What does it take to truly master the content tested on your standardized test and get a high score on test day? It really comes down to three core components -- what we call the "Success Triad" -- which we lay out for you in this episode, the first of a two-part series looking at test prep mastery.
Specifically, you will learn:
The framework outlined in this episode will help anyone looking to boost his/her test score and to focus on the right things while preparing. It will also give you a solid foundation that we'll build on next week in Part 2 of this series where we're going to dive deeper and help you develop a more customized study plan.
So be sure to Subscribe to The Dominate Test Prep Podcast so that you're alerted when Part 2 drops next week. You won't want to miss it!
WHERE TO FIND FREE PRACTICE TESTS
One of the action items for this episode encourages you to get your hands on a full-length practice test for your exam in anticipation of next week's discussion. Here are some free options for you:
Finally, here's the quote we opened the episode with:
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." -- Stephen Covey
Questions? Comments? Please reach out to us at https://www.dominatetestprep.com/pages/contact-us. We look forward to your feedback!
Connect with Us
Questions? Comments? Email us at email@example.com.
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The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Stephen, cover. Hello, everyone. And welcome to another episode of the Dominate Test Prep podcast. I'm bred Ethridge. I'm gonna be your host for this episode. And I'm really excited because we're actually kicking off the first of a two part series on test prep mastery. Now, a question. I get a lot from students in my email in my direct messages is in general, how do I study for X y or Z exam? How do I prepare for the G? Matt? I'm just getting started studying for the G r E. What should I do? I recently took the S a T or else satin. I didn't do very well. Like, how do I improve? And so I want to answer that question. I want to address it by giving you a study plan. A game plan? How do you prepare effectively for which ever standardized test you are studying for? And so we're gonna call it test prep mastery. It is going to be in two parts today. I'm gonna start by giving you really kind of a general framework. What I call the success try. Add three core components that are essential if you are going to be successful on test day and I'm actually going to give you some bonus content. I'm gonna talk a little bit about time management at the end, so make sure to stick around. But it definitely follows on the heels of the three part Triad that I'm gonna introduce you to today and then next week, I actually have a special guest trainer who is gonna help talk about how to create a custom study plan. So today's gonna be more of a general framework that will apply across the board. It's broad spectrum. It's something that absolutely everybody should be doing. And then next week, we'll get into the weeds a little bit more. We'll talk about howto strategically customize a study plan to help you get from point A to point B and get the score you need on test day. So I hope you're excited for that. I certainly know I am. So without further ado, let's go ahead and dive in part one. Your success Triad for success. Now I want to start by actually asking you a question. How do you create mastery at anything. Think about anything that you have mastered, that you have learned to do well in your life. You know, at this point, we're all good at something. Maybe you play an instrument meant Well, maybe you're really good at a certain sport. Maybe you learn languages. Well, maybe speak multiple languages. But you had to learn how to do that. Maybe you're an artist. You're good at painting or drawing. How did you create mastery in those areas? And it really comes down to three core components. And they're the same core components that it takes to be successful on your standardized test. And the first of those three components is the content knowledge. Think about it as the what You actually had to learn what to do. You know, I'm actually going through that process myself right now, as I learned how to row or at least row in a new way, right? I'm learning how to skull. So a lot of you may know that I was actually a rower in college, but in college I was in an eight man boat. It's called Sweep Rowing because I only controlled one or and some of the technique is similar to sculling, but in a lot of ways it's completely different. And so I'm kind of dusting off my old skills and learning completely brand new skills. I went up to Oak Ridge Rowing Association and and hired an instructor and had them teach me how to skull. And it started with the basics. The what? You know, the instructor told me, Here's how you literally carry the boat down to the water. Here's how you put the oars in the boat so that you don't flip while you're on the dock. Here is how the technique works in the stroke. Works in your left hand, goes over your right hand and and literally it was like going back to the basics. He was teaching me what to do. And that's where it starts on your standardized test as well. There's certain core content that you simply must know the crux of the question types that you are goingto have to answer on test day. Now I'm gonna actually go into more specifics here in a moment, but let's continue to kind of flesh out this triad so you can think of this success triad as 33 circles like a Venn diagram. For those of you taking on exam with a math component, right? The dreaded Venn diagrams from statistics or from high school math. And so kind of one of those circles, one of the core components of test prep mastery is that what the content? Knowledge? But there's more to that, right? If I want to be a good rower, does just having somebody tell me what to do like, Is that gonna be enough? Or if I go and sit down and watch a bunch of YouTube videos about people rowing? Is that enough? No, of course not. There's a lot more to it, right? And in fact, a second core component of this triad is strategy. Once you learn what to dio strategy, I think about as how to do it better, how to do it more efficiently, right, and this is where a good coach can come in. But after my coach taught me how to actually hold the oars and put the boat in the water and kind of the basics of the stroke now, once I'm out on the water, he's giving me pointers. He's saying, Okay, if you shorten this part of the stroke, you'll be able to put the blade in the water a little bit more effectively. If you feather it this way, then you know, and and all of these different nuances to the stroke in the drive and the finish and the catch. And like all the different parts of the sculling technique, they're different bits of strategy to do ITM or effectively Maur efficiently. And the same thing absolutely applies on your test as well. You may brush off some of those cobwebs and learn howto find the high pot news of a right triangle or howto analyze an argument. And that's the what right? That's the underlying content that you need. And yet, oftentimes, there are faster ways of solving certain question types ways of eliminating clearly wrong answer choices, getting from Point A to point B Maur effectively more efficiently. And that's the strategy component that plays into your exam as well. And like I said, I'm going to talk a little bit more about that. But let's talk about that third and crucial piece of the success triad. As with anything in life, you might know what to do you might even know how to do it better and more officially. But until you practice it, you will never get great at it. You will never truly master anything without practice. And so practice is that third core component on the success. Try it now that I know what to do once I get in the boat and I even know how to do it a little bit better with certain strategies. Now it's on me to practice, to take the boat to the water as many days as weak as I can to put as many hours in as I can to ingrain that muscle memory, which is where ultimately mastery will come from. For me and likewise for you, you can learn the underlying content. You can learn some great strategies from get forgetting right answers more effectively and more officially. But ultimately you need to work practice problems and more practice problems until you absolutely master the different content and topics and question types on your standardized test. So with that, I hope this makes sense. I hope this kind of concept of the triad makes sense for you. Now let me drill down into each of those three components a little in a little bit more detail give you a few pointers about where to focus in each of those three components. And as I mentioned at the end, all also tie it all together by talking about time management. All right, so let's start with that first component of the success. Triad content will talk a little bit about content in by now. You probably or hopefully haven't idea of what type of content is tested on your exam. I'm not gonna go into nuances for each of the different standardized tests. All point out a couple of different areas that you should probably be focusing on for each exam. But if you're not familiar with what types of questions you're in store for, what types of content you're even expected to know, I encourage you to head over to kind of the official website for your exam. The G R E official site, the L Sack official site, the G Matt official site, and you can look at some practice questions. A lot of times they have a synopsis of the types of things that are tested, but across the board, pretty much I mean, I don't really know of a standardized test that doesn't have a reading component. So when you're thinking about content, one of the very first things you should do is start to read Maur. That's an easy area to start to brush up on some content, you need to be well versed at reading and understanding the English language. And so that is as easy as getting your hands on. Some, you know, advanced graduate level reading material, periodic ALS and journals and and official passages from the official prep materials for your exam. Make sure that you understand the written word in English. Certainly, most standardized tests also have a math or a quant component. So if you're taking the G Matt, where the G r e the S a t the A C T. You need to be doing a thorough math review Now. In most cases, it's high school level math. But for some of you, it might have been years or even decades since you have seen some of that. And so I call it dusting off the math cobwebs right? You have learned certain geometry principles, but it might have been years since you have done that. So you need to brush off those math cobwebs kind of dive in and remind yourself how to find the area of circles and the roots of quadratic equations that, you know, there are slightly different focus areas for different exam. So you just need to figure out where the fuck focus but a thorough math review is important. And actually, I'm gonna touch on that here in just a moment. The G r e is very vocabulary intensive. So if you're studying for the g r E, vocabulary is a content area, you need to make sure that you are studying for the LSAT. Logic is important, especially conditional logic. You heard Dave Hall talk about that in last week's podcast episode. If you haven't listened to that, you can go back and kind of brush up on it. But conditional logic is huge. In terms of a content area for the l sat, an argument analysis in general pops up on almost all of the standardized test. It's certainly tested on the l sat, but the G Matt Critical Reasoning section has a focus on logic and logical reasoning and an argument analysis so does the G r E on the reading comprehension and essay section, and so that would be a content area. So again, I'm not gonna go necessarily into every single exam and and flush out the content areas. But you need to figure out what those content areas are and then learn them and you can learn them in a number of different ways. Obviously, comprehensive prep courses like we offer Dominate Test prep will teach you all of the content areas, all the question types, all the methodologies. And so that's just kind of, ah, take the guesswork out of it way of doing it. But there are textbooks you can get. There are tutors you can hire. There are free videos that I'm sure you can find on YouTube. Get out there somewhere and start learning and brushing up on that content. Now I do want to say one final thing about content before they move on, and actually this is very, very important. So what I'm about to say may sound a little bit weird. Ah, but trust me, it's absolutely true. And it's a crucial mindset adjustment that you need to take toward learning the content and that is this. Not all content is created equal. And here's what I mean by that. If you've studied any economics, you may have come across something called the Parade. Oh, principal and the parade of principle basically says that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your inputs. Put another way in sales 80% of your revenue or your sales usually come from about 20% of your clients or or your efforts. And and while that's not exact, the idea is sound. And that is this. That certain things carry more weight in the final output. And I have found that absolutely to be true on any standardized test, really, that certain concepts are tested more often than other concepts. And so when you're thinking about content, you need to focus most of your time, effort and attention on the high yield. What I call high yield content areas, for example, might some combinatorics concepts come up if you're studying for the G matter? The G r E, for those of you who aren't taking one of those exams, and you're like, What in the world is combinatorics? Those air Those How many ways questions that you may have seen in statistics class back in the day, where you're supposed to use combinations and permutations. And is it a concept tested on the G Man and G. R E? Of course, absolutely. And so it's worth knowing it in studying it. But you may see one of those questions on testing maybe two of those types of questions, whereas you may see 3456 questions having to do with percents and ratios. And so those arithmetic concepts would be part of that 20% part of that parade. Oh, principal kind of the handful of core, most important content areas that are tested over and over and over again that are just going to have more of an influence on your final score simply because you are likely to see them more often. Right so you can go out and spend a lot of time studying obscure math rules or grammar rules. Or, you know, diving down all sorts of rabbit holes or time is scarce. Your time is limited in terms of studying for the exam. Spend your time on this high yield areas and so part of how you can learn that and develop that is, obviously have somebody pointed out to you. If you're working with somebody or you'll get a feel for, did you take more practice tests? For example, you'll see the types of questions that appear more often. Spend more of your time on those high yield areas, so I hope that concept makes sense to you. I think it should be a little bit refreshing because it takes the pressure a little bit off of you feeling like you need to learn absolutely everything. I mean, there there could be potentially dozens or even hundreds of different concepts that could appear. And yet, unless you're trying to get a perfect score, you may not end up having to focus on all of it. Okay, so content is one component of the success Triad. Let's dive in a little bit further into strategy. That second component of the Triad and I would suggest that strategy is actually the major differentiator between those who end up getting a really high score and those who don't a lot of people over emphasize content. They learned the traditional ways of solving questions. They feel like they need to become an algebra major to do well on their exam, which just, absolutely is not true. Strategy comes into play in so many different areas, not only in terms of being able to solve questions a little bit more efficiently in terms of getting better at the content may be coming at the content from a slightly different angle, but strategy involves things like skipping strategy. How do you know when and how to skip questions and come back to them? Right? Time management, strategic guessing how to improve your guessing odds if you're not entirely sure how to solve a particular question so that all plays into strategy? I want to talk about another aspect of strategy, though. I'm gonna give you some gold right here, right? Some some absolute golden nuggets that will help you. And again, this is a mindset thing. It's a strategy I teach to my students, and I call it W II Be, and I It's the W Y bien I strategy and W ibn I stands for. Wouldn't it be nice if All right, so here's what I mean by that, right? You're gonna have this in the back of your mind now I guarantee it when you look at questions and this is just like this huge seismic shift in your thinking, when a question pops up on that screen and your inclination is to just attack at the traditional way, Here's what I want you to start thinking. If ever you feel stuck, I want you to ask yourself, What is it about this question I don't like? So maybe it's a math question and it has a ton of variables. And you think to yourself, Man, what I really don't like about this question is all of the variables, like I'm terrible and algebra. This question is really hard. W i B. And I Wouldn't it be nice if I could solve this question without variables? Ah, okay. And so that lends itself to one of the strategies I teach and my courses that have a math component, which is kind of a non standard strategy of making up numbers like working with real numbers in place of those variables. And there's a rhyme in a rhythm and a reason to kind of how to do that and how to execute the strategy. But the point is what I want to get across here, which is okay, let's make an easier version off this otherwise challenging question. Because if I can make an easier version of this question and get at the underlying concept being tested, then once I under that I can apply it to the larger, harder problem at hand. Let me give you an example to illustrate this from the verbal world. So in the G, Matt or on the G, Matt, I should say, and the S a T, for that matter. They have sentenced correction questions, and what that means is they provide you with a sentence and part of his underlined, and there may or may not be an error in that part of the sentence. But if there is an error in that part of the sentence, you need to choose an answer choice that corrects that air. Now, if you're taking an exam that doesn't have a sentence correction portion, that's okay. Stick with me. Maybe you'll learn something here over the next minute or so. But But I think again, the underlying principle that I'm trying to teach you is what is important. So I'm gonna give you a sample sentence. That is an example of a sentence that could appear. And I want you to think about is there anything dramatically wrong with what I'm about to read to you? All right, So here's the sentence. Quote everyone on both teams except the picture and me were suspended for fighting. All right, so and maybe you even wanna pause this podcast here for a second. Think on that sentence for a moment and ask yourself, Is there anything wrong with that? Of course, part of it would be underlined. But let's just pretend the whole thing is underlined. What? What would you do? How would you find or isolate the potential grammatical air in that sentence? All read it again for you. Quote everyone on both teams except the picture and me were suspended for fighting. All right, so it sounds perfectly fine when I read it, You don't stumble on anything. The meaning is very, very clear. And yet we need to isolate and test certain grammatical concepts and filter them through our grammar rules to see Is there potentially a pronoun air? Maybe a subject verb verb agreement issue. And here's kind of where the W II be an eye strategy comes in because what a lot of times the test makers like to do. And so this applies across the board on verbal, whichever test you're taking on the verbal section, they like to convoluted things right and even on math. They do this as well by throwing in a lot of extra words. And in this case, here's the question I would be asking. I would think to myself, Man, this is like, Okay, there's a lot going on in the sentence. Wouldn't it be nice if there weren't so many words in this case separating this subject and the verb? Ah, because what I want to do on this sentence is one of the things that I always like to test or look for. On these sentences is subject verb agreement. That's one of the common grammar rules, right? Thinking about kind of the parade. Oh, principal, what are some of the high focus areas? Subject verb agreement would be a high focused area if you're taking an exam that has this type of a question likewise with pronouns. But let's say for a second I want to test subject verb agreement in this sentence. Well, one of the things that makes testing that difficult is that the subject is separated from the verb by a whole lot of extraneous, unnecessary words. So wouldn't it be nice if those words weren't there? And I had a nice, simple version off this sentence? Ah, so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to apply a concept or a strategy I call the bracketing technique. And it stems from the w ay bien I mind set that I want to kind of filter out all of that unnecessary wording that's blocking or clouding or convoluted the sentence and my ability to see what's going on and make a simpler version off the sentence. And in that case, I would factor out where I would filter out. I would bracket out all of those proposition all phrases, all of those modifying phrases separating the subject. Everyone from the verb were because all of that other stuff is unnecessary for the core subject verb object portion of the sentence Does that make sense? So if I make a W Ibn ai version of the sentence, it would read as follows everyone were suspended for fighting. Do you see how that is now the simpler version of the sentence, right? All that other stuff on both teams except the pitcher and me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah like. That's just distracting me from the crux of the sentence, which is, Everyone were suspended for fighting. And now, when I have isolated that component of the sentence, I think it's pretty obvious that the verb is wrong because everyone is singular. It's always singular. It's a singular subject. Everyone is the subject of the sentence, not the picture. And me. We're not the subject of the sentence. It says everyone except the pitcher and me, Right? So we're not the subject. Everyone is the subject. And everyone were suspended. No, everyone was suspended for fighting, and the w ay bien I principal comes through in in glowing fashion for me because now I can change. The verb were to the singular Waas to make the subject and verb agreed. I find an answer choice that does that. I check it. I move on and I get a right answer thanks to W B A W I b a night. So you're probably smiling. You probably have like a big grin on your face right now. Maybe you're driving. Listening to this and thinking, Oh my gosh, this totally transforms the way I want to think about questions, and that's absolutely true. And that's what I mean by strategy, something as simple as figuring out how to make a simpler version off. A harder question. That's the goal, because your goal is to get right answers. Your goal is not to make your high school algebra teacher proud of you. It were your English teacher from you know, seventh grade toe. Prove to her that you know all of these arcane grammar rules. No, your goal is to get right. Answers and strategy can absolutely help you do that. Soap, Nonstandard strategies on math is also something that you should focus on. That would be one of the parade Oh, principal kind of big picture items that would would pay huge dividends for you. If you're taking a test that that has a math component. Ah, what else have I talked about? Figures using figures to your advantage. If you're taking an exam that has a geometry component, there are a lot of strategies around figures and how to manipulate diagrams and use them to your advantage. So that would be a component of strategy. Already talked about some of the time management strategies in terms of skipping questions and strategic guessing, but don't overlook strategy. And hopefully you have found the W i. B a nice strategy, helpful as we dive a little bit further into that component of the success Triad. And by the way, before he moved on, and to emphasize the importance of this strategy, a quick listener shout out. Megan actually posted in my members area under one of the worksheet questions for arithmetic. Just this last week. Actually, she said, quote, I used W. Ibn ai on this particular question. She said I used 10 so she was using a simple or version a simpler number for a hard problem. And she says, I just used the number 10 and then multiplied by five to get 50. Boom! And she says, quote. And it was so easy I felt like I was cheating, so that puts a big smile on my face. Megan, I'm glad that you A are using the strategy and B that you found it helpful and applied it effectively because That's exactly right. That's exactly what W i B and I is designed to. D'oh! A strategy to make otherwise hard questions potentially easier once you learn that mindset and apply it correctly. So, Megan, good for you. Okay, let's wrap things up by talking about practice, the third crucial component of the success Triad. And no matter how much content you study, no matter how powerful the strategies are that you feel like you're learning at the end of the day, if you don't practice practice, practice, you won't be sharp on test day, you won't have the skills that you need to perform an execute on testing. Now, next week in part two of this Siri's, we're gonna talk a lot more about practice when we talk about creating a customized game plan, right? A customized study plan for you, So definitely come back. Stay tuned for that. But I do want to share a couple thoughts with you here so that you have something to kind of sink your teeth into this week while you are practicing. And by the way, this stuff will obviously certainly apply beyond next week. Even when you kind of hear what We have to say next week with regard to practice and these air kind of two powerful thoughts and the 1st 1 is this that it's not. You've probably heard the phrase practice makes perfect, and I was actually just talking with my son about this today. With respect to basketball. He's learning to play basketball, and I reminded him cause he said He told me. He said Practice makes perfect right? And I said, Yeah, practice makes perfect, I said. But actually, perfect practice makes perfect. So how you practice matters, you can get out a textbook and do practice problem after practice. Problem after practice problem. But if you're practicing the wrong things or you're not doing it with excellent, you're not doing it the right way, you're not doing it perfectly. You won't be getting as much out of it as you otherwise could. The analogy I use with respect to golf is, let's say you're learning to play golf and you go get a bucket of balls and you go to the driving range and you just start practicing you to start hitting ball after ball after ball. Well, if you have bad habits, if your grip is wrong. If there's something wrong with your swing, you can hit as many golf balls as you want. You may not be getting any better. In fact, you may be getting worse because you're just in graining bad habits, so you wanna practice. But you want perfect practice, and they're a couple ways of doing that. One is. You want to create a good environment, a perfect environment. Are you in the right mindset? When it's time for a block of questions? Do you turn off your cell phone? Do you turn off your e mail? Do you put yourself in a room where it's just you, a piece of paper and your book, and you're ready to concentrate with everything you have for the next 20 minutes, for example, or do you have the book propped up on your lap with some music playing in your phone? You're glancing and you're checking social media. You have some TV on in the background and you think to yourself. Okay, well, I'm studying like I'm practicing, Yeah, but it's not good practice. It's not the most effective practice possible. So create that good environment and another mistake. I see a lot of students make when they're practicing. Is there too quick to give up on a question there, too quick to flip to the back of the book and look at the answer. Look at the books. Answer. Explanation. When they get stuck, that is not perfect Practice. Perfect practice is forcing yourself to wrestle with the question a little bit longer, maybe even going back and re watching a video that explains how to do it. Maybe going back to your notes, maybe even if you get stuck figuring out how to eliminate some clearly wrong eyeball answers. Kind of the throwaway answer choice is to improve your guessing odds like we talked about earlier. That's a component of strategy, but at the end of the day, on test day, you don't have a back of the book. You don't have a way of cheating. And if you get yourself in the habit of constantly looking to solutions and believe me, I get it. I know the story. You tell yourself because I used to tell myself the same same story well, but it's how I learned like I don't know how to do the question so I am learning by reading the books, answer, explanation or something like that. Yes, certain learning might come from that. But giving up too early never. Forces youto actually do what you may have to do on test day, because on test Day there's no back of the book. If you're stuck on a question, you have no choice but to answer that question. Now you may be taking a test where you can skip it. Maybe you market and you come back to it, but at some point you're gonna want to actually choose an answer for that question. And so you want to practice doing that as well? So that's a component of perfect practice that I would encourage you to get in the good habit of wrestling with questions a little bit longer when you're in your practice session. Now, a second point with respect to practice that I want to make is you not only need to be practicing, you not only need to be doing that perfect practice, but you need practice with feedback. And here's what I mean by that. Let's go back to my golf analogy and you're hitting a bucket of balls and you're hitting a bucket of balls. But if you have bad habits, who is correcting those habits? Ideally, you will have somebody point out why your ball is going to the right every single time or what is wrong with your grip so that you can correct it. Now go hit another bucket of balls. Right. Practice, practice, practice some more, Then go back to your coach and make sure that you're still doing it right. And then have him correct another aspect of what you're doing. That is how you get better. That's what you need to be doing when you're practicing for your standardized test. If you get a question wrong, you need to figure out why you got it wrong. Now, maybe when you look at the answer eventually you realize, Hey, I just made a careless air. Okay, Well, how do you will avoid making that careless air next time? Where maybe. Okay, you understand the books? Answer explanation. But going back to what I talked about with strategy, maybe there's a better way. Is there a better way? How do I figure out that better way? And so getting feedback in some sort of capacity is important is that constant feedback loop, right? You correct an heir, then you go back and practice it until you and grain Good habits. Then you correct the next day or until eventually you have gotten all of your errors out of your system. Your weaknesses turn to strengths and you are ready for test day. All right, so those air a couple tips for you with respect to practice. As I mentioned, we're gonna have a lot more on that next week when you talk about creating a customized game plan. So check back for that. But as we wrap up this episode at the beginning, I promised you that not only would I talk about the success triad in the three components, right, the content of strategy in the practice that you now know about. But I told you that we would also talk about time management. So we're going to spend a little bit of time before we close out talking about time management. But we're going to do that in the from the mailbag segment because I get a ton of questions about time management that perfectly apply. And I'll give you a hint. The answer is the success Triad. So the success Triad perfectly plays into time management. Let's take a look at what I'm talking about from the male things. Weeks from the mailbag question doesn't come from any one student in particular, but from dozens of people who email me and direct message me all the time, essentially asking the same thing. And that is this. You know, Brett, I'm trying. I'm studying. I'm taking practice tests and I'm running out of time. How do I do questions faster? That's really ultimately what their question boils down to is how do I get better at the time management component off my particular exam and the answer to all of your questions? Those of you who have that question the answer is the success triad that we just talked about. Here's what I mean by that, as you learn the content better as you get better at the content, you get faster at it, right? Think back to the very beginning of this episode, and I prompted you with the question. How do you get good at anything? How did you get better at playing the piano? How did you get better at shooting a foul shot. Right? You learn the what? You learn that How then you practiced it, But the better you were at the what? The faster you got, the better you got at the how the faster you got, the better you got it practicing it. Or the more you practiced it, the faster you got. It just comes from competence and competent C And that comes from the three components of the Triad. You know, my son, my fourth grader. He is almost 10 years old Now. It's crazy what they're learning in elementary school these days. But he has been coming home recently with math homework. They're learning multiplication, but not just like I feel like When I was in fourth grade, I was still just memorizing the multiplication tables. They're doing the distributive property, and they're learning how to multiply two digit numbers and three digit numbers and four digit numbers together. And they're using the distributive property to do it, and I'm helping him with it. And it's been very interesting to see and it perfectly applies to what we're talking about, because the better he understands the content, the faster he is getting at it. In the beginning he would come home and he would take like, 10 minutes. It seemed like to do one problem and I would watch him do it. And here, you know, I'm saying OK, you multiply it by the first part of the number and then the second part of the number and then the third part of the number. And he would painstakingly write it out. And he's still a little bit slow with his multiplication tables anyway. And so it's taking forever to do one question. But an interesting thing happens, the better he gets it, the content the better. He actually understands what he is supposed to be doing. Kind of the nuts and the bolts of the distributive property of multiplication itself, the faster he is getting at it. And then he was really struggling with kind of the horizontal method. I'm not gonna get lost in the weeds too much here, but he was basically the way his teacher taught him to do. It wasn't making a ton of sense to him, so I showed him a slightly different way off doing the same distributive property where we kind of lined things up vertically. That would be strategy, right? It would say, Okay, here's maybe the traditional way of doing it. But let's come at it from another angle. Here's another way of looking at it. It made so much more sense to him, and all of a sudden he was able to do it so much better, so much more accurately and faster. So with a little bit of strategy, he was solving questions more quickly. And then we practiced it and it didn't take long. I mean, I say said, Okay, I think I got it. Can you give me a few more examples? And so just literally on the back of the napkin, I made up a few more examples and and sometimes you could carry over. Sometimes you couldn't etcetera. And well, I just threw out a couple of examples and he worked him and he worked him and and it didn't take more than four or five application examples, and he had it. I mean, he wasn't making any airs. He was solving them quickly and getting right answers. So that is it, folks, if you're trying to get better at time management or just better at your standardized test. If you're trying to figure out how to get unstuck, how to move to the next level? How to boost your score, learn the content, learn some strategy, practice, practice practice and it will serve you well. And as I mentioned, we'll talk a little bit more about all of this and dive even deeper with some nuances when we talk about creating a customized study plan. But this is really the foundation. This is the cornerstone that all of you need to internalize and adopt as you're thinking about mastering your standardized tests and really anything in life. So go out and figure out how to play the piano Better, how to paint better, how to sculpt better and how to dominate your test with this success Triad. All right, so here we are at the end of another episode of the Dominate Test prep podcast. It has been a pleasure and fun being with you again, as always, and we are now at the point of the show where I give you an action item and I actually have to action items for you. The first is to prep you for next week's part to segment on customized study plans. And what I want you to d'oh is I want you get your hands on a full length practice test. Now, almost all of the standardized test providers their official website offers Ah, couple of free practice tests. I know the G Matt offers to free practice test the G R E offers to free practice tests their places to get free. L sat tests and s a t test. I'll try to put some links in the show notes here as well, but that's something we're gonna be talking about next week. So just make sure you have access to a full length practice test. If you've already taken the free ones from your test prep providers, you know you're going to need some extra practice tests anyway between now and test day. So just kind of file that away in the back of your mind, figure out where you're gonna get that practice test that will prep you for next week. And the second action item for this week is to subscribe to this podcast so that you're alerted next week when that episode goes live, it's gonna follow perfectly on the tails of this episode, so I don't want you to miss it. Tell all your friends, make sure they're subscribed and download. And guys, I really appreciate your support as we're getting this dominate test prep podcast off the ground. Like I have told you before, the feedback has been amazing and encouraging. It really does motivate me to bring you my best stuff each and every week. I know you won't be disappointed next week. If you have any feedback on this one, please reach out to me. I'll put my contact information in the show. Notes Love hearing from you guys, but go ahead and click that subscribe button and have an awesome week, and we will see you again next week on the Dominate Test Prep podcast. Take care of the one.