Private Coaching to Reduce Testing Anxiety

Over time, we've noticed that a portion of our students master the facts, concepts, and test taking skills to excel, yet they continue to perform far below their potential on test day.

We believe that confidence plays an important role in how you perform on tests, whether the test is a math final or the ACT, SAT, or GMAT. Along with confidence, the ability to stay calm and focus on the task at hand is also key.

While we believe that practice and preparation are typically the underlying drivers of high levels of confidence and composure on test day, for some students, no amount of preparation or practice seems to reduce axiety or increase confidence. For these students, we recognize an underlying mental component that traditional studying and tutoring can't always overcome. For them, a different path to the required levels of componsure, calm, and confidence that leads to high test scores is needed.

So, we've partnered with John Hankey of Mindful Test-Taking. He graduated with a B.S in applied mathematics from Stanford, an M.S. in Financial Economics from Oxford and spent three years on Wall Street before switching careers to become an academic coach and mindfulness practitioner.

What is mindfulness? And how can it help improve test scores?

Mindfulness, according to the Great Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, means "maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future." 

Imagine you are taking the SAT, and begin to imagine the consequences of a really bad score after not understanding a difficult question. You tense up. Your mind starts thinking about those consequences. You lose focus on the question at hand. A student, in theory, with some exposure to mindfulness training, may be able to recognize what is occurring, relax, and re-focus on the task at hand - getting the next SAT question right.

Practicing mindfulness is an ancient activity with deep roots in eastern societies like China and India, but it has become an increasingly mainstream activity in the U.S., and repeated scientific studies in the U.S. have recognized its ability to reduce stress and improve health for those who practice it.

How does John help reduce testing anxiety through mindfulness training?

John teaches mindfulness training to help students overcome test anxiety & achieve higher scores with greater ease & clarity. Students learn the fundamental principle of mindfulness: progressive relaxation.

The ability relax the body & mind is a learnable skill that provides enormous health benefits including enhanced equanimity, vitality, confidence & composure.

We find that the combination of expert one-on-one tutoring from MyGuru with the complementary "mental" preparation from John can help some students achieve dramatic gains in their performance.

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