Archives for Standardized Tests (SAT, PSAT, etc)

General

Willpower-Friendly Tips For Students And Adults

Willpower is strongest at the beginning of the day and when glucose levels in the bloodstream are adequate.
You can perform better and succeed in getting tasks accomplished if you plan accordingly:

Bring a snack to long exams such as the SAT.
Avoid making decisions before lunch or at the end of the day.
Plan your day ahead of time (that morning or the night before) and then follow your schedule. Don't just float through the day...
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3 More Tips to Feel Ready for Midterm Exams

Big exams can seem overwhelming, but there's plenty you can do to get ready.

Here are three more tips (I posted the first three here); pick and choose or try them all!

Tackle the easy stuff first. Cover the material you know pretty well and then cross it off your list. Start by going through your old tests and quizzes and reworking all the easy problems. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and progress, which will lift your spirits.
Let parents help. During stressful times, support from other people can be invaluable. Let your parents remind you to study every day, allow them to clear the family calendar of non-academic events, and let them quiz you, bring you tea or just keep you company.
Study alone, then with pals. Don't arrive at a group study session unprepared and clueless. Study alone first so you come equipped with a list of questions plus some knowledge to contribute.

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Tests Are Valuable Learning Tools

When students get a test back, they typically glance at the grade and then stuff the test in their backpack, never to think about it again (unless, of course, the test has a refrigerator-worthy high score).

Meanwhile, teachers invest time and effort making careful corrections and thoughtful comments. This feedback is meant to help kids learn and improve. Reviewing test results with students and helping kids digest the information is an important part of what we tutors do, and parents can do the same.
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A Surprising Benefit of Test Preparation

To get ready for standardized tests, students have to practice answering many different types of math problems, all mixed together. This can be hard, especially at first.

But it turns out that "interleaving" all sorts of math material produces better retention than practicing only one kind of problem at a time. Making the brain work harder causes it to learn more!

One excellent form of interleaving is to go back every...
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So I Got My Test Back; Now What?

Dear Friends,

It's such a shame that in our culture testing has such a bad name.

The dad of one of my students is a physician; he recalls that:
Medical school is all about being tested. We were constantly quizzing, taking tests, and flipping flash cards (each flash card is a tiny test). We were tested multiple times every day. All that testing made our minds sharp, plus it kept us aware of the areas we still needed to work on. It was a powerful way to learn.
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Tips for Test-Takers from “Thinking Fast and Slow”

Dear Friends,

Have you ever felt like there were two people inside you vying for control?

I'm rereading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel prize-winning psychologist who studies reasoning and decision-making. Kahneman explains that our minds do contain two agents: A System One which makes quick, emotionally-based decisions, and a System Two which reasons slowly and deliberately.

The premise of Thinking Fast and Slow is that we'd...
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