December 2014 PATHtips™

Winter Focus: PRIORITIZE

focus twoThis month, we are sharing PATHtips™ to prepare for the ACT in response to the frustrations families share with me regarding the volumes of information they receive to prepare for the ACT (and other standardized tests, too).   Let’s push through the “noise” and PRIORITIZE together!

Here are four quick tips to help young people focus on what is most important when it comes to preparing for the ACT:


1.  Know what the ACT “tests” and does not “test”.

This will help you focus your efforts on the areas that will maximize performance and decrease anxiety.  Learn what a standardized test is to gain perspective on its role in your life.   Check out for an objective view of standardized tests.

 2.  Find the best answer.

Consider that there are 215 questions with which a test taker is assessed.  No two questions are alike – ever.  Therefore, these types of tests are more focused on the right process by which items are answered – the “best” answer.  Good grades will not necessarily be the precursor to excellent scores on this test.   Can you apply the information and processes learned during school to find the best answer?

 3.  Separate strategy from accuracy.

Do you know how to manipulate algorithms?  How quickly can you read and comprehend 1000 words?  How large and wide is your vocabulary?  Can you execute actions under stress?   Determine if your challenge is about strategy – how to take the test – and accuracy to determine what to focus on for preparation.

 4.  Develop a “next step” perspective.

What are you attempting to accomplish with a specific score?   Consider your next step, rather than comparing your score to others around you.  You will live your life, no one else.  Your identified objective (entrance to a specific program, scholarship amount, internship opportunity) will give you a target.  Then learn how to arrive at the score you need.

 Bottom-line:  You have more to offer the world than any one instrument will determine.   Putting standardized tests into perspective for your life and focusing preparation efforts on maximizing academic performance in school can benefit you in the long run.

Be Well!

Ms. Patricia

 PS:  Click here to learn about PATHworks!™ ACT Preparation Experiences

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