Outsmart the Test!

How can you improve your performance on standardized tests?

Believe in yourself: Performance is malleable. 

Shawn O’Conner: One of the things people don't understand is your potential on these exams is really malleable.  It’s not that you can only get this score or that score.  You can do better.  You just have to believe in yourself.  One of the things that we work with our clients on is not psyching yourself out.  You have to believe that you are going to and can do well on this exam, and I've seen students from all different backgrounds, people who started at all different levels who have ended up in the top one percent on both the LSAT and the GMAT, so you can do it, but you have to put in the time and you have to recognize that for different people it takes a different amount of time.  And that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get to the same result.  It just may mean that you have to take a slightly different path to get there. 

Go inside the mind of the test-makers: Tests are learnable.

Number one threshold most important step is to have faith in yourself and to know that you can do it.  These tests are very, very, very learnable.  

Get expert advice: Coaching improves performance faster.


The second is folks who think if I just do to practice tests on my own, that's all I need to do.  I'm a smart student.  I’ve always done well.  It’s not that you can’t do it on your own, but it’s going to take so much longer to do it on your own often that that’s why we counsel people to consider, whether it’s Stratus Prep or another firm, to consider getting expert advice.  Because I sort of explain it: you’re going to do this once or twice in your life.  We do this a thousand times a year.  Clearly, we’re going to be able to help you do it a lot more efficiently.  I think this is the case in anything.  I don’t love working out, but I recognize that I need to work out, so I go to someone to help me workout.  It doesn’t mean I couldn’t do it on my own, but it means I'm going to have a more efficient, more effective process if I work with someone to help me.  It’s the same thing with the tests.  I mean, we work with numerous students from all the top undergrads - Harvard, Yale, Princeton - and it’s not that these students couldn’t achieve great scores on their own, but it’s that by working with us that process is just so much simpler.  There is less risk of error and the preparation goes so much more swiftly.  

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

Shawn O'Connor gives tips on how to be a better test-taker.

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less