I hear this all of the time . . .why is there such a discrepancy between school performance and grades? The answer usually involves several reasons. The forth reason and the most challenging reason will be discussed in depth.

  1. Grade inflation is rampant.  What does that mean?  Do all teachers in a school have the same standards for giving a particular grade? Of course not! So if teachers in the same school vary, schools themselves vary, counties and states vary.  Colleges and universities have to have a gauge that is the same for all students, regardless of what school they attended or state they are from:  ACT or SAT.
  2. Students learn how to play the “game of school”.  Savvy students learn what they have to do to get the ‘grade’. They may not learn much content in the process, but they’re good at the game.
  3. Most students are not readers. At best they read, only what they have to to get by.  Avid readers typically don’t need much if any test preparation – ironically, even in the math. Students whose passion is reading have inadvertently developed the requisite critical reading and thinking skills necessary to do well on the SAT or ACT.
  4. When students create internal pressure that comes from such thoughts as, “I can’t mess up”, “This is my last chance”, “I always do poorly on standardized tests,” they need to realize that those thoughts come from the part of the brain where high working memory resides.  That said, they are actually competing for the same ‘brain space’.  Ultimately, it will limit the student’s ability to do the task effectively.  Students with lower working memory are typically not using that capacity, so they’re not as affected by pressure.

Short term or working memory enables us to hold information in the brain that is relevant to performance – i.e., newly learned test-taking strategies – and ensures that we will focus on the task at hand.  In other words, if a student is trying to remember the steps in approaching a reading passage and then starts thinking about performance which is further exacerbated by knowing he is under a time constraint, memory of the steps is sabotaged.

So where does that leave us, especially if your teen truly has test anxiety? The key is to find the  ‘initial sensitizing event’ – perhaps a teacher or a peer saying something PERCEIVED as negative. That event usually happened way back in elementary school. Very simply, the experience gets embedded in the subconscious mind as truth though the irony is the event is often forgotten (on the conscious level). Remember, 90% of our beliefs come from our subconscious mind, not our conscious mind.

So ultimately, the subconscious belief has to be identified and changed. So how is that done?  I believe EFT – the emotional freedom technique, or ‘tapping’,  is the easiest way to change limiting beliefs.

Click here to learn more about tapping and it’s use in curbing test anxiety.

I know can work – I’d love to show YOUR teen how.

– See more at: http://hbatestprep.com/blog/#sthash.WtfGgJtz.dpuf

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