When you look at the chart below, which of the two people, Paul or Joseph, do you think is going to have a more successful, connected, and enriching life?
The most important thing we teach in the SATs isn’t how to raise your score.
It’s how to become aware of and grow your mindset towards life, towards challenge. How you show up to the SAT is how you show up to other challenges in your life.
How much optimism, confidence, analytical thinking, honesty, effort, persistence, and willingness to risk / fail / be wrong / grow and learn from it – do we show up to the difficulties in our life with?
Unconscious emotional and psychological patterns – set by our genes, our families, and our culture – determine the answers. And we can change the answers.
In reacting to every stumble during the test prep process – every wrong answer, difficult new topic, and frustrating mock exam score – tutoring can make students aware of these patterns, and then they can choose one of two mindsets: growth mindset or fixed.
I believe there's a bigger takeaway, though: the degree to which you adopt a growth mindset while growing up is what determines the degree of abundance mindset you take on as an adult.
Again, we can change the names “Abundance Mindset” and “Scarcity Mindset” to “Paul” and “Joseph” – who do you think is going to have the more rewarding and successful life?
Who would you bet to have deeper and more enriching relationships – to have a higher EQ and handle his employees more effectively?
We’d bet on Paul.
And during the SAT prep process, every stumble, every frustrating score that demands you study more and look deeper into mistakes than you first wanted to, is a chance to choose and exercise one of two mindsets.
“I hate this test,” a student may tell me, or “this question is so annoying,” another may say – and right there we find the raw material to show them how their approach to the problem is, or isn’t, setting themselves up to succeed on it – how their approach is actually speaking to what the quality of their lives will be like.
It may sound like a leap – connecting mindset as a teenager to how you show up on the SAT to how you’ll react to later challenges in life.
But it’s a leap of faith we'll bet on.
And since this is a test prep blog, we'll leave you with two final mindsets: "Score Grower - Happy Test Prepper" versus "Score Stays the Same - Testtaker in Pain."