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Finding value in critical reading
  • Calendar Apr 06, 2018
  • User Jared Wells
  • Category In Test Preparation
  • Comments 0 Comments

One of our key values in our test prep programs (and for education in general, and life in general!) is upping the level of student engagement. Increasing level of engagement means asking questions, trying, failing, and trying again, and digging into the material at a deeper level than "getting it done to get it done".

But it can be tough to increase engagement if you don't see the value in what you are doing. One of the places I see this all the time is in Critical Reading passages for the SAT. Students look at this section and say to themselves (or sometimes their instructors!) "Ugh, another boring passage by some person I've never heard of about something I don't care about." And they then dutifully read through the passage. Is there any wonder that they would then have difficulty with it?

One of the ideas I want to impress on all students is that every experience has value, if value is what the person looks for. If we go into a passage knowing that we can benefit from the wisdom of the writer, we will naturally engage with the passage in a way that will lead to greater understanding. Think about the level of attention you apply when you are doing a task you are interested in versus one you are bored by, and you'll know what I'm talking about.

When I start reading a passage, I say to myself, "The author has wisdom, knowledge, and experience to share with me, if my mind is open and ready." And I believe it!

When you go into a passage (or a class, or a conversation, or any other experience) with that mindset, you WILL get more out of it. Think about it...an SAT Reading section is an opportunity to be exposed to the ideas of 4-5 illustrious authors who otherwise, you might never have read, getting a taste of what might be the most important writings they've ever done. What an opportunity that could be for you!

On the other hand, you can also go into it with all the reasons you hate the critical reading section. And I guarantee that your mind will find confirmation of those reasons too, if that is the task you give it.

Call to schedule a free SAT/ACT consultation today. I'd love to speak with you and your child about how to look for the value in test prep (it's there, I promise!)

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