Author Archives: Brad Kelly

What if you could go to the gym once and be fit for the rest of your life? Or you could have one conversation in a foreign language and be entirely fluent? The sad truth is you can’t. There just aren’t shortcuts to success. What’s more, imagining the possibility of such outcomes might, in fact, be the thing that holds you back from actually accomplishing these sorts of goals. When you look around at successful people—in any discipline—what you don’t see is the months, years, even decades of hard work and incremental improvement that brought them to where they are. Mastery, it turns out, is not so much about innate ability (though that helps) or sudden revelation (even if artists sometimes depend on this) but something more akin to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule. But, what’s going on in those 10,000 hours exactly? Hard work, a little luck, and trust in…

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Successfully preparing for the SAT or ACT, or just about any test for that matter, requires integrating a wide variety of information. Not only do you have to master concepts in multiple disciplines—from fractional algebra to the correct use of punctuation—your best score will come when you can match these concepts with an array of test-taking techniques. Over the years, test prep professionals have compiled every tip, trick, equation, fact, and technique you need to get the best score possible—but remembering them is a whole ‘nother ball-game. Raise your academic game with these five proven methods for enhancing learning, maximizing retention, and integrating skills:   1. Take Notes by Hand In class or a tutoring session, you might feel like you understand everything coming out of your teacher’s mouth. But the fact is, no matter how much sense a technique might make in the moment, your ability to apply what…

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Many students become convinced somewhere along the line that they are “bad at math,” or that their brain isn’t wired for math. In some cases it is just a matter of finding the subject uninteresting. But, at its worst, this self-definition can have deep impacts on a student’s ability to achieve. Certainly, skills in all areas differ from person to person—-very few of us are going to win a Fields Medal—-but how much truth is there to the idea that otherwise talented students are inherently “bad at math?” Well, it turns out that the typical student is about as bad at math as they are willing to be. Of course, students vary widely in their math aptitude, including grades in their math courses and scores on their standardized tests. Surely, that implies something about math ability, but research is showing math aptitude may have a lot more to do with…

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