Standardized tests are unlike nearly all other exams that you or your child will encounter.
They are not intelligence tests.
They are not knowledge tests.
They are GAMES.
As many superior students with excellent grades are shocked and dismayed by disappointing scores, so too are talented writers frequently underwhelmed by their essay evaluations. These surprises, both common and predictable, result from a bizarre truth: the right approach for other academic pursuits is often the wrong approach for standardized tests.
Standardized tests demand techniques that are tailored to the peculiarities of the exams. Just as a great golf swing won't guarantee success as a fastball hitter, so too a floutist cannot automatically play the sax.
Because they are games, preparation for standardized tests requires solid coaching and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. To my knowledge there are no effective ways to cram for chess, golf, poker, basketball or standardized tests.
I provide both strategies and tactics. If your goal is optimum performance, both must be practiced until they become habitual. Most students (SAT,GMAT,LSAT) have a single two hour lesson and ~4-8 hours of homework/self-study each week for a period of 10-16 weeks.
--> PS: I have two Ivy League degrees - Columbia BA and Wharton MBA - and have been an instructor for the SAT, GMAT and LSAT for the Princeton Review. Personally, I missed 5 questions on the SAT, 3 questions on the GMAT, received a perfect score on the LSAT and scored in the 99th percentile on every standardized test I can recall since early childhood.
--> PPS: I am often asked when and/or how many times one should take the SAT exam. I made a blog post to help guide you through the weirdness of making those decisions.
--> PPPS: For SAT students I have two, two-hour time slots each weekday: 3:30/4:00 to 5:30/6:00, and 6/6:30 to 8/8:30. For LSAT and GMAT students, I have two other time slots: 10/10:30 to 12/12:30, and 12:30/1:00 to 2:30/3:00. My weekends are fully booked: I teach classes on Saturday, and Sunday is my day off.
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