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Frequently Asked Questions
We create our own exams based on our research of actual tests. Each of our exams is created by tutors with at least 10 years of experience creating material, and we stand by them.
At least two, unless the first test is amazing and your child doesn’t need to improve anything.
Be careful of giving too many mock exams, as students sometimes stop caring if they’re forced to take too many. The exact number depends on your child and how long until their exam, but if a student has six months to prepare, they should take 3-4 mock exams. I strongly recommend that they take a mock exam a week or two before their actual test, as this builds stamina, which is a huge part of success on a standardized test.
Yes. We model our exams on actual exams, which you take in one sitting. Every test except the SHSAT has a break in the middle.
There isn’t an ideal metric. What matters is how a student performs. For example, if a student’s pulse rate elevates during the math section and stays elevated throughout, we can guess that there’s anxiety around math. However, if they hit their target score on math, then that anxiety is not an issue, and letting the student know that can be a big relief.
The metrics are most valuable when cross-referenced with right and wrong answers. If you see that a student is spending a lot of time on early reading questions, AND they’re not finishing the reading section, then they need to work on timing. If a student’s pulse rate spikes during grammar, and they do poorly on grammar, then that anxiety is a problem that needs to be addressed. I talk about how to do this in Test Prep Sanity and Test Prep Sanity for Students, which are available here.
This depends on your relationship. Adolescence can be a tricky time. I’ve seen students who shut down if their parents tried to help them at all. If this is your reality, be very specific and very concise. If they have a tutor, let the tutor do it.
If your child lets you help them, go over the results together. Stay positive. If your child isn’t rereading passages before answering reading comprehension questions, just point it out; you don’t need to lecture them about it: they understand.
Obviously, there are always exceptions. If this is the third time you’ve presented them with the same issue, and they’re not doing anything about it, you need to have a larger conversation. Again, I talk about how to do this in Test Prep Sanity and Test Prep Sanity for Students, which are available here.
This isn’t a question I can answer with certainty. From my experience, a student who isn’t improving has one of the following issues:
- They aren’t focusing when they do their work. Practice only helps when it’s focused and when there’s feedback. If a student isn’t focusing, if they’re not working on their weak areas and pushing themselves to break bad habits, then a tutor may not help.
- There’s an emotional issue. Some students have self-limiting beliefs about their ability to succeed. This can really get in the way of success, because it affects the way students handle difficulty on the exam. If you suspect there’s an emotional issue, you need address it right away. I talk about how to do this in Test Prep Sanity and Test Prep Sanity for Students, which are available here.
- There are issues with test-taking. I know from my 20 years of working with students that all the prep in the world won’t help if a student does not know how to take a test. That’s why I created Biometric Edge, so you can uncover the problem and make the necessary corrections.