Tag Archives: preparation

“If you work hard and you do your best, you can do anything.” “If you try to do your best there is no failure.” “You can only do your best. That’s all you can do. And if it isn’t good enough, it isn’t good enough.”   Parents always exhort their children to do their best, invoking effort as the ultimate signal of commitment. And seeing our kids pour themselves fully into the challenge at hand fills us with pride; no matter the outcome, we say, they did their best… And yet, when dedication diverges from success, praise for “doing your best” can feel like a consolation prize. At the upper levels of achievement, doing your best is simply the price of entry, rather than a guarantee of victory. Seth Godin, as usual, sums up the problem with effort alone quite nicely: “By defining “our best” as the thing we did…

Read more

Have you heard that Khan Academy will be offering free online study program for the new SAT? Of course you’ve heard this, since news outlets are falling over themselves to broadcast what may appear to be an unprecedented level of open access to test material. But free online resources for test prep have been available since before the last revision of the SAT, possibly for as long as we’ve had a functional email system. And what is great about these resources is that they come from straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. If you are looking for free online prep for the SAT or ACT, start with each testmaker’s Question of the Day.   SAT Question of the Day   ACT Question of the Day   Why is one question a day so valuable? Mainly because these questions truly reflect both the content tested on the exams and…

Read more

Spring has finally arrived, and while the allure of warmer weather and summer fun is right around the corner, the most important hurdles of the school year seem higher than ever. Prepping for final exams, AP exams, and standardized tests is enough to make you pull your hair out quicker than the flowers have time to blossom. Spring fever symptoms include a decreased interest in academics, shorter attention span, and rushing through assignments and projects. Instead of succumbing to this well known academic ailment, try these strategies to make sure the school year is going to end on a very good note: 1. Create a Countdown Map out class requirements and create a timeline to study for culminating exams like finals, Regents, or APs. Be realistic, and be sure to modify your countdown each day to accommodate for what was or was not completed. 2. Make Deals Do the least…

Read more

Sports coaches seem to know a lot more about planning for success than the rest of us. How else could you explain their nearly universal success at getting teens to prepare diligently every day for months in advance for a test that might not ever even take place? Most teachers would sacrifice a month of summer for that level of commitment from their students, right? (OK, maybe a week of summer at most…) Athletic coaches, aided of course by the allure of American sports culture, tend to be excellent at eliciting the behaviors required for incremental improvement over time. We can credit a collective acceptance of the aphorism, “You play like you practice,” but should also look beyond that to understand why teen athletes are willing to do whatever it takes to be ready on game day: everyone understands that you cannot become an elite athlete overnight. Well before a…

Read more

28/28