Purpose of this Course
Have Faith in Your Purpose
It is our hope that this book serves as a springboard toward following your purpose in life. We believe that your life has a tremendous purpose, and you were born uniquely wonderful and talented.
When we all believe this…the challenge then becomes how do I “position” myself to prosper by providing my purpose? For many fields of work in the United States, this will require you to achieve the highest level of education possible so that you will be the most prepared to provide your specific purpose.
We don’t make claims that this will be the only book or resource you will need in order to do well on the testing challenge before you. In fact, you will need books, online resources, practice tests, study flash cards, some coffee, and some tissues for tears. Hard work will be required but not in way that is boring and dreadful—but instead, the kind of hard work that makes you feel accomplished after it’s done. It will be your hard work mixed with faith that reminds you that you can achieve whatever you commit your whole self to achieve.
If you give yourself this change in mindset by recognizing, “I can achieve whatever I commit my whole self to achieve,” and you bring it with you when you take your upcoming standardized test and face your future challenges in life, you will succeed more than you fail. An academic word for mindset is “paradigm,” which means the way we “see” the world.
Shifting Your Paradigm
Wrong mindsets like low-self esteem, internalized racism, feelings of inferiority, and shame impact success due to how people “see” standardized tests, specifically, and life in general. In the book Seven Habits of Highly Successful People the author Stephen Covey views ‘paradigm shifts’ as the key to accomplishing goals. Covey writes:
We need to understand our own “paradigms” and how to make a “paradigm shift.” In a more general sense, a paradigm, is the way we “see” the world- not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, interpreting. For our purposes, a simple way to understand paradigm is to see them as maps. We all know that “the map is not the territory."
A map is simply an explanation of certain aspects of the territory. That’s exactly what a paradigm is. It is a theory, an explanation, or model of something else.
Suppose you wanted to arrive at a specific location in central Chicago. A street map of the city would be a great help to you in reaching your destination. But suppose you were given the wrong map. Through a printing error, the map labeled “Chicago” was actually a map of Detroit. Can you imagine the frustration, the ineffectiveness of trying to reach your destination? You might work on your behavior—you could try harder, be more diligent, double your speed. But, your efforts would only succeed in getting you to the wrong place faster. You might work on your attitude—you could think more positively. You still wouldn’t get to the right place. The fundamental problem has nothing to do with your behavior or your attitude. It has everything to do with the wrong map. If you have the right map of Chicago then diligence becomes important, and when you encounter frustrating obstacles along the way, then attitude can make a real difference. But the first and most important requirement is the accuracy of the map.
Each of us has many, many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories:
1) Maps of the way things are, or realities
2) Maps of the way things should be, or values
We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; we’re usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. (Covey, 1989, p. 23 )
If you traditionally have had low standardized test scores, that doesn’t mean you don’t work hard or you have a bad attitude; it means that you were given the wrong map. In life, as in standardized testing, if we interpret the wrong map to be true, we will never get to the right destination.
We all know that the map is not the territory… You were given the wrong map
Our main goal in this book is to use stories, interviews, examples, and study techniques to encourage the reader to ‘see’ standardized testing differently. By using these two simple strategies we call the 2 Laws of Standardized Testing, you will begin to look at the entire test differently.
Law 1: “What is the question really asking?”, means look at each question carefully to understand the ‘real question,’ which is often within a sentence with multiple questions.
Law 2: “ What tool does the author of the test want me to use?”, means understand your audience and their goal to find an objective method to see if you understand a set of predetermined tools like: formulas, definitions, language rules, how to make a logical argument, or poke holes in selection or statement.
That's it. It's not a test of your intelligence or even how many different ways you can cleverly figure out a math problem…it is a tool test.
Shifting your paradigm towards the test to understand that it is a “tool test,” will help you to better prepare for the test by learning or relearning the specific tools needed to do well on the test. These tools are not some secret unknown formulas. They are common and can be found online. Additionally, we list some in the “tool box” section in the appendix of this book.
This book is meant to give you a strategy to approach every question with confidence and mindset to “prepare” as well as study the tools to show yourself approved. By shifting your paradigm toward the test….You will do well on the test.
To schedule a 1 hour test prep booster session, register here.