Two TED Talks to watch before this Saturday’s SAT

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The next SAT sitting is this Saturday, December 2. For my students and others who are taking the test, I’d like to share these two relatively short TED talks that reinforce some lessons I teach in the prep course.

First, I try to reinforce the art of working backwards from your goal. This talk by chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley is a great reminder that working backwards is often a better and faster method that also helps you avoid silly mistakes. I think these skills are equally applicable to help you tackle those tricky questions on the SAT. For example, take the multiple choice answers, and working backwards, plug ’em in to the problem. Using process of elimination, find the one that works.

Second, I teach students that body language is just as important as one’s self-talk. In this presentation, psychologist Amy Cuddy makes the link between body language, power, confidence, and increased performance — on whatever you happen to be doing. I think it’s equally applicable to sitting down and talking the SAT. For example, avoiding the “nattering nabobs of negativism” – and avoiding letting anxiety and negative self-talk turn you into one too.

Remember: work backward from your ultimate goal to succeed, go into the test with the right posture and self-talk, and remember: don’t be afraid to fake it ’til you make it!


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