Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Alphabet Soup of Testing and Academics with a Side of Humor

As July turns to August, the number of calls I receive from parents increases. With school starting back up, seniors realize that they may only have one more chance to get a good test score. 

At this time of year, anxiety for parents and students alike ramps up dramatically. Summer doldrums become fall stress cases faster than the leaves change color. 

For those facing this stressful time of year, it may help to step back and let a little humor into your lives. While it is important to do what it takes to increase a score or improve one's chance to get into one's college of choice, let's not forget that a student is more than a test score

To help ease the stress of the upcoming school year and testing calendar, please have a gander at the following article posted by author Darcy McMurtery for the San Francisco-based publishing company McSweeny's

I hope this article brings you a smile during these anxious times. 

Contact CROSSWALK to learn more about our private tutoring and SAT/ACT Boot Camps. Happy studying! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What NOT to Tell Your ACT or SAT Tutor

At CROSSWALK, we pride ourselves in our ability to work with just about any student. For this reason, we remain flexible in our approach: we can tailor a test prep plan for just about any situation.

However, there are a number of situations that create challenges for us. While there is no doubt that all of our tutors can handle almost any challenge, there are some situations we hope to avoid.

As you prepare for the PSAT, ACT, SAT and/or the SSAT, try and ensure that you don't approach your tutor by saying any of the following:

1) "I'm too stressed to do this." My students and followers of this blog know that I consider stress as the number one enemy of successful test performance. A little positive stress to keep a student motivated and on task is good. However, the moment negative stress enters into test prep is the moment scores drop. Approaching test prep in a stressed manner will only hurt your score. I recently chatted with a parent whose daughter performed poorly on the June SAT test. When I probed for more details, it turned out that her daughter spent the last two weeks of May studying for APs and final exams while balancing a loaded social schedule. Her daughter was overwhelmed with stress by the time June rolled around and her scores showed the same.

2) "I am taking the test next week." It still baffles me that new clients will call with a week before the test to schedule tutoring. There is very little we can do in a week. We can get started on a couple of things, but test preparation takes time. The more time we have, the more we can improve. Cramming test prep into the last week before the test only creates stress. And stress--as detailed above--is the number one enemy of successful test performance.

3) "My parents made me do this." When a student blames a parent for signing him or her up for test preparation, it shows me that the student is not engaged and involved in the process. Even if your parents force you to do test prep, consider the opportunity to learn a new skill. Instead of assigning blame of the drudgery of extra academic work, take ownership of your chance to improve yourself. The more ownership a student takes in his or her preparation, the greater the potential for a score increase.

When considering test prep options, be sure to reduce stress, give yourself time and view the chance to learn a new skill in a positive light. Staying motivated, dedicated and engaged will make a major difference in the final score. 

Avoid approaching your tutor with too much stress, too little time and not enough ownership of your opportunity. 

To learn more about how CROSSWALK prepares its students for the SSAT, PSAT, ACT, SAT, academic subjects and lifelong learning, contact CROSSWALK today. CROSSWALK is the Monterey Peninsula's local resource for test prep and academic tutoring. 

Contact CROSSWALK today and schedule your private tutor at the location you choose or via Skype.