Tag Archives: time management

Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT would be a whole lot easier if we were allowed to bring them home to take at our leisure. Unfortunately, these anxiety-provoking exams are defined in part by their stringent time limits. The minutes allotted per section often seem insufficient compared to the number and complexity of questions to be answered. Of course, time management is part of the test! But some students have diagnosed disabilities that allow additional time for academic tasks. With the proper documentation, these accommodations can be applied to SAT and ACT administrations. Most test takers who are approved for this time of accommodation will receive Extended Time, while Double Time or Special Testing is reserved for students with more serious needs. These are the Extended Time regulations for the tests as of August 2019: Extended Time Extended Time is the most common accommodation approved for test takers. In…

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Whoever said, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” probably didn’t work in education. Actually, this quote belongs to essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who specifically took issue with “foolish consistency” but failed to clarify what he considered foolish. Regardless, Emerson would not have cut it in the classroom, where consistency makes a world of difference. The longer I teach, the more power I perceive in predictability. Everyone from newborns to nonagenarians appreciates a certain amount of routine. Why shouldn’t they? The alternative is chaos, which is very stressful and inefficient. Routine and predictability, on the other hand, fosters a sense of security, which facilitates learning and relaxation, while allowing time to be utilized efficiently. In an educational setting, teachers and tutors must set the tone for productive predictability. Consider simple ways to add certainty and structure to instruction: Arrange a consistent day and/or time to meet; if a meeting is…

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Everyone knows that setting priorities is a necessary skill to manage stress, but deciding which priorities to tend to when everything feels important can bring more stress. Instead of succumbing to procrastination or anxiety, try these five steps to determine what really matters in your life in order to get the ball rolling now:   1. Make a list Write down every goal you want to accomplish. Think about long-term goals as well as short-term goals. Include goals from every aspect of life including education, work, family, and social goals. 2. Assess the value of each goal on your list This step requires an understanding of the big picture. Discern what is most valuable by thinking about the end result of each goal. Start with long-term goals first and rate each goal based on the value you associate with completing each goal. 3. Work backwards Start with the number one…

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The timed nature of standardized tests like the SAT & ACT represent one of their biggest challenges. Just the thought of having to whip through long passages, decode complex word problems, and answer question after question in a minute or less is enough to inflame anyone’s test anxiety. Consequently, effective time management makes a world of difference on test day. That’s why we recommend that students always wear watches to important exams… you can only manage what you can measure. Many watches these days do far more than tell time. However, many such devices come packaged with features that can cause trouble on test day. For example, the test makers strictly prohibit any devices that make noise. According to ACT testing guidelines, if a test taker’s watch sounds during testing, that person will be dismissed and his or her test will not be scored. Separate timers are also prohibited, though…

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Whither the watch, that once-indispensable artifact of a bygone age? Remember when you wore a watch every day? Yes, that was back before we took to carrying supercomputers in our pockets that can tell the time, temperature, and sports news in every single time zone. Now watches are relegated to mere fashion accessories… …unless you are competing. Once you’ve engaged in an activity where the element of time impacts performance, you need the ability to track and manage that precious resource on your own terms. For this reason, you’ll find athletes training with watches and artists performing with them. Check the wrists of top test takers, and you’ll find watches there as well. Why do the College Board and ACT, Inc. both recommend that student wear watches to the tests? 1. The SAT and ACT are timed tests. 2. Students may not bring phones into the testing room. 3. While…

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Extended time on the ACT and SAT has always been a boon to those students who require that accommodation. However, the two testing organizations deployed the 150% time allotment differently, such that ACT Extended Time has been widely perceived as more advantageous than the SAT version. Too bad that’s all about to change. To clarify, students who qualify for National Extended Time on the ACT currently receive a total of five hours for the four multiple choice sections alone, with an additional hour for the optional Writing Test. Test takers have the freedom to allocate their time on the multiple-choice sections as they see fit, which means a student could conceivably spend double time or more on some sections and even less than standard time on others. This contrasts with the SAT policy of granting 50% more time per section than usual. However, ACT is about to adopt an extended…

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