Some of you may not realize that though I have been doing test preparation since the late eighties, I completed training to become a certified health coach in 2009. I did so to become more knowledgeable of how to harness the power of the mind and lifestyle to affect students’ results. So naturally, as well as reading timely stories about the SAT and ACT, I am also reading health related blogs and newsletters.  That said, I came across an fascinating study discussed in the book 59 Seconds by Richard Wisemen.

This Harvard study involved over 80 hotel room cleaning attendants from 7 different hotels.  The researchers were studying the effects of the hotel workers health and weight loss once they became aware of the benefits of their daily physical activity relevant to doing their job.

The workers were split into 2 groups:

GROUP 1: They learned how many calories they were burning for all of the tasks they had to do when cleaning the hotel rooms – changing sheets, vacuuming, scrubbing bathrooms, etc. To make sure they maintained this information, the workers were given a handout showing the quantities of calories they were burning doing each activity. They were also provided with a poster that reinforced how many calories they were burning.

GROUP 2: This group was merely told of the benefits of exercise, but they were not informed how many calories they were burning when doing their work. They were just told that it was a good form of exercise.

The researchers made sure that no habits outside of work, i.e., exercise, eating or smoking. had changed during the 4 week study. The workloads remained consistent as well.

THE RESULTS: The workers who were totally informed about the positive health and weight loss effects ended up losing a significant amount of weight, lowered their blood pressure, body mass and waist-to-hip ratio. The group that was not told about the calories they were burning while doing their work showed NONE of the above mentioned improvements. Pretty powerful!

So how does that relate to improving test scores?

Our students are told to VERY SPECIFICALLY write out their:

  • realistic score goal
  • personalized visualization of what they need to do and/or have done each week to achieve that score goal
  • what learned skills, strategies, and techniques they will apply in the testing room
  • affirmations of what they believe about their potential and what they are truly committed to doing to manifest their score goal

Mindset is a powerful thing. When students are guided into creating the mindset they need to be successful, the strategies then become so much easier to apply and use with absolute confidence. That’s where the ‘magic’ happens: Students just ‘know’ they will get the score they need and want.


Summer isn’t over yet . . .  it’s not too late to schedule your Test Prep Strategy Session to create a game plan for your teen:

  • find out the better exam – SAT (current or new) or ACT
  • is tutoring the best option and why
  • predicted score goal range for your teen on both the SAT and ACT
  • optimum number of hours to achieve score goal
  • tuition options
  • prepayment discounts
  • FREE extras Breakthrough Test Prep offers over and beyond hourly sessions

If you haven’t already please have your teen go the the website to take the 60 Second ACT vs. SAT Assessment TM  to find out the better exam. This one-of-a-kind assessment is based on learning style and personality – two underrated factors that can dramatically affect test performance. Then have your student self identify type of learner which helps in validating the assessment.

The other tool we use to discover the better exam for your teen are our Parent and Student  Profile QuestionnairesTM. The Questionnaires will be emailed to you upon scheduling your Strategy Session.

I look forward to our connecting!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *