Tag Archives: effort

A restless urge to compete impels all great success in a way that less ambitious emotions cannot. Often, we are competing with others for some coveted prize or championship. Other times, we compete with ourselves, to beat our best time or turn out our most perfect effort. Even when we strive against the seemingly unyielding barriers of space and time, we are competing; those who break speed records or delve impossible depths compete against reality itself, and sometimes even win. The highest test scores often go to the fiercest competitors. Make no mistake: greatness will not simply fall into your lap. Championships, awards, and glory go to those who fight relentlessly for them. On the day of your official ACT or SAT, your competition is far greater and more vast than you can probably imagine. If you want to earn a 99th percentile score, you’ll have to best somewhere between…

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Results don’t materialize simply because we want them: we have to work for them. Hard work alone doesn’t guarantee success, but you can be certain that you won’t achieve your wildest ambitions without it! Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative EFFORT.

Working in test prep is often inspiring because so many of our students are striving to surpass their personal bests to redefine what they are capable of achieving. Admissions exams are, by nature, challenging, in the way that all great tests are. The process of studying for a test should instill greater competence and understanding, just as rehearsing music cultivates virtuosity and practicing sports develops athleticism. If you’re feeling challenged, get psyched… that’s where real growth begins!

Happy Labor Day! This holiday deserves a special place in our hearts, and not just because it marks the point at which all New York state students return to school. On Labor Day, we honor the contributions that workers have made–and continue to make–to society. We are all, in a very real sense, workers. Where our labors take us depends entirely on our sense of purpose and the clarity of our goals. Once you’ve fixed your eyes on a worthy prize, be smart about your efforts and try to have some fun, but, more than anything else, commit to doing the work.

As another academic year draws to a close, we should all reflect on how much effort, enthusiasm, and endurance is required to succeed in anything. School will end all too soon, but staying strong to the very end–playing to the final whistle, if you will–demands hard work. Here’s some encouragement to keep working! And lest you forget why you are working so hard in the first place, remember this…

Few things take the wind out of a student’s sails faster than seeing someone they consider beneath them–in a strictly academic sense, of course–score much higher on an important test. The pain increases exponentially when high stakes tests are involved. I’ve seen the bad sides of plenty of good high schoolers when their classmates’ test scores come up. Yet, this uncharitable mix of jealousy and self-loathing usually misses a fundamental point about effort and achievement that Ava at Bookbear Express explains clearly: Here’s what I know: if someone’s much better than you at something, they probably try much harder. You probably underestimate how much harder they try. I’m not saying that talent isn’t a meaningful differentiator, because it certainly is, but I think people generally underestimate how effort needs to be poured into talent in order to develop it. So much of getting good at anything is just pure labor:…

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