If one thing is true for every student who comes through my door, it’s that there’s never enough time. With classes, teams, rehearsals, internships, and after school jobs, no high school student is eager to take on one more painful and tedious responsibility. And the same goes for parents. With the unending list of deadlines and sign-up dates, no parent wants one more occasion for argument, one more difficult decision. Unfortunately, the truth of the modern day college application process is that preparation is everything. That’s why, after 14 years in the business I have come to realize that I have 2 main jobs:
First and most importantly, I must build my students’ confidence and improve their test–taking skills. This means managing the stress and discouragement that are the side effects of standardized testing, in general, and SAT/ACT preparation, in particular. Often students have some subject they just can’t wrap their minds around, but for most kids, this resistance is all about confidence. At some point in their past they told themselves that they couldn’t do math or that they were bad writers. I work to expose their doubts and fears as more imagined than real and to impress upon my students that they are much more capable than they think they are. This approach serves their all-important self-image in a very powerful way. It results in exceptional test results, but it also dramatically raises the bar of belief in what’s possible. As I work with young people, I never lose sight of my real objective. I may be helping them prepare for the SAT or ACT, but ultimately, I am elevating more than just a score.
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