At Zinc, we know that fear-based education and fear-based living get lousy results. Love not only gets better traction when it comes to test prep — and anything else we want to achieve — but it’s the foundational competency for making one’s way in the world.
But without effort, the love that sparks learning has no purchase on life. Our ability to connect those two core competencies — to harness love to effort — makes all the difference for our effectiveness, success, and personal satisfaction.
Of course we expect that test prep will require effort, but without love, that effort too often feels like a meaningless grind. Fear-based learning environments tap into our desire to live up to expectations and please others. But love-based effort develops self-knowledge and the capacities to turn our interests into positive outcomes.
Success — even great success — without effort is a sugar rush that obscures the nourishing fulfillment of a hard-earned reward. Sure, we’re all lazy; we love passive amusements and crave quick solutions. Yet we also love to work hard. Our hearts, brains, and bodies are still built for exertion. In fact, they thrive on it.
The easier technology makes our lives, not to mention flooding them with distracting entertainments, the more consciously we need to cultivate effort. When we choose them for ourselves, small disciplines grow our capacity for work. Consistently doing something mentally or physically demanding whether or not we excel at it — preferably not! — grounds us and empowers us. There’s nothing wrong with running the extra laps to impress the coach, but when we run them out of a desire for our own growth we come to know, trust, and respect ourselves.
Zinc is L.E.A.R.N. Love, Effort, Attention, Reading, and Numbers. We help students achieve standout scores and create great applications. Send us an email to get started.
Notes on the Math Section Students in the US will take the new digital SAT starting in March 2024. There are a few structural changes to the new digital SAT math section. While they’re important to be aware of, in general they don’t make for a huge overhaul to SAT math. The first change is […]
Some Thoughts on Love and Learning “Love” might be one of the last words that come to mind when thinking of test prep. As a practical matter, love, though widely praised, admired, and celebrated, has a tough time competing with fear as primary motivator. Most of us have achieved real security from the terrors that […]
Notes on the Reading/Writing Section The most striking difference in the new SAT Reading/Writing section is the length of passages. The new SAT uses what they call “discrete questions”; i.e. one short passage (25-150 words) followed by a single question. This is a departure from the paper version, which included fewer longer passages followed by […]
Some Thoughts on Love-Based Learning We often hear from families wondering about the “best” way to spend the summer before junior or senior year. With so many great programs out there, what should you and your child keep in mind when planning ahead? The answer depends on what lights your child up. Keep in mind […]
Who will take the digital SAT? International students will take the digital SAT starting March 11, 2023. If you have a current senior planning to take the December SAT outside the US, they’ll still take the paper version. All other students should plan to familiarize themselves with the digital version. For US students, the SAT […]
U.S Students Will See the New Test in 2024 We’ve got more information from College Board on what the new digital SAT will look like. While the new test covers the same skills and knowledge as the current version, students taking the digital test will see some significant updates: Timing: The new digital SAT will […]
Claire Dunnington Boot Camp teacher Claire has been tutoring with Zinc since 2010 and is now a mentor to new tutors. She graduated from Brown University with honors in English and creative writing and was named to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. After teaching English in Thailand for a year, she moved to New […]
Some Thoughts on Finding the Right Fit For 10th graders looking to get started with test prep this summer, a big question is which test to take—the SAT or ACT? Colleges have no preference for one test over the other, so the choice comes down to which is the best fit for you. Taking a […]
Why We Teach Mental Math Can you multiply simple two-digit numbers, like 39 times 24, in your head? Hang on a minute, you may be asking. Why would I do that when I can just pick up my calculator? That’s true, and there are times when a calculator may be a better option. But we […]