Do you have a bad habit of circling the right answer, then changing it?!

Jim Blog, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

We see it all the time in test taking, and it can be so frustrating: why would we change the answer if we actually knew it?!  Here’s why this happens – and being aware of it now will enable this habit to fade away. Unbeknownst to our conscious brains, our unconscious brains are constantly processing information and solving problems for us. Unconscious processing is why we have “gut instincts” that are unerringly accurate sometimes, or why we leave the house …

An ACT Science Student’s Shocking Results

Jim Blog, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Today I have shocking ACT Science results that a student of mine has gotten recently – and she’s gotten them by doing something very counterintuitive. In the 7 weeks we worked together, she raised her practice score by 13 points. When students learn to slow down while working on a question, their overall test taking gets faster; they let themselves actually make sense of the question at their own pace, so they become more accurate. Paradoxically, they also get quicker! …

“Test Optional”: Do the SAT and ACT Still Matter?

Jim Blog Leave a Comment

By Jim Treadway Since 53 colleges have gone “test-optional” during the quarantine, parents are asking if (and students are insisting!) the tests no longer matter. This post will give the low-down on what “test optional” really means – the forces behind it that aren’t being mentioned in media reporting on the SAT and ACT – and which type of student (probably you) the SAT and ACT will matter more than ever to. First:  What is the Real Story Behind “Test-Optional”? …

Own Your IRs, Own the SAT

Jim Blog 1 Comment

Test prep is challenging – longer, harder, and slower than everyone wants it to be. For it to work, you have to give it your all, and that requires positivity, persistence, and confidence. But students undermine themselves at so many turns by attaching to disempowering meanings produced by their brains. Learning the model of “IRs” can change that – having effects that go far beyond raising your test scores.

The Better Approach to SAT + ACT Tutoring: One Section at a Time

Jim Blog Leave a Comment

There’s a major reason why your SAT or ACT tutoring might not be working. Most tutors teach the tests by showing students each Section (Math, English, etc.) and then working on all of the Sections simultaneously, week by week. Progress dribbles in, and preparing for the tests starts to feel like indefinite toil. Parents and students wonder: “do we just work at this forever?” “When does it stop?” “Will we ever get the score we’re hoping for?” At Growth Wise, …

The Way You Read ACT Science Questions Is Confusing You – Here’s The Fix

Jim Blog Leave a Comment

A couple weeks ago I realized that I was reading ACT Science questions differently than most of my students. My students tended to read the entire question at once… They started to read at “Suppose…” and continued all the way to the end:  “…following energies.” The problem with this approach is that the question has so many unfamiliar “science-y” terms – Mineral 3, MnSiO3, Figures 1 and 2, X-ray spectroscopy, 3 maximum intensity peaks, keV – that when you read …