“I’m looking forward to studying for the GRE, Haha!!!” Gabriella wrote
I first worked with Gabriella when she was an SAT student in my Old Saybrook class. She was terrified of big tests. She had created a story that she was terrible at tests based on hearing that she underperformed on the Connecticut mastery tests of years ago. I pointed out that she was very young for her grade and that may have been a reason why she underperformed in early grade school. Her sophomore PSAT, while fine but not in line with her very high grades. So she labeled herself a “bad test taker.”
At the start of each SAT class, I ask students to provide any information that will help me help them. Gabriella wrote one line: “I’m bad at tests.”
During SAT class, I provide a full lecture on the psychological performance of test taking. Psychological issues related to test-taking are a highly underrated issue. Gabriella had mentioned way back when that she felt a little better after the lecture.
After our SAT class had ended, Gabriella and I reconnected for individual SAT prep. She ended up scoring in the 700s on each section of the test. This was back in the day when there were three scores so her overall score was 2250, roughly the equivalent of a 1500 in today’s system.
If your child doesn’t think she is a good test taker, tell her that she is untrained. And then send her our way for training.