Should You Take the ACT or the SAT?

“Hey, Mr. Rosen, would you rather have all your fingernails pulled out one by one or listen to John Cougar Mellancamp’s entire collection of music?” 

Mr. Rosen opted for the fingernails.

I think most people feel the same way about taking a 4 hour standardized test at 7 AM on a weekend morning on which a great deal of their future rides—they’d take the torture if it were an option. 

Elizabeth KingComment
Official Free SAT Prep: Know What To Use and What to Ignore

You may remember that it was big news when the College Board announced that they were partnering with Khan Academy to offer free prep for the new SAT. It seemed a pretty straightforward choice for the College Board: simultaneously take a good swing at some of those giant prep companies who profit from the College Board's product and offer preparation and access to students whose families don't have private tutoring or prep courses in the budget. 

Gold Medalist Olympian on Good Test Takers

We’re always hearing about people who are “just really good test takers” or kids who “don’t test well.” While we’d like to think that a standardized test is profoundly different from other life experiences that require us to perform under pressure, a test is a test is a test. If you don’t test well in school, you may also be a kick that freaks out on the tennis court or gets deeply nervous during an interview. In this continuation of my conversation with Olympic Gold Medalist and Coach Barbara Ann Cochran we’re going to look at what makes these “good test takers” so darn good and learn how to emulate them. 

Elizabeth KingComment
Gold Medalist Olympian on Mental Training

This article is one of a series of interviews with Olympic Gold Medalist Skier Barbara Ann Cochran. Not only is Barbara Ann a world class athlete, she now coaches young skiers and other athletes to be extraordinary competitors. I’m so excited to share with students Barbara Ann’s insight about the mental and psychological element of competition and achievement. In this section of our conversation we’ll be discussing how to get into and maintain the right frame of mind for maximizing achievement on slopes, at bat, on the court–and, of course, at the testing center.

Elizabeth KingComment
Educated Guessing, Statistics, and Strategy for the SAT

I can never say enough about how much I loathe what the idea of needing "strategies" to tackle standardized tests has done to the psyches of American high school students. The worst is an emphasis on guessing strategies. In this post, we look at why guessing strategies, the machinations of some Ivy League grads trying to imagine how "the average person" guesses, are useless.