The Ability to Pay Attention: A Secret To SAT/ACT Success

By SAT ACT Test Prep

“Nathan did way worse than expected on the SAT.  Can you help?” Mrs. Honig said about her very bright junior at Old Lyme.

After working with Nathan a few times, I agreed.  This is not always the case.  Sometimes parents expectations are not based on real data but rather hope.  In Nathan’s case, he definitely demonstrated a mastery of SAT problems that illustrated an underperformance.

During the school year, I usually meet with students for 1 hour because the student has homework and activity demands that preclude meeting longer on the weekdays.  But Nathan had a day off due to professional development for teachers and we were able to meet for 2 hours.  That’s when the problem revealed itself.  Somewhere in the middle of the second hour, I noticed Nathan’s attention fading.  His performance correspondingly declined.  I asked Nathan whether this was typical.  He said “yes, after a while I just can’t pay attention on tests.”  For the most part, this did not affect Nathan in school because most tests are only the length of a period.  But Nathan did have some underperformance issues on finals, particularly on non-memory based subjects where he had to maintain a high level of focus.

Stamina training is one of the areas where I have created a best practice framework for improvement.  Parents and students should know that the ability to pay attention is an important factor for SAT and ACT success.