Saturday, January 26, 2013

SAT Score: Context > Content

Read a chapter, memorize the terms and regurgitate them on a test. It's content-based learning at its finest and it's standard practice in most schools. 

Much of learning is based on acquiring and retaining new content. For some educators, content is king. Their goal is to stock a student's brain with as much information as possible. 

While learning content is certainly a big part of education, it's not the only part. Sometimes, context is more important than content. To truly learn, one must make connections across content to comprehend the context of a situation. 

It's a skill that the College Board feels predicts college performance and that is why many SAT questions are based on context more than content. 

Take math questions, for instance. Rarely do you find a straightforward Algebra problem like "solve for x." Instead, you have to "solve for x" in the context of a Geometry problem, or a word problem. 

On the reading section, vocabulary questions require more than rote definitions. You have to fill words in the blanks based on clues that the sentence provides. 

In other words, the context of a situation is more important than the content. If this were a math equation it would be: context > content. 

Score more on the SAT by understanding that context, and not content, is king on the SAT. 

Contact CROSSWALK to learn about SAT & ACT Boot Camps, private tutoring and other academic support. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On the SAT: Attitude > Aptitude

Your attitude is more important than your aptitude. 

While this may be applicable in life, it certainly is key for test preparation. Especially on the SAT. 

The power of positive thinking is a foregone conclusion. Think you will do well, and you will. Think you will perform poorly, and you will. 

But a positive attitude is just the start. To succeed on the SAT and other standardized tests, you must possess more than optimism. The SAT requires a focused mindset and a determined test-taking mentality. 

Simply put, the SAT necessitates a unique approach. Memorization and regurgitation are skills that work well in school but not so on the SAT. More than just rehashing content, the SAT questions require a keen focus, a clear understanding of the scoring, and an individual approach that both leverages strengths and compensates for weaknesses.  

Achieving the right attitude for maximum success means ample preparation, stress-free practice, comfort in a testing environment and familiarity with the format. And yes, a little optimism. 

There is no way to avoid the fact that the SAT is an aptitude test. But in order for your aptitude to shine, your attitude needs to be in line on test day. As Zig Ziglar famously put it, "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." 

Get your attitude aligned with the help from CROSSWALK. The Monterey Peninsula's local resource for SAT test prep, CROSSWALK offers Boot Camps and private tutoring to get your attitude in line for success. Contact us today to learn more. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Can I Do Just Before the SAT?

Here's a frequently asked question: What can I do the last couple of days before the SAT?

First, what not to do: stress. Once you start to stress out, your brain does not work as well. A little stress can be productive as a motivator but it should generally be avoided at all costs. That is why you can't cram for the SAT. And it's also why you probably shouldn't try to take a full-length practice test days before the real test.

Now, what you can do: try an SAT Walkthrough. If you only have days before the test, pick up one practice test in any reputable study guide and walk through the pages. Read the directions and skim the problems. In your mind, review your test-taking strategies and tell yourself how you would tackle each question. Limit yourself to 90 minutes for this activity so as to not create any stress.

In fact, CROSSWALK is now offering SAT Walkthroughs every Wednesday evening before the SAT. Join us as we review tactics, timing, scoring and more. Students new to the SAT and students experienced with the test will benefit from the guided discussion. The next one is scheduled for January 23 at the Stevenson School. Contact CROSSWALK for details.

CROSSWALK is Monterey Peninsula's local resource for test prep, SAT & ACT Boot Camps, private tutoring and academic support. Visit CROSSWALK or contact CROSSWALK today.