Have you ever heard of beginner's luck? When I was eight years old, my mom bowled for the first time and got a strike. She called it "beginner's luck," and since then, I've wondered if there's any reality behind the phrase. What makes beginners lucky? Overall, I accept the null hypothesis: beginners are no more … Continue reading Beginner’s Luck
The high schoolers have the upper hand on this one. Whether it's because their parents are making them, the test is only offered a certain number of Saturdays per year, or that the rigor of high school has them inured to testing, they take their practice tests and the real tests promptly. Perhaps not with … Continue reading Just Take Your Test, Already.
In test prep, I have noticed that many tutors use bellicose language when talking about achievement on tests. Tests are killed, destroyed, owned, pwned, conquered, defeated, etc. One book I use for SAT Math is called PWN the SAT, which is video-game speak for Kill the SAT. Tests are construed as enemies, whereas tutors are … Continue reading Violent Language Does Not Have to Be Part of Test Prep
“I think it’s funny that you say that I don’t seem nervous, because I’m actually super-nervous all the time," said professional tennis player Naomi Osaka, after winning the US Open in 2018. Before the match, she talked to her sister on the phone to calm her. If you thought $200 or $250 spent on a … Continue reading When the Nerves Hit
Behold, the Game of Thrones GRE practice questions! My hope is that these questions might propel me to some small level of fame, as I wrote them. For solutions, please email me! Here are two sample questions. 1. To any casual observer, Gilly’s looks would have best been described as ______, but to the deprived … Continue reading Game of Thrones GRE Practice Questions
A little after 9pm California time on New Year's Eve, 2018, I sat next to my best friend who's in law school, and I registered for the GMAT. Because psychologically, it's more bearable to suffer one large loss than a series of smaller ones, I also registered for the GRE, and figured I'd write both … Continue reading Results of my May 29th GMAT Exam
Below is a list I have compiled over the years of teaching and tutoring standardized exams. It is almost complete. Enjoy! Learning new words and their origins Learning new things about science, history, social science, outer space, reptiles, etc Doing lots of practice problems SMH when getting tricked on questions Doing challenge problems Hearing students … Continue reading 100 Things I Love About Being a Test Prep Tutor and Instructor
After being in the thick of standardized test prep full-time for a year now, I'm at the edge of perfection in four exams. (Thank you; you may hold your applause.) Nevertheless, I'm wondering if this idea of perfection in one area of my life has me thinking I can be perfect in other areas of … Continue reading The Illusion of Perfection
On test day, at lot can happen, but most people go in with the faith that their proctor---whoever s/he may be---will know what s/he is doing. Now, as a tutor, and as a follower of test prep blogs on Reddit, I've heard some test-day horror stories. One of the most important score-changers outside of actually … Continue reading Bad Proctor? Know Your Rights
Tests are friends, not foes. Feeling negatively toward these tests won't help you pass them. But with so much frustration, disappointment, jealousy and resentment going around regarding these tests, how can you re-frame your thinking in a more positive manner? Here are the ten reasons I love standardized tests. They're honest. These tests are the … Continue reading 10 Reasons Why Tests are Friends, Not Foes.