Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Take a Practice SAT

On Saturday, the team at CROSSWALK will proctor a full-length practice SAT test as part of our six-week program for students of the Salinas Union High School District. 

Practice tests are hugely beneficial in test prep for obvious reasons. Namely, students get to experience the time management and mental endurance needed to take on a full-length SAT. 

After all, the SAT and ACT are not much more than mental marathons. And the course of these particular marathons are the exact same every time. Sure, the questions might vary, but the directions, content, sections, order, and timing are all the same. Every time. E-v-e-r-y t-i-m-e

So it can only help to practice a test marathon to see how you do. 

Following the practice test, the students in our program will score their performance and analyze their own results. The scoring and analysis is a crucial step in identifying strengths or weaknesses as well as understanding how many more correct answers a student needs to target in order to achieve a goal score. 

So if you are preparing for the SAT or ACT, be sure to incorporate at least one full-length practice test in your preparation. 

Shorter practice sets, like the ones on Khan Academy, are helpful. But there is nothing like a full-length practice test to assess your mental stamina. 

Download full length practice SATs right here. Or find a full length ACT to practice here

As always, if you need help, contact CROSSWALK.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

3 Compelling Reasons to Start a Study Group

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." -Helen Keller 

When facing a challenge, would you rather go at it alone? Or with a team of like-minded individuals focused on a common goal? 

Individuals can accomplish great things but just about anything is easier with a team. 

Especially learning. 

With study groups, learning is enhanced. Consider these three compelling reasons why a study group is a great way to learn: 

1) Increased knowledge: Several brains are smarter than one. With a study group, students can leverage the knowledge and perspective of their team members. So instead of one brain doing all of the thinking, several brains can do it. 

2) Increased motivation: When working with a team, students can be more motivated to complete tasks. As the team focuses on its learning goals, individuals can be motivated to contribute to the team more than they would be just working on their own tasks. 

3) Increased accountability: Since the team relies on its individuals to move forward, team members are accountable to their group and not just to themselves. The added layer of accountability means students are more likely to accomplish their tasks since the team expects them to do so. Individuals can often procrastinate but when one is part of team, procrastination is selfish and therefore less likely. And if the study group keeps a calendar or regular meetings, members can easily focus on the tasks that need to be done. 

The curious thing with all of this is that many students are afraid to create their own study groups. Sometimes students are eager to work with a group but often I see students afraid to admit they need help from a group. Perhaps in our ultra-connected, social media-dominated and information-at-your-finger-tips world, students think they can solve all of their problems by themselves. 

Yet the fact is undeniable: a study group is a very effective way to learn more, accomplish more and achieve academic goals. 

Sure, there are drawbacks of study groups. Sometimes team members don't contribute. Sometimes it is hard to schedule meetings. And sometimes personalities take over the group. 

So assuming you can find a group of like-minded individuals focused on a common goal, why wouldn't you at least try and get a study group together? Gather a group to complete tasks, review material, take practice tests or otherwise focus on study goals. Treat it like a book club: invite people interested in the subject matter, schedule regular meetings and make the meetings enjoyable. 

If you need help creating a study group or otherwise finding ways to be more successful in your learning, contact CROSSWALK. We specialize in learning, tutoring and test prep for all types of learners.