SAT Anxiety and Reducing it - January 2013

Explains how to take the stress and anxiety out of SAT prep. A great read for students and parents alike.

A parent remarked that his son had begun his SAT study with a combination of “zeal, anxiety, and stress”.   Let me address the "Stressed and Anxious" aspect:

Test Prep with Ivy Bound REDUCES stress/anxiety. We teach students new skills that will help in the areas they most worry about. And we get students to do practice tests, over and over.  After 5
or 6 of these, students know what to expect of the test and what to expect of themselves ON the test. The anxiety about the "unknown" should evaporate.

A second anxiety, anxiety about the "importance" of the SAT, still often exists. That I can't eliminate; but since most students already know the SAT is important, now I can reduce that anxiety with this message:

Push hard, but know that if you fall short of full SAT success you'll still be
successful beyond high school. You'll go to a good college somewhere, you'll
have a career, you can marry well, your parents will still love you. In working
really hard for SAT success, you will almost certainly have a higher level of
success that you otherwise would see. So I like telling students who currently
have mid-level scores (1550 - 1750): shoot for the 500 point improvement. If
you fall short and "only" rise 350 points, you just GAINED 350

Even a 150 point improvement puts most students into a whole new tier of likely college acceptances, and/or higher scholarship award money.

Students who takes a "full throttle" attitude inherently reduce anxiety. That's because they are looking UPward at a hill they are beginning to climb. Falling down is not even a thought unless you are looking down from heights. Look upward, knowing there's a safety net below, and I suspect your anxiety will lessen.


Ivy Bound offers SAT “Boot Camps” throughout the Northeast and on 8 college campuses.  Boot Camps get students to build SAT reading skills, to build SAT essay skills, to perfect their grammar, and to begin “reasoning” the SAT way.  Each “Boot Camp” is open to students in grades 7 – 11.  They include 3 hours of daily teaching and a mandatory 2 hours of daily self-study. 

Parents who lack a private admissions counselor have the option to attend a one hour “Know the SAT / Understanding College Admissions” seminar the first Sunday of every month at 9:15pm eastern.  Parents seeking to enroll their children for an upcoming class or for private tutoring, with the instructor coming to the home (or conducting tutoring by phone), can e-mail info@ivybound.net.

Mark Greenstein is a Test Prep Advisor and both the Founder and Lead Instructor of Ivy Bound.


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Proud Liberal January 23, 2013 at 02:53 AM
You should be stressed ! This one test will make or brake your kids for collage. Every one tries to say it is not true, but the SAT exam is all important. There is political correctness and there is reality. Come on people, we all know what is going on here.
Jenna February 04, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Proud Liberal is right. Many guidance counselors dislike national standards; many teachers don't like to see the SAT potentially distracting from a student's academics. So schools downplay what they KNOW is important so kids (for a short time) feel good, and so the counselors and teachers can keep their agendas. Rightly or wrongly, the SAT score is an important number, parents and student who recognize this will in the end be LESS stressed.
Theresa February 04, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Imagine putting the pressure on your children with the attitude "this one test will make or brake your kids for college". The reality is that many students spend the first 2 years of college "finding themselves", socializing, partying, fluxuating between majors, spending thousands of dollars (often at the expense of their parents) on degrees in fields that are not growing. It is true that college provides opportunities for better paying jobs -- but not all majors will lead to promising careers. Nor should all kids go to college. I went to a college that did not take SATs heavily into account, they were looking for academic excellence and a well-rounded individual who participated in extra curricular activities or volunteering. The definition of success (and ultimate happiness) is different for every parent and every student. I would rather my son or daughter reach his or her own goals than the goals of college entrance statisticians. Remember that the next time your refrigerator leaks, your car breaks down or your lights go out during a storm.


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