It’s NOT Like Riding a Bike: Un-training our brains

It’s NOT Like Riding a Bike: Un-training our brains

Can you ride a bike? What if you haven’t ridden a bike in years? Sure, you may be a bit wobbly at first, but you would pick it back up again after time. Why? Your brain knows what to do. It knows the connections needed to initiate and maintain the balance.

But what if we made one change? What if, when you turn the handles to the left, the bike goes to the right? Would you be able to ride it then? Initial reactions say yes, but have a look at this experiment to see that it is not that easy.

Well, learning how to master the SAT is very similar to this. Having the basic knowledge is not the same as having the understanding.  The SAT is a timed exam, so being able to answer questions in reduced time is essential. This will free up time for other problems. How is this like riding a backwards bike? Well, in school you learn the basics. You build your foundations and knowledge of how to do things. But for anyone who has taken the SAT, you know this is not the same caliber of question you get on the exam. You need to do things differently on the SAT to succeed.

On the exam, multiple math concepts are applied simultaneously. Thus, you need to UNDERSTAND how to combine the basic knowledge you have on specific topics in order to master a topic. And this is not a skill taught in schools. In school there is a focus on the basics and questions are typically asked by isolating topics. 

So what do you need to succeed? Well, even the highest achieving student in a school will benefit from SAT prep classes. In our classes at Zinkerz, we focus on combining skills in ways that will help you beat the exam. But that is not all.

In addition to having an understanding of the skills, Zinkerz focuses on Tips…. Not necessarily tricks… but different ways to view a problem. Specific skills need to be UNTAUGHT (like riding a bike) and RETAUGHT in a certain way. Like solving a system of equations without ever solving it. Or writing the equation of an exponential graph without knowing anything about exponential functions. There are shortcuts in the SAT… ways to maximize your score in the minimum time. Sure, some questions are straightforward and require a standard “School based” approach to finding the answer, but many are not. That is why our experts find the perfect blend of empowering our students to access their knowledge and understanding at the same time.

Thankfully, we are not being asked to ride a bike in this way… switching from a standard bike to a backwards bike every minute may prove to be impossible. But switching from standard problems solving to the new approaches from Zinkerz is attainable for all students, with the right amount of preparation, effort, and teamwork.

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