Reducing Test Anxiety

Published Saturday, December 25, 2010 by Katie

Stress. It assaults the calmest of students in the worst of circumstances. Stress is a natural, but not insurmountable, challenge faced by all SAT test-takers. Using a few simple techniques, all students can learn to effectively and efficiently combat stress in all situations. Strategy 1: Tensing and Relaxing. This strategy is developed and explained in depth in Dr. Paul D. Nolting’s instructional text Math Study Skills Workbook, Your Guide to Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Study Strategies. When using the tensing and relaxing method, first place feet on the floor, making sure the soles of… Continue Reading

To Retake or Not to Retake?

Published Saturday, December 25, 2010 by Katie

It’s 6am on a Thursday morning. Your alarm sounds, screaming at an inhuman pitch from your bedside table. You roll over to slam the snooze button—but wait. You just remembered. SAT scores came out online this morning! Bolting out of bed, you furiously log in to your laptop computer. In your sleep-addled state, it takes multiple tries to type the password into your computer, only adding to your anxiety. Finally, you reach the CollegeBoard site, log on, and navigate to the score report page. You close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then look… Continue Reading

Your brain is a muscle. Exercise it.

Published Friday, August 20, 2010 by Dave

Yes, Excel classes are long, but the SAT is longer. One of the things the SAT tests you on is your ability to focus for long periods of time. If you haven’t built up your mental stamina before sitting for the test, all the tips and tricks in the world aren’t going to help very much (But your three-hour Excel classes will!). Here’s an aggregated list of the best advice I’ve found by googling things like “mental stamina,” “improve concentration” and “brain muscle”. Eat right. A diet that consists of “good fats” (yes, there is… Continue Reading

2400 = $10,000

Published Thursday, August 19, 2010 by Dave

Rishi Sharma is all smiles. You would be too if you just learned you got a 2400 on the SAT, more so if your score earned you a $1,000 Excel Scholarship. But the real reason Rishi is smiling is because his parents agreed to lend him $10,000 to invest (and keep what he earns) if he got a perfect score; quite an incentive for someone who plans to study economics. We asked the St. Francis High School senior a few questions about how he prepared for the test and what advice he might have for… Continue Reading

Tune in to admissions info

Published Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Dave

I moonlight as a public radio producer for KALW, in San Francisco. This past Monday I invited Eric Forbes, Director of Enrollment Services for the California State University, and Bruce Poch, Vice President and Dean of Admissions at Pomona College, to come on the show to discuss the changing landscape of university admissions in California. (The same guy from the previous NY Times Q&A post.) Mr. Forbes talked about how the state’s $800 million education shortfall is affecting both his school and the University of California. Mr. Poch painted a vividly different picture. The show… Continue Reading


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