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1. Testing is Good!
When they hear the word “test”, most students react with angst and dread. Who wants to take a test? Well, mostly nobody. But did you know that testing is the best way of learning? According to Drs. Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski, testing is better than re-reading.
Often, closing the book and testing yourself on whether you can solve the problem or recall the information you think you understand, will speed up your learning at this stage. You often realize the first time you actually understand something is when you can actually do it yourself. Actively recalling information is a great way to burn it into long-term memory.
2. Start Early
The simplest way to improve test results is to start studying well ahead of time. This will get material into your long-term memory, where it has staying power. But don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, break studying down into manageable pieces. And then use the spaced learning technique: review it the next day, and then a few days later and so on. Another value of starting early is to find out whether you need help before it’s too late.
3. Understand the Test
Ever studied the wrong material or missed a key section? There’s an easy way to prevent this: Ask your teacher for guidance, or for standardized test, find out what material they cover in the tests. Create a table of contents for what you think will be covered in the test and then find out:
4. Create the Right Environment
How do you study? Do you like quietness or some background music? If so, create that background before studying. If you need total silence, get earplugs, and find a place to study with minimum distractions — away from siblings, TV, and other noise. Shut off your phone and the Internet. If you do better with some background music and stimulus, listen to some music, preferably with no lyrics, which could be distracting. Are you a morning person or an evening person? Study during your most productive time of the day.
Also, energize yourself with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and don’t forget to stay hydrated with plenty of water.
6. Simplify and Use Shorter Study Blocks
If you’re short on time or there’s too much material to go over, use the Smart Scoring System. It will shorten your time to study using its unique interval training system. If you are an abstract thinking, it will teach you how to find the details you usually miss and get wrong on tests—and vice-versa. Remember to take breaks. Stretch, walk around the block, or grab a snack every 30 minutes or so. The Smart Scoring System has breaks embedded in it, so it helps you focus better.
7. Get Help
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. This can be as simple as using a tutor to help you learn the material, stay on track, and get the job done. Call us and use the Smart Scoring System to help you become an independent student. The system will guide you to what you need to learn and fill in the voids.
You need to get at least a 32 on the ACT to get into a top school.
Often we see that some very smart kids are unable to break the barrier of 32 on the ACT and fail to get near perfect scores.
Why do smart kids fail to break the barrier? In "Patterns of Underachievement in Gifted Students", Carolyn Coil, discusses three patterns of underachievement by smart kids:
1) Does well in early grades, then underachieves more as they get older
2) Sporadic up-and-down pattern
3) No effort to go beyond the minimum
The causes of underachievement can be many. We highlight a few below.
1. Not Being Prepared
Some smart students have poor discipline and do things last minute. They are smart so they can study last minute and still do well. However, in test prep, you cannot get away with it. Poor discipline leads to poor habits which affects your scores. For example, such students make a lot of silly errors because they rush through the questions. Remember, many questions are not difficult, but if you make an error the scantron will be unforgiving. It does not know whether you know the concept or not. It only sees you bubble that you have marked. Why lose points on concepts you know really well? So prepare well.
2. Poor Strategies
We suggest not to take the ACT or the SAT in spring because your school load is quite heavy, especially if you are taking APs. Ideally, take the test in the Fall and do test-prep in the Summer. We would be happy to assist with your test preparation. Just let us know. :-)
3. Lack of Test Taking Abilities
If you are not a good test taker, chances are you have not developed your test-taking abilities. Test taking is no different than learning swimming or tennis. It is the same thing. There are certain principles and strategies that you need to learn to do well on tests. Many students do not have a well rounded approach and have no consistency.
Are You Doing Things Differently On Test Days?
Without even realizing it, you may be doing things differently on test days than you have been while studying. Anxiety may have taken over and you may be rushing through your test and just panicking. In some cases, you may fall back to your old habits instead of what you learned for test prep. In other cases, you might forget time management and spend too much time on tough problems. And there could be many other ways how you maybe doing things differently—from not eating a good breakfast to not getting a good night's sleep.
In order to succeed on the test day, you will have to rely on your subconscious mind guiding you—the habits that you have built—because of the spontaneity of the test. You have to response to the spontaneity and the surprises of the test. Plus, given time and performance pressure, you are asking too much for your conscious mind to do. It can't and you then fall into your habits.
What can you do?
The picture (above right) shows a version of the Smart Scoring System in a local school for a test prep class. Given the proprietary nature, we cannot be more specific, so we suggest you contact us for more details and test drive the Smart Scoring System and discover for yourself how it can help you learn faster, test smarter and score higher.
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. ~ Alexander Graham Bell
How are you doing? Physically and Emotionally.
Have you been stressed out before the test day? Are you tired? In either case, your brain will not function properly and at its peak. If you are stressed out due to work or family or health reasons, you will have to make some changes before you take the test.
Make sure that you are well rested and prepared for your test. Given the Smart Scoring System, there is no need to worry about your preparation. You will be able to learn faster, test smarter and score higher in your test--and you won't be anxious during your test, since you know you are well prepared.
There are many students who have perfect scores on the SAT. These students come all walks of life and have taken test prep from various places, from the name brands to individual tutors. If you were to choose a test prep course, and there are lots and lots of choices today, which one should you choose? Of course, we will say choose us, but what really differentiates us from the name brands like Kaplan and Princeton and from the many test prep schools out there. In short, why would you work with Hillview Prep?
The short answer is the Smart Scoring System.
The Smart Scoring System is a learning tool. It can identify your academic strengths and weaknesses and understand your learning style. It is the ultimate guide for discovering the most effective methods and strategies that make you learn faster and succeed in less time.
Why the Power of the Pen can Make You an Invincible Learner
Cognitive neuropsychologists, Audrey van der Meer and Ruud van der Weel, from the renowned Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), are experts in the field of how technology and learning intersect. They have studied the differences between using a pen and using a keyboard and how it impacts learning and they have some fascinating insights to report.
Does long-hand note-taking using a pen deepens the mind’s ability to retain and process information?
That is the question the researchers asked and carried out a two-month research project with students. Their project aimed to find out whether note taking by typing versus note taking with a pen would bring about differences in brain activity, thereby affecting a student’s ability to learn.
1. Microsoft Surface Tablet: The Best Digital Pen & Paper
We use Microsoft's Surface tablet, the closest emulation to a pen and paper. You can take faster notes, share material quickly, and organize more efficiently.
What ever happened to the classic pen and paper? The tactile experience of writing letters.
You can write directly on webpages with the Surface Pen, which is a delight to use. The Surface Pen feels like a real pen. We like the sensors on it and feels like you are using a real palm. It also recognizes your palm, so your palm does not interfere with writing. You can quickly switch between lines and graph paper. Cut and paste is seamless.