Tag Archives: test day

Did your parents ever give you a big plate of fish for dinner, telling you it was “brain food”? Maybe you wondered how it made any sense that salmon could make you smarter, but as it turns out, there’s a little bit of truth to it. Nutritionists and physicians have studied so-called superfoods for decades, decoding the science behind their supposed effects on the human body, and there have been tons of foods with observed positive impacts on the brain: Fish, of course, but more specifically fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout and sardines. Turmeric, a powerful antioxidant that’s a staple in curries. Blueberries, blackberries, and other dark berries are full of antioxidants and can combat inflammation across the whole body. Broccoli, which supplies the Vitamin K that’s a building block of the fat in brain cells. Nuts of every kind have nutrients that are linked to…

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The first step to your best test scores is, through deliberate practice and expert coaching, to prove once that you are capable of earning your target score. The next step is to prove that you can keep earning that score. High stakes testing has much more to do with sports than with school when it comes to doing your best when it counts. While one coach has been credited with saying, “That’s why we play the game to see who’ll win,” everyone who has ever competed knows well that being favored to win means nothing once the whistle blows and every player strives to win. Just like athletes, many test takers experience dramatic swings in performance from test to test. Since inconsistency stems from a variety of underlying problems, focus on fixing every aspect of your practice to unlock your best every time the moment matters: 1. Use real test…

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For all the emphasis in test prep on critical thinking, memorizing formulas and mastering grammar, sometimes making your target score on a standardized test comes down to the little things. The day I took the ACT, I had a terrible cough (this was way back in 2015, don’t worry) that made it pretty hard to focus, and I didn’t do nearly as well as I could have. There wasn’t much I could have done about cold season, but it just goes to show how outside factors can trip you up on test day, even when you’re otherwise prepared. This goes double for students labeled “twice-exceptional”—gifted kids with autism, ADHD, anxiety, or other problems that make them highly sensitive to their environment. If that’s you, or even if you just want to make sure you’re in top form for test day, here are some tips for keeping calm, focused and ready…

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As feared, the coming of fall this year has also brought a surge in COVID-19 infections. Fortunately from a testing perspective, test sites for the August SAT should remain open in most areas. Our Annotated Test Day Checklist already includes a facemask, and it looks like you’re going to need it. As per College Board, here’s what you should expect when you arrive to take the SAT: All students and staff must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status upon entering the test center and throughout the duration of testing. We recommend you bring a spare. You won’t be allowed into the testing center unless you are wearing one. You’ll be required by test centers to be seated at least 3 feet away from other students. Check your test center’s website for any additional health and safety measures so you’ll be prepared to follow them. If you don’t feel well…

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You’re studying for the BIG TEST: brushing up on grammar rules and math formulas, taking practice tests. But you’ve heard horror stories of test-day breakdowns, and you fear it will happen to you once you sign in and enter that big classroom. How do you prepare for the unexpected? Put on your armor, and all will be well! HELMET: The right mindset. We are not born with the right test-day mindset. In fact, big-stakes tests naturally lead to a heavy dollop of performance anxiety for many students. Don’t wait until test day to start tackling the nerves. Instead, face your test day anxiety ahead of time by practicing healthy stress reduction techniques. Attend our seminar on Overcoming Test Anxiety to learn how to tackle the demons on the mind and going into battle armed with a calm, clear, and positive mindset. In a recent Tests and the Rest Online Summit…

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“Are the kids allowed to use sound blocking ear plugs during the SAT?” This question popped up recently in one of the many Facebook groups devoted to college admissions questions. The general understanding is that earplugs are absolutely forbidden on the tests, although my friend and colleague Pranoy Mohapatra shared the more pragmatic response: “Technically no… although it’s a rule many proctors are unaware of.” While I certainly agree that many proctors tend to be unaware of many important rules during these high stakes tests, the issue of earplugs is less familiar, so I did a little research. Interestingly, neither the current SAT Test Day Checklist nor ACT Test Day Checklist explicitly prohibits earplugs. [EDIT: Apparently, section 4b of the SAT Terms and Conditions expressly prohibits them. Looks like you have to read the fine print!] The initial question may raise another one, mainly, “Why should earplugs be prohibited in…

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