Here’s the secret to dramatic improvement in your SAT score.
For those of you who haven’t read the posts, “The Myth of Content” describes how most students who take the SAT already know most of the content on the test. You may have to learn some, but any halfway competent tutor can explain it to you, and focusing only on the content isn’t getting you the most bang for your buck.
In “The Myth of Test Taking Tricks and Techniques,” I point out that some of the tricks and techniques you’ll hear about from some of the test prep companies are just plain idiotic. What you want to learn instead are the proper thought processes that help you to maximize every last bit of knowledge you have. But even that is often not enough.
So if content and techniques aren’t the key to dramatic improvement, then what is?
The key to dramatic improvement in your SAT score is learning to manage your attention, your emotions, and your beliefs.
That sounds huge.
I’m not saying it’s easy. But it’s not as hard as it sounds. The good news is that there is A LOT of leverage in this area, so even a little improvement here goes a long way.
Think about it. We humans are great learners. We’re learning machines, actually. Babies and young children learn at an amazing rate. Then at a certain point, things start to get in the way. Not in the way of all learning, but in the way of learning certain things.
Think about this:
Why can a teenager who can’t seem to learn algebra master a complex video game?
Why can another teenager who has trouble writing an essay easily learn a task as complex as driving a car?
Think about your own life. What have you had trouble learning?
Did you have trouble sticking with it?
Did you get frustrated when you didn’t do it well, and maybe even feel down on yourself?
Did you come to believe that you just weren’t able to do that particular thing, that maybe it wasn’t for you and you should just give up and move on to something else?
I know that I have.