Thursday, February 22, 2018

Test Prep Radio Hour Update

What a joy it has been to host the Test Prep Radio Hour on KSPB 91.9FM. For the past two months I have been on the radio from 4-5pm every Thursday with test prep advice and fun music. 

Weekly themes have included the test prep mindset, test content vs test context, how to play the numbers game, the math toolbox and more. 

Even though we have covered some great stuff, we have barely scratched the surface of many major test prep topics. 

I am excited to continue to host the Test Prep Radio Hour but the show will be on hold starting today until we are back on the air March 15th

Tune into KSPB91.9FM or stream the show at starting March 15th and every subsequent Thursday from 4-5pm. 

Also, feel free to contact me via this blog or my twitter handle (@brookewhiggins) to send me questions, comments or suggestions for test prep advice and music. I would love to hear from you and we can likely get your question or suggestion on the air. 

In the mean time, feel free to contact CROSSWALK to find out how we can help you prepare for the ACT, SAT, PSAT, SSAT and all academic classes. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Challenge with ACT Science is NOT Science

"I am no good at ACT Science," my students tell me frequently. Too frequently, in fact, to be a coincidence.  

The first problem with this statement is the fixed mindset. Someone with a growth mindset would offer, "I am no good at the ACT Science yet." 

The second problem with this statement may have less to do about Science and more to do about stamina

Stamina may be the main challenge on the ACT since the Science section is the last section of the test. After hours of testing, tackling another section of critical and logical thinking may just be too much for students to handle. 

However, every challenge offers an opportunity. The opportunity here is to improve test-taking stamina

Yes, the key strategies to ACT Science--like annotating passages, covering up answer choices to state your own answer first and eliminating answer choices based on themes--are all valid and helpful. 

Also, students will improve their scores by building stamina and concentration over long periods of time. The best way to do this is with lots of full-length practice tests. Prepare for the marathon by practicing marathons. 

Another method, and much less taxing, is the Hocus Pocus Super Focus method:

1) Remove all distractions. 
2) Hunker down for thirty minutes on an assignment, academic activity or critical thinking task. 
3) At the end of the period, take a five-minute break. 
4) Repeat this until your focus is sustained easily for thirty minutes. 
5) Now go for longer periods or more consecutive periods. 

If you cannot make it thirty minutes, try a shorter period until that is comfortable and build from there. 

The stamina needed for the ACT or SAT is sustained focus for about four or five periods of fifty minutes with five-minute breaks. 

As you build your stamina, remind yourself that you will be more fatigued later the process. Use this knowledge to your advantage and fine tune your focus toward the end

ACT Science may not be so bad after all. My students who claim ACT Science is too hard soon learn that focused stamina makes a major difference

Build your stamina, build your confidence and watch your score improve. For more test-taking tips and academic support, contact CROSSWALK today.