Tag Archives: time management

The timed nature of standardized tests like the SAT & ACT represent one of their biggest challenges. Just the thought of having to whip through long passages, decode complex word problems, and answer question after question in a minute or less is enough to inflame anyone’s test anxiety. Consequently, effective time management makes a world of difference on test day. That’s why we recommend that students always wear watches to important exams… you can only manage what you can measure. Many watches these days do far more than tell time. However, many such devices come packaged with features that can cause trouble on test day. For example, the test makers strictly prohibit any devices that make noise. According to ACT testing guidelines, if a test taker’s watch sounds during testing, that person will be dismissed and his or her test will not be scored. Separate timers are also prohibited, though…

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Whither the watch, that once-indispensable artifact of a bygone age? Remember when you wore a watch every day? Yes, that was back before we took to carrying supercomputers in our pockets that can tell the time, temperature, and sports news in every single time zone. Now watches are relegated to mere fashion accessories… …unless you are competing. Once you’ve engaged in an activity where the element of time impacts performance, you need the ability to track and manage that precious resource on your own terms. For this reason, you’ll find athletes training with watches and artists performing with them. Check the wrists of top test takers, and you’ll find watches there as well. Why do the College Board and ACT, Inc. both recommend that student wear watches to the tests? 1. The SAT and ACT are timed tests. 2. Students may not bring phones into the testing room. 3. While…

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Extended time on the ACT and SAT has always been a boon to those students who require that accommodation. However, the two testing organizations deployed the 150% time allotment differently, such that ACT Extended Time has been widely perceived as more advantageous than the SAT version. Too bad that’s all about to change. To clarify, students who qualify for National Extended Time on the ACT currently receive a total of five hours for the four multiple choice sections alone, with an additional hour for the optional Writing Test. Test takers have the freedom to allocate their time on the multiple-choice sections as they see fit, which means a student could conceivably spend double time or more on some sections and even less than standard time on others. This contrasts with the SAT policy of granting 50% more time per section than usual. However, ACT is about to adopt an extended…

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Your best scores on test day depend heavily on effective management of one of your most precious resources: TIME. As anyone who has ever been forced to leave the last ten or twenty questions on a test section blank, these exams are not designed for relaxed—or even comfortable—pacing. The designers of the SAT and ACT fully expect many test takers to run out of time. How can you make sure that you don’t suffer that fate on test day? The non-Math sections of both the SAT & ACT are passage-based, requiring students to grasp the essential elements of a block of text, tables, graphs, and/or figures. Those who spend too much time with a passage miss the opportunity to answer all the questions. On the other hand, those who skim too lightly risk a superficial or flawed understanding of what the passage was written to say. Your right-size time management…

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Into each and every life, some rain and a whole lot of standardized tests have got to fall. That’s just the way of the world. Why are standardized tests as regular as rain? For one, norm-referenced tests exceed all other assessments in ranking large populations in a given cohort. Consequently, most school-based groups make better decisions when incorporating properly designed standardized tests into admissions, evaluation, and planning processes. Students and strivers of the world, shake off that test anxiety: the path to most professions includes lots of bubbling answers in little ovals. Even without knowing what specific exams you’ll be facing, you can begin to prepare today by understanding the three major components of any standardized test: CONTENT Content describes the pool of knowledge and skills an exam is designed to assess. Some exams, such as APs and SAT Subject Tests, lean more towards discrete information and rules, whereas other…

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Few words evoke more panic during a standardized test than the proctor’s mandated warning: Five minutes left. Some test takers are jarred out of their micro-slumbers, wasting precious resources by resting their heads on their desks instead of working through problems. But the shock to the system delivered just by hearing someone speak after a long period of focused silence increases exponentially in intensity for those testers who clearly don’t have enough time to answer all the remaining questions in the section. How do you make the most of that limited time? Your goal going into a test is to master the content, strategies, and state of mind needed to earn as many points as you need in the time you have. But all is not lost if you lose track of time. Stay calm and implement a Five-Minute Drill to make the most of a bad situation on any…

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