“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
If Thomas Edison didn’t listen to his own wisdom, he would have not become the prominent inventor that he was. With each challenge, he hunkered down, analyzed the problem, worked through it, and came out the other side victorious.
Successful people have a growth mindset
This “growth mindset” can also be applied to test prep. If students begin the process and shut down each time they come across a problem that is challenging, they’re probably not going to see a significant lift in their performance. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck calls this a “fixed” mindset. Her research showed that successful people tend to focus on growth, solving problems, and self-improvement, while unsuccessful people think of their abilities as fixed assets and avoid challenges.
Learning takes two: coach + student
Testive encourages students to adapt the growth mindset and presents questions customized to each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning style. Our coaching program further facilitates this by giving students the support they need to push them to the “edge” of what we believe they’re capable of. However, that’s only one part of the equation. The student’s role is to be willing to put forth the effort to realize this potential.
With that said, we recognize that the “edge” is going to be different for each student, and when they hit it is also going to vary. If a student comes to us with a 2200 on their SAT, they are probably pretty close to their edge since there isn’t a lot of “wiggle room” to improve. On the other hand, if a student comes to us with an 1800, we can help them push their score up and over that 2000 mark and reach their “edge” with greater certainty, provided they come to us with that positive mindset and are willing to put in some sweat equity.
Education that lasts a lifetime
The benefit of adopting this mindset and approaching challenges with a hunger to “slay the dragon,” is it doesn’t have to end after test day. This view can be used in many other situations your child faces throughout his or her life.
Dweck explains that how we approach life can determine our success and happiness. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you commit to and accomplish the things you value. Applying this understanding to test prep, it becomes clear how many of the skills gained on Testive can be used for years to come.
So when your child comes to you frustrated and says, “I can’t do it” or “I’m not smart enough,” remind them of Edison’s words. And after they give you the proverbial eye roll, let them know that you and their coach are there to help them “slay the dragon” known as test prep, as long as they bring the sword and the desire to be triumphant.