or gum? If you want, grab a candy or mint and acknowledge how the flavors taste.

The next time you feel anxious or that you are overthinking a problem, try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to become more present in the moment.

Do a Meditation Exercise

Guided meditation is a powerful grounding technique to reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and it can help you get out of your head and reconnect to your body. There are many types of meditation, such as the body scan, moving meditations, or loving-kindness meditation, so it’s important to try to determine which one works best for you. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, make you calmer, promote happiness (Mineo, 2018), and even reduce symptoms of PTSD in studies with the U.S. military (Seppälä et al., 2014)

Focus on Your Breath ​

Many clinical professionals use breathing exercises to help patients be present in the moment. Focusing on breathing is a great tool for reducing stress and anxiety (Stefanaki et al., 2015). Breathing exercises work because they help you disengage from your mind and not pay attention to distracting thoughts. You can do the simple exercise below before bed, when you wake up in the morning, or before an important meeting:

First, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and notice how your chest and belly rise as you fill your lungs. Then, breathe out slowly through your mouth. Do this a few times until you start to calm down.

In Sum

Grounding techniques are strategies that can reconnect you with the present and may help you overcome anxious feelings, unwanted thoughts or memories, flashbacks, distressing emotions, or dissociation. You can try as many techniques as you want: The more you try, the higher the chance you’ll find at least one that works for you.

Adapted from an article published by The Berkeley Well-Being Institute.

Thu, 01 Sep 2022 11:23:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/202208/what-are-grounding-techniques
Killexams : The Best Lifting Techniques to Move Heavy Stuff

Lifting heavy items should be done carefully in order to prevent injury.

In fact, 38.5% of work-related musculoskeletal issues are related to back injury, with improper lifting being one of the main causes.

Therefore, it’s important to learn proper lifting techniques to keep yourself safe at work and at home.

This article discusses proper lifting techniques and common lifting problems, and provides useful tips.

The best lifting technique is to squat down and use the strength of your legs — instead of your back — to lift the object off of the ground.

That said, you should only lift items that you’re comfortable lifting. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask another person for help or use other machinery (e.g., a lift).

If you’ve decided that it’s safe to lift the item by yourself, you’ll want to follow the proper lifting technique guidelines outlined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

1. Plan ahead

Before moving something heavy, it’s important to think and plan first.

First, look at the item that you’re about to lift and ask yourself these questions:

  • How heavy is it?
  • Is it awkward to carry for one person?
  • Where am I planning on putting this item? Am I going to be carrying it a far distance? Are there doors that will need to be opened when I’m carrying it?
  • Are there proper handles? Do I need safety gloves?
  • Do I have equipment (e.g., a lift) that can do this job safely?
  • Should this be carried by more than one person?
  • Are there any obstructions that should be moved first?

Taking note of your environment, the item you plan to lift, and other considerations can help you decide if this item is a one- or two-person job or requires other assistance, such as machinery.

2. Stretch

Just like you’d warm up before a workout, you should also warm up and stretch your muscles before lifting.

Ideally, spend a few minutes doing some dynamic stretching (e.g., lunges, lower back rotations, arm circles) to prepare your muscles and get your blood flowing.

3. Lift

To lift safely, you first want to make sure that you’re in the right positioning.

You’ll also want to make sure that you bend your knees, squat down to grab the item, and use the strength of your legs to do most of the lifting. This can help to lower back and other muscular injury.

Here are the steps to safely lift a heavy item:

  1. Stand as close to the item as possible. This will prevent you from overstraining your back. Stand in front of the item with a wide base of support (feet at least shoulder width apart).
  2. Bend your knees and keep your back upright, shoulders back, and head looking straight forward. There should be a natural curve in your lower back. This will help ensure you’re using your legs rather than your back to lift the item.
  3. Place both hands on the handles or sides of the item.
  4. When ready, look straight forward and push into the balls of your feet as you slowly straighten your legs. Avoid twisting your back.
  5. Hold the item as close to your body as possible around belly button level, with your elbows to your sides.

4. Carry

If needed, slowly take small steps to walk to the spot you plan to put the item. If it’s far, you should consider placing the item on a cart or other form of transportation.

If you need to change directions, lead with your hips and ensure your shoulders stay aligned with your hips. Continue to keep the load as close to your body as possible.

5. Set down

Setting an item down is the same movement as lifting but in reverse:

  1. Stop walking and stand squarely in front of the spot you intend to place the item.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and squat as you lower toward the ground. Keep the item close to your body, brace your core, and keep your head looking straight forward.
  3. Place the item on the ground fully before lifting up again.

If the item will be placed above the ground (e.g., on a counter or table), walk up to the surface and place it gently on top. If it’s slightly lower than hip level, be sure to still bend your knees and lower your body to place the item down safely.

While no one intends to hurt themselves, it’s quite common to injure yourself while lifting heavy objects. The most common lifting problems include:

  • lifting with your back
  • bending forward and keeping your legs straight to pick up an item
  • twisting while lifting or carrying a heavy item
  • lifting a heavy item that’s above shoulder height
  • carrying an item that’s too heavy or large
  • using a partial grip (e.g., two fingers)
  • lifting items when you’re tired, fatigued, or already injured
  • holding your breath
  • trying to lift and move the item too quickly

By lifting properly and avoiding these common lifting problems, you can help lower your risk of injury.

To prevent injury, consider these helpful tips:

  • When in doubt, ask for assistance.
  • Make a plan from start to finish (lifting to placing down).
  • Brace your core when lifting.
  • Always bend your knees to lift an item, even if it looks light.
  • Check the weight of the item by reading the weight on the label (if possible).
  • Ideally, use a lifting device to assist you.
  • If you’re going to move the item a far distance, use a cart, vehicle, or other piece of machinery.
  • Always stretch and warm up before lifting. Your safety comes before work or other obligations.
  • Use personal protective equipment (e.g., steel-toed shoes, gloves), as needed.
  • Take breaks if you’re tired or plan to move multiple objects.
  • Avoid holding an item for a long period of time.
  • If needed, ask a person to open any doors or move obstructions out of the way.

To ensure your safety, always practice safe lifting techniques.

The best lifting techniques involve using your legs to lift heavy objects instead of your back, since your legs are some of your strongest muscles while your back is more susceptible to injury.

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re planning ahead, only lifting objects you feel comfortable lifting by yourself, and being just as mindful when you place the item down as when you lift it.

And remember, you should always ask for assistance if you have any concerns. It’s better to be safe than to risk injuring yourself.

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 03:32:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.healthline.com/health/lifting-techniques
Killexams : The Downsides of Hotel Free Night Certificates

There are many hotel credit cards out there that allow you to earn points, which you can in turn use for free hotel stays. However, some hotel credit cards offer free night certificates instead, which can be used to cover a free night stay at a hotel.

Free night certificates may seem straightforward, so it's easy to be tempted by credit cards that offer them.

However, cardholders might overlook how difficult it can be to use these free night awards. They expire. They’re mired in limitations, as some properties are entirely ineligible, and other bookings are also ineligible for certain nights. And they’re often subject to blackout dates.

Before you decide to pursue a hotel card with this perk, regardless of whether it’s offered in a sign-up bonus or as a standing benefit, here’s what you need to know — and, perhaps, what to do instead.

Hotel programs that offer free night certificates

Here’s how the flexibility of these free night certificates compares to each program’s points.

Certificate expiration date

  • Certificates issued from May 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020, are valid for 24 months.

  • Certificates issued between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021, will expire on Dec. 31, 2022.

  • Certificates issued thereafter expire 12 months after issuance.

Only valid on Standard rooms during Standard award nights.

24 months if no activity.

12 months after issuance.

24 months if no activity.

12 months after issuance.

Standard room only at a Category 1-4 hotel during off-peak and standard award pricing nights.

24 months if no activity.

12 months after issuance.

Valid only on nights costing 40,000 points or less.

12 months if no activity.

Drawbacks of free night certificates

Here are the unintentional downsides you may face if you add credit cards with free hotel nights to your wallet.

Expiration dates on free night awards cannot be extended

It’s relatively easy to keep hotel points active since any earning or redeeming activity will extend their expiration date. However, free night awards at Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott all expire 12 months after issuance. Period. Nothing will extend their expiration date.

🤓Nerdy Tip

There have been reports of customer service representatives making exceptions, but this is not the norm, and you shouldn’t expect it.

Hilton’s COVID-19 policy is still in effect, so if you still have a free night certificate issued from May 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020, your certificate is valid for 24 months. Any certificates issued in 2021 will expire on Dec. 31, 2022. Once those certificates are gone, Hilton’s free night award expirations will revert back to 12 months from the date of issuance.

No refunds for cheaper stays

When you book award nights with travel rewards, the cost of the room in points is exactly what you’ll pay when redeeming. So, if a room costs 30,000 points, you will pay that exact amount.

However, when you use a free night award, you won’t get any points back if you use the award for a hotel night that costs less in points.

Let’s use Marriott as an example. Depending on which Marriott credit card you have, you might either have a free night certificate worth 35,000 points or 50,000 points. If you use a 50,000-point certificate for an award night that costs 40,000 points, you won’t get 10,000 points refunded back to you.

This can make it feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth.

Rita King, a traveler who lives in Warrensburg, Missouri, found herself in a similar situation with her IHG anniversary night certificate.

“Some of the problem is that I want a great redemption, so I don't think to use the certificates when we’re staying a night at, for instance, the airport — even though I realize saving the money or points is better than missing out on using the perk,” she says.

Limitations with standard rooms, dates and certain awards

Hilton and Hyatt free night awards can only be used on standard rooms, which are more basic than deluxe or premium offerings. What’s more, certain brands don’t allow you to use a free night award during a popular time (i.e., the holiday period or another peak travel season). Lastly, different hotel brands offer varying "award types," which can further limit your free certificate redemption options.

Let’s take a closer look at Hyatt award stays. Only standard rooms can be booked, and only during off-peak and standard award pricing nights. Say you want to stay at the Andaz San Diego (a Category 4 hotel) in July 2023. Hyatt Category 4 hotels are priced at 12,000, 15,000 and 18,000 points for Off-peak, Standard and Peak nights, respectively.

Since the free night certificate can only be used on standard rooms for off-peak and standard award pricing, you can only use it when the hotel is priced at 12,000 or 15,000 points per night.

So, if you have two Hyatt free night awards and want to stay at the Andaz San Diego for three nights starting on July 13, 2023, you could only use your free night award on the first night. The other nights would have to be paid for with points or cash.

“The other problem with free night certificates is finding a hotel that’s both under the 40,000-point price mark and available on the dates that we need,” says King.

You might also run into a situation in which the hotel will simply not allow you to use the free night award, which is exactly what happened to Florida-based Angela Sparks. She accumulated several Marriott free night awards but wasn't able to use them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Marriott extended the certificates, by the time the new expiration date rolled around, Sparks and her husband still didn't feel comfortable traveling.

When they were finally ready to take the trip, the hotels they chose wouldn't accept the free night awards.

“Though the certificates were good for 50,000 and 60,000 points each, and the nightly rate at the hotel was 50,000 points, the property flat-out wouldn’t accept the free night certificates, wanting us to use points instead,” Sparks says.

Dreamy redemptions might still be out of reach

Hilton credit card holders who earn free night certificates can use them at any eligible property as long as a standard — not premium — award is available. These credit card offers generally grant one free night award per year unless you meet high spending requirements to earn additional certificates.

Hilton brands range from basic to luxury, so when applying for Hilton-branded credit cards, you might be quick to daydream about aspirational redemptions at properties like the Conrad Bora Bora Nui or the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.

A nightly rate at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi can cost over $2,000 a night, or 150,000 points per night. Hilton’s free night award will cover that, as long as a standard award is available.

Although using your free night certificate at this hotel can be a great way to splurge, what are you going to do after one night — head home? The Maldives are in the Indian Ocean, so it's not exactly an ideal choice for a short weekend getaway from the U.S. Plus, drinks and food at such luxury properties are going to be expensive, so while a nightly rate is covered, you’ll still need to spend money.

Although this is just one example, consider how realistic it will be for you to use the certificate at a high-end hotel (if that’s your goal) — not to mention what other costs you’ll incur to enjoy this “free perk.”

Instead, earn hotel points

Hotel points generally don’t have any limitations beyond possible expiration. If you have the points, you can use them to pay for a room. Free night certificates, meanwhile, always have an expiration date and are subject to many limitations.

Instead of applying for hotel credit cards that offer free night certificates, opt for those that offer a welcome offer of hotel points, which are way more flexible. Plus, there are several ways to earn extra hotel points after getting the sign-up bonus, so it will be much easier to put your points to use for free night stays.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

Fri, 23 Sep 2022 03:11:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/travel/hotel-credit-cards-with-free-nights-certificates-fail
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Killexams : Age-Old Techniques at Hispanic-Owned Sustainable Farm

With a focus on healthy living, a Hispanic family a few kilometers from the U.S. capital keeps a traditional way of farming alive. The owners of Glory Fields in Maryland use techniques from the past to implement a sustainable living initiative they say is paying off so far. VOA News' Cristina Caicedo Smit has the story.

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 05:39:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.voanews.com/a/age-old-techniques-at-hispanic-owned-sustainable-farm-/6757121.html
Killexams : New Coursera Survey: Industry Certificates Hold Strong Appeal For College Students And Employers

A new survey commissioned by Coursera, the online learning platform and a pioneer of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), reveals that large majorities of employers and students view short-term, industry certificates as a worthwhile addition to a college degree and a valuable credential in the hiring and job-seeking process.

This strong interest in so-called micro-credentials comes at a time when a number of major companies - including Accenture, IBM, Google, Bank of America and others - are no longer requiring college degrees for many entry-level jobs, removing a “paper ceiling” as they try to build a more diverse workforce and address the talent gaps that continue to plague a number of industries.

Industry certificates are appealing to both student and employers because they help students acquire practical skills that are expected in many beginning positions, increasing their prospects for landing and succeeding at a good job, which remains the number one motive students and their families provide for attending college.

Coursera conducted the new study in collaboration with the market research firm Dynata, which surveyed 3,600 students and employers across eight countries - Australia, India, France, Germany, Mexico, Turkey, the UK, and the United States - about “the motivations, needs, and challenges” of degree-seeking students and employers hiring them.

Among the key survey findings for students, summarized in a Coursera blog by Scott Shireman, the company’s Global Head for Campus:

  • Students across the globe believe industry micro-credentials make them more employable - 89% agree or strongly agree that earning an entry-level professional certificate will help them stand out to employers and secure jobs after they graduate.
  • Including professional certificates in an academic program makes students, on average, 75% more likely to enroll in that program.
  • Among the U. S students surveyed, 81% believed that micro-credentials would help them succeed in their job, and 74% said the presence of relevant micro-credentials would influence their choice of a degree program at their university.

Among U.S. employers:

  • 86% agreed that earning an industry micro-credential strengthens a candidate’s job application.
  • 74% say that it would positively influence a hiring decision.
  • In choosing between two degreed candidates, 63% say the presence of an industry micro-credential would positively influence a hiring decision.
  • 53% said finding applicants with the specific skills needed for the job was the biggest challenge faced when hiring exact graduates.
  • 61% ranked human or “soft skills” such as critical thinking or communication as most difficult to evaluate in the hiring process; tech skills were second, at 55%.
  • Those same employers said soft skills are difficult to find among exact graduates - 65% ranked those skills as most lacking, followed again by tech skills at 46%.
  • 39% said they had hired at least one candidate with a micro-credential.

In May of this year, Coursera added six new professional certificates and a new Career Academy to its growing catalogue of online learning products and educational programs. The new certificates, developed in collaboration with Google, IBM, Meta, and Intuit among others, are concentrated in the areas of information technology, web development, and software engineering and are aimed at preparing learners, even those who have no college degree or relevant work experience, for new careers in those fields.

According to Coursera, a number of universities, such as Boise State University, Hawaii Pacific University, University of North Texas, and the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education are combining micro-credentials with traditional academic degrees to equip students with the practical skills they need to succeed in new jobs.

Pairing the two types of credentials is a triple-threat: it offers advantages to students, institutions and employers. By adding professional certificates to their academic offerings, higher education institutions can fill in gaps in their existing curricula, meet students’ demand for skill-based learning, and Strengthen their competitive standing - and potentially their enrollments - in the process.

Employers endorse the certificate+degree combo as well because it increases their confidence that new graduates who’ve earned both enter the workforce better prepared with the skills necessary to perform their jobs well.

Mon, 26 Sep 2022 11:59:00 -0500 Michael T. Nietzel en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltnietzel/2022/09/27/new-coursera-survey-industry-certificates-hold-strong-appeal-for-college-students-and-employers/
Killexams : Cooking with ADHD was impossible. These 5 techniques helped me find joy in the kitchen

Learning to cook as an adult can be harder than it seems. That’s especially true if you are neurodivergent like me.

I run a cooking course called Panda Cub Diner, where I teach students how to make my family’s cuisine: 川菜 (chuāncài or Sichuan food). But for most of my 20s, I struggled to feed myself on a consistent basis. After a long workday, even the thought of ordering out was exhausting. The thought of having to choose a recipe and go grocery shopping and meal prep and actually cook the meal was paralyzing.

It’s not that I didn’t know how to cook. Growing up in a Sichuanese household, I cooked with my family every day — and loved it! But despite that, I kept spending money on takeout or defaulting to cold cereal for dinner. I felt frustrated and ashamed: Why couldn’t I just start cooking?

I found my answer at age 25, when I was finally diagnosed with ADHD.

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a “neuro-developmental disorder that can cause difficulty with regulation of attention, executive function and working memory," according to Kaleidoscope Society. My ADHD fell under that “inattentive” subtype, which manifested in a limited attention span, forgetfulness, distractibility, daydreaming and difficulty following directions. This, combined with the general executive (dys)function ADHDers struggle with, was a perfect recipe for … not cooking.

Courtesy Linda Yi

After starting treatment for ADHD in my mid-20s, I began a yearslong journey of learning to cook. In this article, I share my top five ADHD-friendly cooking techniques that have made cooking not only possible, but joyful!

And while these tips will certainly benefit people who are neurodivergent like me, they’re also universal — anyone who struggles to cook can use them.

1. Separate 'feeding yourself' from 'cooking for fun.'

All through my 20s, this is what dinner time looked like for me:

Courtesy Linda Yi

And before I knew it, hours had passed, I’m still starving and everything is now closed. Cold cereal for dinner it is, then! Wait, there’s no more milk?!

If the above sounds familiar, I feel you! The issue here is two-fold: First, we’re hungry and we need to feed ourselves; second, our brains are seeking activities that maintain our interest. But trying to tackle an executive-function-heavy activity like cooking while on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.

So, my first tip is to first create your Minimal Prep Meal Plan to get you through your low-EF (executive function) days.

Courtesy Linda Yi

Having this meal plan — and a stocked pantry and fridge — to fall back on frees you to actually look forward to cooking something more creative.

2. Find your 'why' and schedule in a date.

For years, I had an impressive collection of gorgeous cookbooks …gathering dust on my kitchen shelf. Every new year, I’d do this:

Courtesy Linda Yi
Courtesy Linda Yi

But the truth is, I didn’t even go to the grocery store.

Because even the thought of doing all of the above drained me of my initial motivation. I’d put off digging into that cookbook to a later date … except that date never came.

So my second tip is to first find (and write down) your “why” for wanting to learn to cook, and then tie it to a specific date. Update your calendar!

Courtesy Linda Yi

(A blank template is available on the @pandacubstories Instagram.)

At its core, food is a shared sense of belonging. When we tie the act of cooking to creating joyful experiences with someone we love, our desire to cook increases. And setting a specific calendar date keeps us accountable.

Of course, there’s the question of what to make and how to tackle things as a beginner, but we’ll explore that further in technique No. 5.

3. Tidy and maintain your kitchen with body doubling and habit stacking.

Before we actually dive into cooking, though, let’s address the things that get in the way.

Courtesy Linda Yi

We often avoid cooking not because we hate the activity itself. Rather, it’s because the tasks surrounding the simple act of cooking can drain our motivation. Who wants to cook with a dull knife and a sink full of dirty dishes?

In contrast, a tidy kitchen is an inviting space, beckoning us to create delicious meals.

The problem is most of us find tidying really boring. So we put it off until chaos reigns.

So, my third tip is to “trick” our brains into thinking tidying is interestingand timely. And I use two tools to make this happen: A monthly “Tidy Party" and a daily “15x15x15 Kitchen System.”

Courtesy Linda Yi

Here's how to plan your own Tidy Party: Set a date on your calendar and block off at least two hours. If you live with roommates or family, choose a date where everyone can contribute (everyone uses the kitchen after all!). Having more than just you onboard also makes use of a technique called “body doubling,” a productivity aid that helps people with ADHD and other forms of neurodivergence stay focused and motivated while working.  If you live alone like me, sites like Focusmate are great places to book free body doubling sessions with like-minded people. You can even put on a fun soundtrack or favorite podcast and jam out as you clean.

But it's not enough just to clean your kitchen once — you've got to maintain it. To accomplish this, I use a 15x15x15 Kitchen System, which has transformed the way I clean my kitchen.

Courtesy Linda Ya

One of the biggest tidying challenges we face is letting things get to an overwhelming point where we don’t even know where to start. That’s where this 15x15x15 system comes in handy. The foundation of this system is giving yourself permission to not have a perfectly tidy kitchen. This may feel counterintuitive, but the key is to feel comfortable doing short bursts of tidying, without expecting yourself to get everything done in a single session.

To create your 15x15x15-minute system, turn to “habit stacking," which means pairing our new habit (15 minutes of kitchen tidying) with current habits we’ve already established. Here’s an example:

Courtesy Linda Yi

4. Cooking Date Night (x3)

My fourth technique combines  everything we’ve learned so far … and gives us three date nights (or family activities), to boot.

Courtesy Linda Yi

Friday: Grocery shop for Sunday’s meal and pick up a treat for dessert. Order your favorite takeout and have a movie night in. 

Saturday: It’s time for a house-wide tidy party! Vote on your favorite tunes and get cleaning as a group. When your kitchen’s sparkling, leave it alone. Go out for a dinner date.  

Sunday: Our cooking date! Ask your partner (or housemate) to pick up flowers and wine for the table. Enjoy cooking your meal and provide yourselves permission to take as long as you need. Savor your meal by cozy candlelight.

Now the only thing left is to pick what to make, which leads us to our last tip.

5. Make the basics interesting by leaning into limitations.

ADHD-ers often find themselves in somewhat of a culinary Catch-22. On one hand, basic recipes can feel boring; on the other, more complex recipes can feel overwhelming.

My fifth and final technique is all about working with our brains to make the basics interesting. And as a comic artist who loves Sichuan food, I found the perfect combination in illustrated recipe cards.

My first self-imposed limitation was choosing a single cuisine. I naturally went with Sichuanese, which is my absolute favorite (plus I had access to an entire archive of family recipes).

My second limitation was to choose recipes simple enough to fit onto a one-page card.

I often struggled with following recipes because my eyes would skip over paragraphs, leading me to miss important steps, or the recipes were so long that by the time I scrolled down to the steps, I’d forgotten how much of each ingredient I was supposed to use.

I began drawing these recipe cards for my own use, and they’ve now evolved into a series of visually interesting and easy-to-follow guides to simple Sichuanese cooking:


Courtesy Linda Yi


Courtesy Linda Yi

Now, whenever the desire to cook strikes, I simply choose one (or more) of these recipe cards and get started!

Of course, drawing your own recipe cards isn’t the only way to make the basics interesting. You can also limit your tools (for instance, what can you make with just an Instant Pot?) or limit your ingredients (what can you make with potatoes?).

Lean into your limitations and watch your creativity flourish! Happy cooking!

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 07:57:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.today.com/food/essay/cooking-adhd-techniques-rcna51529
Killexams : Storytime: Birth certificates and newborn dimples

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Sun, 18 Sep 2022 13:08:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.columbiatribune.com/story/lifestyle/2022/09/17/birth-certificates-and-newborn-dimples/8064054001/
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