Having worked with Connecticut high school students for the past 15 years, I have noticed a significant uptick in the number of students with anxiety related to taking the SATs and other standardized tests. Here’s the surprise: a large chunk of the anxiety has not stemmed from overbearing but from avoidance.
Unquestionably, the biggest helicopter parents are those involved with their children’s athletics. Perhaps because sports are played in public and the results are immediate, parents – many of whom could benefit from counseling! – are extraordinary over-involved with their children’s athletic activities. The payoff: very little. Few athletes in our suburban Connecticut use athletics to gain admission or pay for colleges of their choice.
There are – surprisingly -not that many parents who are involved with their children’s test scores. They may have bought into the myth the scores “are what they are” (not true, students can improve their SAT/ACT scores dramatically), that colleges find the scores less important than in the past (slightly true because of test-optional schools, but completely untrue in relation to most colleges, particularly top colleges) and that they should let the kid study on their own (sorry – doesn’t happen – the unmotivated students simply won’t and the motivated kids are too busy).
PSAT results are coming back now. Talk to your kids about the results. Be positive and offer them help. We, of course, can help!
Register for our next SAT-ACT Mastery Seminar.