Tag Archives: practice

If you know anything about Chariot Learning, you know that we love practice tests. A quick scan of our Events Calendar reveals one common element for our many, many proctored practice SAT & ACT exams: no matter where we run these tests, they are held in the morning. But why? Because the official SAT and ACT are also administered in the morning. Effective deliberate practice requires conditions as close to the real thing as possible. Just as athletes scrimmage on regulation fields and performers rehearse on the big stage, test takers want to replicate all the elements of an official test. Of course you want to use official test material and set a stopwatch, but even factors like where and when you test impact the quality of your practice. We strive to simulate test day conditions as closely as possible within reason. For example, we administer tests at our office,…

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Happy New Year! The fresh slate of a new year inspires most of us to select some (or most) areas in our lives to improve in specific ways. From our position at the intersection of education and performance, we see lots of students looking for better grades and test scores, but, more generally, people aspire to better health, better jobs, better relationships, and better financial situations. Better does not come easy. Becoming better than you were in any dimension of your life may be a worthy goal. Staying better–being able to cast aside bad habits and develop new, more adaptive ones–is another thing entirely. How do we get and stay better in just about anything? Better takes a plan. Better takes time. Better takes practice. Better takes persistence. Better often takes help. Whatever your ambitions this year, we wish you luck in the accomplishment for your dearest goals. Let us…

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Success–particularly massive success over incredible obstacles–is understandably difficult to achieve in any field. If you accept the wisdom of the bell curve, you see that any sufficiently large group of people ranked in any complex skill like fencing or juggling will naturally huddle within one standard deviation of the mean with both highest and lowest performers charting an increasingly sloping path to either elite performance or utter uselessness. True success eludes those not fully dedicated to earning it. This lesson plays out time and again in business, which is why an insight first shared in 1940 still resonates today. That is when insurance professional Albert E. N. Gray identified the common denominator of success in a memorable speech at the annual convention of the National Association of Life Underwriters. He may have been speaking about selling insurance but his words should hit home with anyone seeking success in any field…

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Like most test prep professionals, I’ve become a relentless proponent of perfect practice, meaning the kind of practice that drives the highest levels of success. My friend and colleague Brett Etheridge of Dominate Test Prep shares the same commitment to perfect practice, which comes out in a detailed discussion we had on his podcast: Proven Principles of Perfect Practice with Mike Bergin Among other things, we covered the following fundamentals of practice: The 4 Steps of Deliberate Practice; The distinction between “studying” and “practice” and the role that each should play in your test preparation The danger of taking too many practice tests; How often you should take practice tests, and things you should do to ensure that they replicate the actual test-day experience; Why some students perform worse on the real exam than on their practice tests, and what you can do to ensure that doesn’t happen for you;…

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Everybody knows that practice makes perfect, or rather that perfect practice makes perfect. Once you have adopted the four essential elements of deliberate practice, you have taken your first steps towards the wildest levels of success you can imagine… as long as you practice. If you are a striver, then, the question you’ll always be grappling with is this: “Should you be practicing now?” Thankfully, Bruce Lee has all the answers…     Shouldn’t you be practicing now?

Autumn means marathon season, not to mention stampedes of school children at cross-country trails all across the United States. Distance running may be grueling, but the sport appears to grow more popular every year. Interestingly, few if any sports demand such a singular focus on intrinsic motivation, mental training, and success measured not by the performance of others but against personal bests. In this, distance running looks a lot like test preparation. TRAINING Even marathoner Gordon Bakoulis Bloch saw the similarities when she said, “You can’t cram for the final.” Long distance running requires physical and mental training over a long period, along with a deliberate focus on achieving and maintaining peak readiness. Bloch added, “You’re not going to get any fitter during the last couple of weeks before the race. So don’t try cramming any last minute long runs or extra training. The best thing you can do for…

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