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Building your Mindset for the SAT - SAT CHAMP

As a universal rule, disappointment happens to everyone in life. Things in life are not guaranteed to go as per plan. Life keeps on throwing surprises at everyone. As a quote says “Man proposes, GOD Disposes.” However, what matters the most is, what you learn, and how much you grow with each challenge you face. It’s also believed that, if you are not failing, you are not learning.

No matter how hard you study, how meticulously you prepare, and how confident you feel on the test day, things are not guaranteed to go as planned. Maybe everything seemed to go as per your expectations, but still, you didn’t get selected in the top college you targeted. At that moment, the world might seem to crash down to you in a matter of minutes, and it is your response to that situation which paves a long way in determining your destiny. 

Broadly there are two categories of mindset viz “Growth Mindset” and a “Fixed Mindset”. Growth Mindset is an attitude that embraces hard work, grit and determination as the keys to capability and intelligence. In contrast, a Fixed Mindset dictates that a person’s ability is mostly predetermined and unchangeable. As you can notice, the difference between the two mindsets lies in their assumptions or belief systems, which are the basic foundation of how you see and live life. So a person with a Growth Mindset will see or evaluate circumstances (good or bad) with a polar opposite point of view compared to a person with a fixed mindset. As a fact, most people in this world are not held by their ability but by their mindset. The brain is like a muscle which grows stronger and wiser the more it is used, and the more you struggle. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behaviour, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness.

Fundamental belief for a growth mindset is that your basic qualities are things which can be cultivated through your efforts. Although everyone differs in their initial talents, interests, aptitudes, temperaments, everyone can grow and change through application and experience. People with a fixed mindset are on a continuous goal of proving themselves time and again whether be it their professional or personal life. However, people with a growth mindset have a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. 

For a fixed mindset, failure means you are not smart or talented, and most importantly, an effort is a bad thing. The underlying belief system is that you don’t need an effort if you are smart or talented. For a growth mindset, the priority is always on learning and not the binary trap of success and failure. For a fixed mindset, success is about establishing superiority, whereas for a growth mindset, success is when you work your hardest to become your best.

We at SAT Champ do advocate and try our best to imbibe a Growth Mindset in our students during their SAT prep phase. We do this by asking them to focus on logic and demonstrating various ways to solve the same problem, making the student think about the same problem from different point of views and appreciating the beauty as to how a particular problem at hand can be approached with different perspectives. The initial focus is not to get the solution correct and fast but rather to share his approach before writing anything on paper and discuss whether the path the child is taking is appropriate or not. This approach, with time, imparts a different mindset in a child to first analyze the problem and have a track that will lead to the solution. This approach slowly and steadily develops a candidates ability to determine as to why the particular question has appeared in the exam and what it wants to test. When you get your approach and focus in this direction, it makes a whole lot difference not only on the scores but rather on the test as a learning environment. A child begins to enjoy his SAT preparation, and that provides him with the edge over others as his focus has now shifted from just scoring high in the exam to learning something new with each passing day. Knowledge gained this way is memorized over a longer term of time, and this attitude of seeing things change your overall perspective of life (rather than just SAT). You start challenging yourself rather than competing with others, and thus you can focus on yourself rather than getting distracted by other student scores. 

Our point of view – SAT can be aced and made a great learning experience, but that surely requires the guidance of top SAT instructors, which can effectively make a difference in your SAT prep.