Tag Archives: time management

Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT would be a whole lot easier if we were allowed to bring them home to take at our leisure. Unfortunately, these anxiety-provoking exams are defined in part by their stringent time limits. The minutes allotted per section often seem insufficient compared to the number and complexity of questions to be answered. Of course, time management is part of the test! But some students have diagnosed disabilities that allow additional time for academic tasks. With the proper documentation, these accommodations can be applied to SAT and ACT administrations. Most test takers who are approved for this time of accommodation will receive Extended Time, while Double Time or Special Testing is reserved for students with more serious needs. These are the Extended Time regulations for the tests as of January 2024: Extended Time Extended Time is the most common accommodation approved for test takers. In…

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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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Most standardized tests require maximum production in minimal time from those pushing for the best scores. In fact, the race against the clock adds an additional dimension of complexity to most exams. That’s why your test day preparations should always involve a watch. Three Steps to Making a Watch Work on Test Day Step 1. Find a watch; parents are perfect sources of functional if not fashionable wristwatches! Step 2. Wear a watch. Step 3. Use a watch… it doesn’t do much good if you don’t look at it!   Analog or Digital? If my kids are representative of their generation, the ability to read an analog clock is gradually being relegated to the same dustbin of history where we find cobbling and calligraphy. Yet some argue that analog watches make keeping time easier: With an analog clock you can actually see where time has traveled and where it’s going…

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One of the central tenets of standardized testing is that every test taker takes a test the same way. Any aspect of exam administration from timing to breaks to even the instructions a proctor shares before starting the clock should be predetermined and implemented at all testing locations. This level of attention to detail permits fair comparison of scores from tests administered across a multitude of test sites and dates. In essence, everything possible about a standardized test must be standardized. So what happens when a proctor deviates from the script? One of my colleagues, whose state and district shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, shared the following legitimate complaints: I am LIVID. I just found out from my own daughter that the proctors at three ACT test sites/schools she has used in the last year have… not given a break because they poll the kids, who just want…

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Whoever said, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” probably didn’t work in education. Actually, this quote belongs to essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who specifically took issue with “foolish consistency” but failed to clarify what he considered foolish. Regardless, Emerson would not have cut it in the classroom, where consistency makes a world of difference. The longer I teach, the more power I perceive in predictability. Everyone from newborns to nonagenarians appreciates a certain amount of routine. Why shouldn’t they? The alternative is chaos, which is very stressful and inefficient. Routine and predictability, on the other hand, fosters a sense of security, which facilitates learning and relaxation, while allowing time to be utilized efficiently. In an educational setting, teachers and tutors must set the tone for productive predictability. Consider simple ways to add certainty and structure to instruction: Arrange a consistent day and/or time to meet; if a meeting is…

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Everyone knows that setting priorities is a necessary skill to manage stress, but deciding which priorities to tend to when everything feels important can bring more stress. Instead of succumbing to procrastination or anxiety, try these five steps to determine what really matters in your life in order to get the ball rolling now:   1. Make a list Write down every goal you want to accomplish. Think about long-term goals as well as short-term goals. Include goals from every aspect of life including education, work, family, and social goals. 2. Assess the value of each goal on your list This step requires an understanding of the big picture. Discern what is most valuable by thinking about the end result of each goal. Start with long-term goals first and rate each goal based on the value you associate with completing each goal. 3. Work backwards Start with the number one…

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