## New SAT Math Prep Site Focuses on Mastery

Written by Ron Scott

Parents with mathematically challenged teenagers about to face Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) can now enroll their children in an affordable, on-line SAT mathematics program designed to help students develop a mastery of concepts needed to pass math portion of SAT. The innovative program is getting rave reviews from students, parents, and academics alike.

XLMath.com, outgrowth of years of research and development, offers students means to not only reinforce their understanding of key math concepts, more importantly, it offers students having difficulties with math means to identify and overcome their mathematical shortcomings.

While traditional math prep courses offer students a series of multiple choice questions that enable them to test their knowledge of key mathematical concepts, XLMath prompts students to revisit each and every concept until it is mastered.

Here is a simple example. Prompted to provide next number in following series: 4, 7, 11, 16, student is given five possible choices: A. 21, B. 22, C. 23, D. 24, and E. 25. The correct answer as described in detailed solution strategy is 22. If student answers incorrectly, he/she is then asked a slightly modified version of question, e.g., provide next number in series 3, 8, 16, 23 along with a new set of answer choices.

The site provides over 10,000 problem permutations, allowing students to repeat a virtually unlimited number of variations of same problem so they can eventually overcome their "blind spots". Visitors to site are invited see interactive system in action before they enroll.

## Study Smartly and not hard: Part II

Written by Lieutenant Colonel Anil Kumar Nigam

How to Multiply Time?

Bad work habits usually result from some form of fear of failure or procrastination. You learn, over time, to protect yourself from hurt of failing by making excuses. "I would have done better if I had more time" becomes a self-fulfilling reality. In order to have that excuse you unconsciously leave things to last minute. Watching a otherwise borings how suddenly becomes very appealing when you have work to do. So how can you learn to pack 48 hours into each day? Surprisingly, it's not that difficult. Most bad work habits tend to be sub-conscious. To avoid them, you first need to be aware of them. Try these tips to a more productive way of working.

Break tasks down. It's much easier to get motivated to start and finish a small task than a large one. For example if you need to do fix cooler for oncoming summers in your study room tomorrow in new house where you have just moved in, chances are that tomorrow will come and you'll find a dozen excuses why you can't work on it. However, if you break task down into smaller pieces: (a) Fix cooler stand near window (b) Fix ply or card board on window (c) Put cooler in place suitably (d) Fix water motor and do wiring. Then tell yourself that tomorrow; you'll start by at least fixing cooler stand in place. Chances are pretty good that when tomorrow comes, you will put stand in place because you know exactly what to do and it's not a big job. If you do that, then, you have just started on your goal of fixing cooler.

Set achievable goals. Break tasks into bite-sized pieces. Don't say I will revise whole syllabus tomorrow because that's too vague and too big. You'll find a dozen excuses not to get started on that. Far better is to devise a revision plan which you can conveniently follow.

Reward your successes. It's very important to give yourself a mini-reward for achieving your mini-goals. For example, if you tell yourself "I will start by revising first four chapters." And there after I will have a soda ice cream you will be amazed at how fast you finish revising four chapters.

Start on best tasks first. The hardest thing is to make a start so if you schedule your favorite tasks first then it's much more likely that you'll start on them. Once you make a start, momentum will carry you over into other tasks.

Technology can also help.

The most underrated piece of technology for managing your time is your watch. It's very easy to spend away too much time on watching TV and too little on doing Chemistry which you hate to study. A glance at your watch or clock every now and then will give you a balanced sense of time. It's OK in beginning to be way off on your time estimates. But as you make it a habit you will find that you have developed fair sense of timings.

Club smaller similar time consuming tasks together. There are numerous small similar tasks that are time consuming and are also minor irritants. Club these together and do these in one go. This can be best illustrated with an example. In my child hood I was very often required by my mother, father and elder sister to go to nearby shopping complex. My mother would tell me to get milk first and then after half an hour later she will tell me to get some curd. My father invariably will send me to fetch his cigarettes at least four times a day. My sister being elder to me had all right to call me as often as she wanted to. I was most of time irritated due to this and could not concentrate on my studies. And then suddenly one day I found a very good ad simple solution. I stacked up 10 cigarettes packs in my cupboard to cater for sudden and untimely requirements by my father at odd times. And instead of rushing to shopping center when I was told to get milk by my mother I kept waiting lest she remember some thing else after half an hour, which invariably used to happen. This way I saved at least four to five visits to shopping center every day which amounted to more than two hours a day and I also saved fatigue and irritation that I used to develop.

Study at best day set priorities. You very well know that you are not at your best all time during a course of a typical day. You also roughly know your habits as to when you are at your best and at what time you will probably be at your worst. Study most difficult subject at a time when you are at your best and reserve your worst time for your entertainment. I do not find any logic in watching TV when you are fresh and receptive and doing math when you are tired both physically as well as mentally. Try doing this and you will find amazing results very soon.

The Phone and The fridge should not be near by. If you do that your mother/ sister will ask you to attend all calls and will make you to open fridge many times over and over again. Resist temptations to leave your studies for unimportant and unrelated tasks in between.

Make Your Time Visual. (Gives you more control over your use of time) ·Write due dates on a monthly or semester calendar. ·Create a weekly schedule with designated study times. ·Make “to do” lists – score off items when you have complete them. ·Keep your calendar and “to do” lists in a highly visible spot – refer to them regularly

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