In this week’s post, we will talk about the mandatory mindset that serves as a foundation for test-taking, as well as learning in general (which is covered more extensively in Secret #1 of my new book, 6 Secrets to Mastering Successful SAT or ACT Test-taking: Develop the Skill Set and Mindset to Get the Score You Want and BEYOND!).
Even as adults we know that simply having information isn’t everything; success depends on how we deal with what we know. For students, understanding this is even more important as they grow in self-awareness and confidence. Students who are good at cramming and memorizing who end up doing poorly on a test may feel confused and insecure about why they didn’t do as well as they thought they would. For any student to build the confidence and mental foundation necessary to get the test scores they want, they need to approach what they know from a place of discernment and intention.
First, students must learn to focus more on what they DO know versus what they don’t know. While it’s easy for students to psych themselves out when they reach a topic or vocabulary word they aren’t familiar with, the truth is that most of the questions on the ACT and SAT ask about facts and information that the student is well-acquainted with. Focusing first on questions and topics they know well will enforce students’ confident, positive mental mindset.
Second, it is important for the test-taker to be able to discern between what she does know and what she doesn’t know. Even though this sounds simple, students tend to get hung up on what they “should” know versus what they don’t know, and thereby can eliminate a correct answer.
Finally, positive intentions are essential for success on the ACT or SAT. Creating intentions involves the student determining—realistically—the score they want and think they can achieve, making a plan, and taking quiet time to meditate and visualize the manifestation of their goal. Secret #1 of my book, 6 Secrets to Mastering Successful SAT or ACT Test-taking: Develop the Skill Set and Mindset to Get the Score You Want and BEYOND!), provides a worksheet that help students follow steps to achieving their test-score intentions.
Students who develop the proper mental foundation—confidence and the correct approach to what they know—have the best chance at achieving the scores they deserve.