Congratulations to class 2020!
I am amazed and amused to say that a tremendous progress has been made by this class of students at mind2learn, including those in our winter and summer SAT classes in Shanghai and the August SAT camp in Chicago.
On average, this wonderful cohort of students improved their total scores by +120 points (+80 in reading and +40 in math). Almost 50% of the students moved up to 1500+, and the rest are in their final dash to claim that score that they deserve. I confirm that all of them deserve a 1500 — hear this, College Board!
Here are the breakdowns in each category:
Notably within the 4th category, more than 40% were individuals who had been locked around 1450 after trying other SAT programs. They were attracted to mind2learn because we understood their problems in the subconscious level. Most of them came to us in the summer 2019. We diagnosed their issues, broke their deadlocks, and instructed their practices. Not surprisingly, they reached their potential.
It was the 5Vs model that helped the students. It is as simple and clear as the wave-particle duality. Once you understand it, you are guaranteed to be on the 700+ level in each section of the SAT. For most of the students in America, it is 1400+. For those in Asia, it means 1500+.
Two lessons you may learn from the graph.
Most people experience a bottleneck at around 650. Other programs can help you to reach 650, while mind2learn helps you to reach it faster. Other programs can’t help you further, but mind2learn can with a certainty.
Once you take a mind2learn course, please don’t go to any other test prep course. They will take away what you build through our course, since knowledge mutes subconscious. Knowledge is good to have, but it drags you out of the right instance and instinct that you are only allowed in the test.
2019-08-24 SAT Curve
August SAT was a recycled form of the June test. Some reported NAPA1030, others NAPA301. It was coded NAPA 1030 in June and recoded as NAPA301 in August.
How did the curve look like? User data showed R-8/34, W-3/36;-4/35, and M-1/770;-2/750;-6/680. Here is my prediction of the curve through an extrapolation of the user reported data. It may not be accurate, but as much approximate as it can be. Scores with yellow background are extrapolated data.
Going forward, what curve would it be in October? Let’s look at an updated curve-index chart. The purple line is the actual composite curve, while the black line is the mind2learn Curve Index.
Harsh punitive curves were introduced in 2018-19 school year, leaving students of that year a 25% chance to like their tests. Beyond 2019, College Board has no form in stock that matches a good curve in terms of composite scores. Looked at this way, SAT will not present us any friendly curve and students shall plan not to take the test more than twice. If you have to take twice, your entire plan has to be adjusted to aiming at a super score but not a single one.
Fast readers read and think with their intuitions. What is your language intuition, English in particular? This graph explains it well.
sSitting on top is the meaning of the text that is to be read off. To get it is to understand it (the left arch on the graph). For you to understand something, you'll have to process the text information input into your conscious. This process requires a set of neurological functions performed in your cortices. These are the biochemical processes that happen in and between the neurons facilitated by a number of substances among which are neurotransmitters such as dopamine, GABA, and endorphin.
You need a basic level of such substances to understand the easy texts whose structure is simple and meaning explicit, but it will take you a lot more if text structure becomes complex and meaning in-explicit. The question is not how much neurotransmitters you should prepare for yourself — you can by no means manage the exact amount. The question is how you prepare (or produce) more when you need them?
Your hypothalamus knows how to and produces them for you, and you just need to tell the hypo to bring it up at times especially when facing hard, in-explicit text. This message is constructed in the form of an complex emotion that is typically a product of your subjective feeling of your own success rate in understanding that text. When you feel positive of your efforts, a complacency emotion tells your hypo to bring up the neurotransmitters. The more the neurotransmitters, the faster you are to understand the text. On the contrary, any negative feeling of yourself tells the hypo not to produce more neurotransmitters. Moving on, as the transmitters are consumed, you have diminishing chances to understand the text.
This complacent emotion, is your language intuition (the element sitting on bottom of the graph). It is generally built through years of reading experience, ideally on a variety of subjects and genres. That is the case for a natural good reader. However, you are not doomed if you are not already one of them. Intuition can also be built through systematic but quick training. This generally consists a number of ways to reproduce texts (right arch on the graph) from good sources. One of most effective technique I use is to read loud and fast, some times to recite the entire passage by memory. Being able to reproduce the text drives the intuition, thus creates a complacency before even understanding the text. In reality of reading, text reproduction indeed happens unnoticeably in your cortices and signals the hypo for more neurotransmitters.
Thus, reproduction, intuition, understanding, and meaning forms a full cycle of neurological process of reading. The key in building or breaking this cycle, a factor that can be proactively controlled by yourself, lies in the ability to reproduce the text.
Unified Models of mind2learn
Subconscious is not a de novo subject. Sigmund Freud first described it as the part of human mind that is not in focal awareness. Although Freud switched to “unconscious” not long after, others kept referring to it as one of most important psychological terms. For the purpose of this blog, I still prefer to use subconscious, since it seems there must be a divide within the so called “unconscious” mind. One part is hardly accessible once it is developed, and the other is linked to the conscious mind and teachable if a proper pedagogy is applied.
Subconscious demonstrates many properties that conscious doesn’t. Most striking feature of it lies in the neurological capacity. Scientists estimate that subconscious makes about 70-95% of the neurological mind (averaging 90%), and conscious is only 10%. The famous notion that Einstein uses 12% of his brain while everyone else 10% is probably true because Einstein was able to access his subconscious.
Subconscious not only takes a larger capacity in our brain, it is also loaded with a multi-core system. It can simultaneously run more than one neurological processing and direct different body parts to work. For example, we eat and talk when we have dinner with a friend. While our conscious is on the talk and fun, our hands in picking food up and mouth in biting food can both take place without the focal awareness.
Subconscious are also chaos-based, ideologically unbiased, emotionally activated, flexibly inputted, etc. All these features lead to a much desirable one for the sake of timed tasks such as SAT—subconscious is much faster and unambiguous than conscious. Think of the choices you experienced in the SAT. An easy one took you an instant to figure out the truthfulness so that you don’t seem have given it noticeable thought process. The hard ones, you might have spent a minute or two to come to conclusion. While the latter is a conscious one, the former may be a subconscious driven process that other prep guides tend to note as obvious.
What if you can make the hard one as obvious as the easy one? This is what all the prep guides have been trying to do in past 70 years and failed in most of us. Their coaching process works only in your conscious. So you are trained to analysis the questions, but with a much slower speed than SAT requires. Unified Models of mind2learn does it differently for you. We take you through a thinking model that only requires and trains you innate logical capabilities (to compare and to contrast) so that you can touch down your own subconscious. Eventually, you will be able to think more efficiently and accurately on the reading, writing and math questions.
When the right choices should look to you much friendly and wrong ones much hostile, how can you not make that score point?
It is time to update the annual SAT:PSAT conversion for 2018. All students took PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of 2018 should have received their test report from College Board. Taking this test as a warm up, you must have been trying to understand what is your chance for the school day SAT test that happen in the mid of next spring. Much of your performance on that day will determine your college desires.
According to data published by College Board’s 2018 annual SAT Suite Assessment Report, I have computed the 2018 conversion from PSAT to SAT. Hope this will help you get a fair expectation for next spring.
SAT = PSAT + [80 : 120 : 80 / 1400 : 1000]
How to work on this conversion formula?
Please note a few things about the formula. First, the formula is made to be simple and approximate. So, don’t take it as an exact estimate. Second, it doesn’t consider the practice and training that you may take between your PSAT and SAT. I encourage every one to plan for practice on SAT heading to the spring. Last, the formula assumes that you can at least maintain your test proficiency between PSAT and SAT tests. So, if you just sit and relax before the next spring, you still have a fair chance to lose some score points.
As we just completed a 5-day camp in Chicago, it makes sense to summarize what I observed among these eight students from south and west of Chicago suburban schools. Let me start with the chart.
Overall, the students reached a growth of 150 score points on their SAT levels, of which 100 counts towards verbal and 50 on math. These gains rank similar to the gains among the students in the weekly camps earlier this year, around Chinese New Year.
While almost every one realized stunning gains, two students attracted much of my attention, Caro and Ale. They both belong to the high level subgroup of four who had already made themselves 690-700 in verbal. A mid level subgroup consists of another four students with 620-660 in verbal. Caro and Ale did not move up in verbal as their peers during the five days. What caused it? To find it out, we have to graph a different chart.
The dominant factor describes the your average ability to think both comparatively and contrastively. Compare and contrast as two and only fundamental elements of critical thinking. Not only that your neurons are designed to perform these two jobs, these abilities on complicated objects are built as you are trained throughout the years. Most of times you just need this average factor to tell how well we can do in school subjects. Same is true in any tests.
Taking it to the standard test, there is a second factor that contributes to your overall accuracy. It is the difference between your two abilities. The bigger the disparity, the lower the overall accuracy. When you are better in comparing than in contrasting (or the other way around), your overall accuracy is driven down.
Taking two factors into account, you generally want high and balanced levels of comparative and contrastive thinking. Looking at Caro and Ale, I found exactly the same pattern of their comparing v.s. contrasting abilities. Both maintain excellent levels of either compare or contrast, while both have the other ability as non-desirable. As a result, their overall accuracy is dragged.
Comparing and contrasting are drivers to your learning curve. When you learn new things, the first ability you call on is comparing. Being able to tell similarity between the new information and existing ones means understanding. When you fully comprehend, the next thing you do is experimenting with it. This takes more or less the braveness or risk-averse in reality. Nothing can be learnt but never tried. To try is to familiarize you with the differences that come with it. In this step, you start with contrast, and ends with comparison that embraces the newly experienced differences. It is by both comparing and contrasting that we eventually learn anything.
If you are one who shines at your school but is stranded by standard tests, you are likely having the same problem as Caro and Ale. Abilities to compare and contrast often go against each other when either one is overwhelmingly trained or used. Nowadays in school, the ability to compare is often the one you are mostly good at. Being able to contrast effectively is likely what you need leading to your next test.
It is a good time to let our first annual stats heard.
In 2017, probably the first full-calendar-year cycle of mind2learn’s official operation, we hosted 4 SAT camps in Chicago and Shanghai and worked with about 50 students, from both American and Chinese high schools, for a total of 270 hours of lectures and guided practice.
On the annual average, our students have been rewarded 85-point and 105-point of gains in English and Math, respectively, for their hard work. 28 students gained more than 50 in their English subsection score, while 29 students gained more than 50 in Math. Altogether, 34 students added more than 100 in their total SAT. The programs here raised 11 students to 700+ in English and 26 students to 700+ in math. Stunning individual performances, such as one from 650 to 770 in English or another from 600 to 760 in Math, have been disclosed in separate notices.
In a time of two and half millenniums ago, Lao Tsu, an ancient philosopher in China, studied a breadth of subjects in the then-biggest collection of human experience recorded on bamboo slips. He processed all those information in a couple dozens of years and summed up his learning of all in one simple sentence — “Tao begot one, one begot two, two begot three, three begot all.” This is by far the most effective and efficient learning process on big data, and it was completed once through no computer but with Lao Tsu’s own manpower — his Tao of minds.
How could he do it? The secret is simple — by comparing and contrasting information. Comparing leads to similarity, while contrasting leads to disparity. It is through similarity that we confirm existing knowledge, and disparity that we discover new. Both are innate capacities of our brain, down to the neuron cells and the synapses that these cells are made to perform. All human knowledge is produced through either or both of these two basic biological intellectual capacities.
It is very unfortunate that today's school learning, or knowledge learning in general, interferes with our inborn intellects, the comparing and contrasting. Knowledge, meant to save the successors from the mental suffer experienced the predecessors, has demonstrated a subprime effect of muting the successors’ inborn capacity. When you take in 1+1=2, for example, you have not bothered to think much in its necessary and real term that this abstract mathematical principle is made non-provable.
How to make students learn while conserve their innate intellects is not a simple question to answer here. But you need to know that top achievers in schools are simultaneously good in learning knowledge and conserving their innate intellects — the Tao of minds.
I have included a few sample questions for you to test and exercise your mental power. If you can tell the similarities and disparities of the choices of the following questions through your own Tao of minds, your chances to fly in the SAT test will be much high — better than you may think of.
Pick one choice that is clearly different from the other three in each question.
1. The main purpose of the passage is to:
A) analyze a series of historic events
B) persuade readers to support an unusual practice
C) alert readers to an urgent societal problem
D) describe the underlying causes of a political change
2. What the word “best” most likely means?
3. The main purpose of the passage is to:
A) emphasize the value of a tradition
B) stress the urgency of an issue
C) highlight the severity of social divisions
D) question the feasibility of an undertaking
4. What the word “hold” most nearly means?
5. What the word “demand” most likely means?
6. What does the author suggest of men’s primary motive towards women?
A) A selfish desire to deprive women of even smallest joy
B) A pragmatic impulse to maximize contentment
C) A cruel tendency to afford then withhold affections
D) A well meaning but ultimately ineffectual intent to act fairly
For explanations, you may contact us through email: firstname.lastname@example.org, with a title line of "Tao of Minds."
There is long a recorded gender divide among American high school students in terms of SAT test scores. According to a study by ETS, girls have consistently under-performed boys in both SAT math and reading during 1967-2004. The gender gap was 30 score points for both subjects before the mid 90s. An encouraging trend came at that time when changes started to take place in American K-12 education. As a result, the average SAT scores increased across the subjects and genders by 20 points except for boys’ reading that only changed minimally. As a result, the gender gap in reading shrank but that in math persisted.
The cross-board increases came from recentering in 1995 SAT test scores, a measure that arbitrarily moved the average back to around 500. In the 30 years prior to 1995, these averages had degraded to 425 in verbal and 475 in math. As an effect of the change, a 500 in verbal prior to 1995 corresponds to 580 in 1995, and 500 in math prior to 1995 means 520 in 1995.
A handful researches have studied the issue but reached no conclusion. AEI, a leading think tank in Washington, DC, attributes the gap to the student quality in general. “One possible explanation…would be that high school boys are better students on average than high school girls and are better prepared in mathematics than their female classmates.” Another popular view takes the issue to stereotype bias, a psychological phenomenon whose scientific cause is yet unknown.
Both explanations failed to account the trends in American high school classrooms. The afore-mentioned ETS research found that girls had spent increasingly more hours and studied in more courses in math subjects in school since 1990s. On the contrary, boys’ effort in math has been stagnant if not declining. As a result, arguably, girls outperform boys in terms of math grades. In spite of girls’ growing outperformance in class, the divide has persisted over the period.
What, then, is the real cause? The answer, as I recently found, lies in a gender bias in the SAT test design. In my summer SAT prep camp in Naperville, I came into this fantastic idea to motivate students to practice CRM model. Standard SAT requires students to choose one and eliminate three out of four choices for each question. Instead, I allowed the students to choose two and eliminate two, and record their results as R(2). Then, they are allowed to make their final choice and the result is recorded as R(1). I collected both results and graded them separately in that a result scores 1 if it contains the final correct answer. Typically, to distinct between the last two choices is the harder than among all four.
While the adaptation helped many students in learning the CRM model, I noticed a surprising and consistent pattern among the students. Girls score consistently higher than the boys in R(2), but fall behind in R(1). I concluded that even though girls are better in choosing two, their ability to eliminate the last one is a fraction of that of the boys. The girls revealed to me that they tend to stuck in the similarity of the last two. The boys, on the other hand, do not have much difficulty in telling difference of the two in R(1). In fact, they see differences of all four and eliminate two in R(2).
The cause of it, as I further analyzed, is the gender difference in terms of critical thinking, including both comparing and contrasting among things. Girls are better comparing things, while boys are better contrasting. In R(2) stage, students started with all four choices. Girls compared them with the reading materials find two most obviously similar ones as their choices. Boys, on the other hand, saw one or two choices are obviously irrelevant to the reading topic as they understood. As girls generally read more careful then boys, they excelled in R(2). In the next R(1) stage, girls seemingly proficient with similarity could not tell as much the difference between the last two as did the boys who are obsessed with contrasting.
All SAT tests are designed in the same way that you have to pick one exact rightness out of three distinct wrongsome. When many of the wrongs are made very confusing, the ability to contrast helps much more than that to compare does. Girls who are made by our nature mother to see the commonalities more easily than the difference are thus discriminated by such a test design.
Mind2learn has since turned out its training mechanisms to cope with the situation, but I still hope that SAT may eventually find their way to correct such a deficiency.