The holidays are here. Time for giving, loving and spending time with those that are special to you.
This is also the time that many high school juniors start to turn their attention towards college. As students enter the second half of their junior year, they should start to consider which school or schools might be a good fit. Inherent to the college search is research into what test scores are needed to get into the school(s) of choice. The best test prep starts with the end in mind: figure out what score you need and map out your strategy to get there. Since this a fairly involved process, most every student needs support along the way. And in the spirit of giving, here are three gifts that you can give to your student or child as they embark on this journey: A Stress-Free Environment: As I tell my students, stress is the enemy of performance. If there is stress in your life, it will manifest itself on your test score. Stress reduces ones ability to focus which makes problem solving and logical thought more difficult. The ability to solve problems and think logically is what will determine success on a test, so the student that is stress-free will indubitably score better. Support the student through any challenges (i.e. not just test prep) and remove as much stress as possible particularly as test day approaches. Achievable Goals: Getting the best score you can on the SAT or ACT can be a long process. Test-taking, for many, is a new skill and learning a new skill can be overwhelming. Avoid the overwhelming feeling by setting manageable goals. For example, set a goal to complete at least three full-length practice tests before you take an official test. Or, set a goal to master graphing functions by March. Set and achieve small goals along the way and get to your end goal easier. Resources: Every student needs some resources for test prep. The good news is that there are two key free resources for test prep: the downloadable ACT test prep guide and SAT prep resources via the Khan Academy. You can also subscribe to this blog for study tips and hints directly to your inbox for free! These gifts cost nothing and are highly valuable. Nowadays, it is not totally necessary to hire a tutor or take a course. Many things students can do on their own. Yes, the holidays are here. If you know a student about to embark on the test prep journey, give them resources, goals and a stress-free environment and watch them soar. If you have any questions about test prep and academic tutoring, contact CROSSWALK.