A growing body of research has shown that working harder, and even working smarter, does not guarantee a higher test score. Positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive neuroscience have begun to take their rightful role in university research labs. So I combined forces with test prep expert Josh Eckhaus to create Zen Test Prep, an education program for teens based in neuroscience, performance psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, and breath work.
In 2014, the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey found that college-bound teenagers experience higher levels of stress than their parents do. If you are a high school student, or if you live with one, this is not necessarily news to you! However, the APA was alarmed to discover how much teenagers underestimate the physical and mental impact of this stress. And students themselves would be perhaps even more alarmed if they knew the impact that this stress was having on their grades, especially test scores.
Families spend thousands of dollars on test-prep classes and private tutors, hoping students will master the material and learn proprietary test-taking methods. But when nervous jitters turn to physical tension, when seeds of self doubt turn to fatalistic thinking, when little distractions become all consuming, we don’t perform at, or even near, our potential!
Zen Test Prep Private Sessions
Private sessions provide students with concrete tools to manage the stress & anxiety surrounding school, academics, and standardized testing. Josh and I have developed a progressive ten-session private curriculum, offering a modern spin on time-tested, ancient techniques that teaches students to manage their mental and physical fight-or-flight symptoms. We teach them to slow down, to become aware of their tendency to make careless mistakes and then to make a concrete plan to avoid them.
Zen Test Prep’s curriculum is not meant to replace tutoring or SAT/ACT courses, but rather it is meant to be a complementary service that provides a foundation in mind-body awareness, as related to stress management.
Our program draws on ancient Eastern meditation and breath work techniques, combined with modern performance psychology, elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and neuroscience as it relates to the teen brain so that we can address the symptoms of test-stress and anxiety at their source.
We’ve developed a series of workshops that are specifically tailored to fit a range of student needs, from the transition from middle school to high school to managing anxiety around finals and the college admissions process.
Workshop offerings range from 3-5 hour weekend intensives to 30-45 minute classroom talks. School references are available.
Click here to request information about School Workshops.