Tag Archives: time management

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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Now that another school year has ended and both students and teachers are looking forward to a much-needed summertime break, the time has come to praise the productive side of “downtime.” Do you ever look at your scribbled-over calendar days, resting your eyes with relief on an upcoming “blank” day when nothing is planned? You are not alone. Our busy world tends to valorize constant activity, but the truth is that taking breaks and having strategic downtime is crucial to doing your best work. Even the Harvard Business Review acknowledges The Upside of Downtime. What is downtime? For most students, the grinding schedule of weekday school hours suddenly melts away in the summer, and the student gains control of his or her time. Jobs, camps, trips, and summer sports begin to provide some structure to the upcoming days, but overall most students have more power to design their own days…

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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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The SAT and ACT, as if testing a ton of math, grammar, and reading comprehension wasn’t tough enough, also challenge a test taker’s time management skills. Basically, many students fail to finish specific sections, which is by design. The highest scores go to those who earn the most points, which usually requires seeing ALL of the questions. So what do you do when you tend to run out of time on a section? 1. Focus first on accuracy instead of speed. Getting to more questions means nothing if you get those questions wrong. Your best score begins with answering as many of the questions you see correctly. Sometimes that means learning the math or grammar content that is tested, while other times, learning the right way to read will be the key to greater accuracy. 2. Learn the right strategies. A perfect note on a flute doesn’t come naturally; neither…

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