Monthly Archives: January 2010

The antidote to test stress: be present

You know that phrase they use at raffles? “You have to be present to win.” The same is true of tests, as in life.

One thing I’ve noticed over and over again with people who have trouble with tests– they are flipping from the past (“Oh no, I didn’t study the right things”) to the future (“If I fail I’m going to lose my scholarship”). Though both statements may be true, going in either direction (past or future) is not helpful when you’re taking a test. At that moment, when you are reading and answering questions, you want and need to be one place and one place only: in the present.

Only by being present can we  do the job we need to do, at that moment. Only by being present can we develop the awareness that we’re veering off track, and then get back on track.

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Test prep for life.

Facing life's tests

Facing life's tests

I have good news and, well, not-so-good news for you test takers.

Let’s get the not-so-good news over with. Here’s the deal: we cannot choose most of the tests we face in life.

Now, here’s the good one. Drum roll, please…

We can choose how we’re going to face all those tests.

Are we going to have a miserable experience, crumble under the pressure, run away, or avoid challenges altogether?

Or are we going to find the strength and inner resources to rise to the challenges and fully actualize our potential?

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A passionate teacher stands up to tests

Alan Sitomer: passionate teacher

Alan Sitomer: one passionate teacher

I have been reading, with great interest, the postings of a California teacher, Alan Lawrence Sitomer.  His committed work and passionate voice first came to my attention last week with a blog post titled, “Raise your test scores, that’s all they want.”

I highly recommend that every teacher start tuning in to Mr. Sitomer’s blog. They will find mirrored there the many questions, frustrations, joys, challenges, and tests that every thinking, heart-centered teacher has.

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Test preparation: one simple tip can make a difference

The latest 5 star review of THE WORKBOOK FOR TEST SUCCESS came out today on Google Books and Amazon.  Here’s what the reader says:

Excellent reading. This book helped me to focus not only on academic tests, but also in various situations of my life. It is amazing how a simple tip such as “don’t forget to breathe” could make all the difference in my performance. Dr. B hits the nail on the head when describing all the rollercoaster of emotions that a GMAT, GRE, LSAT and other standardized tests can cause in a student.  I particularly enjoyed the exercises and recommend this book for anyone.

I’m particularly glad the reader picked up on how the book applies to a whole host of tests as well as life situations. Isn’t the “rollercoaster of emotions” she references something we all experience, at some point, every day?

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Lunchtime activity to balance test prep

In a most interesting article in yesterday’s Washington Post, reporter Nelson Hernandez covered a story at a local middle school. He wrote, “Schools these days focus mostly on preparing students for tests of reading and math, but during lunchtime at Kenmoor Middle School in Landover, the youngsters sitting in a small circle were tackling the really deep questions: Ethics. Fairness. How to split dessert.”

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