Tag Archives: preparation

All true preparation begins with the end in mind. Define your desired objective or outcome. Place your future self there, then look backwards and consider all the hard work, the training, the coaching, and the sacrifice necessary to achieve that victory. Before preparation even begins, commit to your GOAL.

After a long pandemic period of testing uncertainty and compromises, I was thrilled to proctor live and in-person at the Fairport Public Library this weekend. We’ve worked with Rochester and Syracuse libraries for a decade to offer the highest quality proctored practice tests free of charge to anyone who wants them, and our COVID-era online tests lost their luster for some families fairly quickly. This is not to say we aren’t still offering those Zoom tests–we proctored one of those this weekend as well–but nothing feels quick like the real SAT or ACT as sitting in a room with ten to twenty equally nervous test takers… at least for now! I was also impressed by the turnout at all of our practice tests over the last week, which happened to be Winter Recess. New York State students (and their families) enjoy not one but two long breaks during the first…

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What if I told you that you could become a virtuoso piano player in just one hour a week? Would you believe me if I promised you could play college basketball if you only work at it in the spare moments between more pressing commitments? How about fluency in a foreign language without ever having to practice? I hope, for your sake, that you find these claims dubious at best and, more likely, delusional. Clearly, nobody achieves greatness in any challenging endeavor with minimal effort or practice. Yet, every day, I encounter students, parents, and even other educators who imagine that amazing test scores can be earned with just one hour of instruction a week, whenever they can fit it in, without ever taking a practice test. For most students, this simply will not suffice. Sure, some high schoolers may ace the SAT without any prep, but these are usually…

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Once we agree that all tests–especially the influential and high stakes ones–should be prepared for (and they obviously should be) the next questions focus more on methods and means. Considering the wide range of test prep material out there from books to online programs to classes to tutoring, teens and their families can be understandably intimidated by the choice, especially when factors like fit, quality, cost, and interactivity come into play. I answer questions about which types of test prep are best for different students, but rarely are my answers recorded. Luckily, my Tests and the Rest partner Amy Seeley and I were recently interviewed by the unstoppable Linda Abraham. Not only has Linda, as the founder of Accepted, helped countless applicants gain admission to top medical, law, business and graduate schools over decades, she is also a leading educational podcaster. Amy and I had her on our podcast to…

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Test preparation, at its noble core, seems almost too simple: if you prepare for a test, you will do better on the test. Yet sometimes even the most obvious connection escapes some people! Fortunately, the impact of exceptional preparation on achievement, success, and even luck has been well-documented throughout the ages. If you’re not sure you should be preparing for the next challenge ahead, read and be inspired… Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. — Bobby Unser Be prepared, work hard, and hope for a little luck. Recognize that the harder you work and the better prepared you are, the more luck you might have. — Ed Bradley The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today. — Elbert Hubbard There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. — Colin Powell Spectacular achievement is always…

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Have you ever underperformed on a task without understanding where exactly you went wrong or what you could do to get better in the future? Sports coaches integrate post-game analyses into their preparation for future challenges, but most teachers, surprisingly, do not. Sometimes, though, reviewing where a student went wrong on a previous test should take priority before working on the next one. Professor Richard M. Felder understood the importance of post-test analysis. Tired of observing how oblivious his chemical engineering students seemed to the wide gap between their expectations and outcomes on exams, he crafted a MEMO TO STUDENTS WHO ARE DISAPPOINTED WITH THEIR LAST TEST GRADE to address the issue: Many of you have told your instructor that you understood the course material much better than your last test grade showed, and some of you asked what you should do to keep the same thing from happening on…

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