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April10, 2015
by Elie Venezky

Mistakes aren’t the Enemy: Not Trying Is!

Many students are understandably afraid to make mistakes: a lifetime of equating wrong answers with stupidity will leave an impression. But they must drop that attitude when studying for a standardized test, because mistakes can be their greatest ally!

People improve when they move outside of their comfort zones. It’s true for athletes; it’s true for public speakers, and it’s especially true for standardized test takers. Students must try questions that seem too difficult if they’re going to improve. It doesn’t matter if they get them wrong as long as they learn from their mistakes afterwards. With repeated attempts, those difficult questions get a lot easier. But it won’t happen if students don’t try. If they don’t try, they’ll stay at the same level.

Let your child know that mistakes are a gift. They expose weaknesses during practice (when it doesn’t count) as opposed to during an actual test (when it does). And standardized tests repeat question types, so there’s a chance your child will see a very similar question on the actual exam. When students learn from their mistakes, they see a big increase in their scores. But they can’t learn from wrong answers if they’re afraid to make them. So encourage your child to try on the hard questions. With mistakes come knowledge . . . and higher test scores!

To learn more test taking tips, and advice on how to best motivate your child, call us at (800) 381-3266 or visit our website. We look forward to helping your child succeed!

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