There are many ways to approach your preparation for the SAT.
Perhaps your first inclination is to avoid it as much as possible. All of us are tempted to sidestep things that are annoying or fraught with yuck. But then you recognize the importance of your performance on the SAT, you may get a renewed interest in doing your best.
Suppose you further realize that the actual preparation process that you thrust yourself into has benefit far beyond your actual SAT score.
That’s exactly the case if you trust in the Coughlin Method.
I came up with this idea when, as Honors Director, the Provost asked me to improve our students’ scores on tests like the LSAT, MCAT and the GRE. I soon realized that the best preparation for those very challenging exams is a course on critical thinking in which I teach my students how to create and analyze arguments and argument-based papers. The course teaches students how to write effectively, succinctly and coherently. I’ve taught that course for over 12 years to many thousands of students, many of whom have done exceptionally well on these nationally standardized exams.
Then a friend of mine, whose son was preparing for the SAT, suggested that my method would serve his son well in his preparation. When I looked at the SAT I realized that not only would my method of teaching critical thinking be a perfect base for succeeding on the SAT, but it would also give his son an excellent springboard to succeed in college and beyond, in his chosen career.
Why is that? Because there is a growing impetus among business leaders to seek employees with critical thinking and problem solving skills as opposed to people who simply have a lot of information. In fact, I’ve discovered over 40 articles in high-end publications written by business leaders, including CEOs and CFOs, who urge colleges to put far more emphasis on teaching critical thinking skills in place of the mass of information that is now the basis of most college courses. The central theme of these papers is: we can teach our employees all the information they need but we can’t teach them how to solve complex problems, which is precisely the skill set we increasingly need.
There is the crux of the Coughlin Method: if you use our method to prepare for the SAT then you learn and master critical thinking and problem solving skills that will propel you to success in your college courses and in your career. To drive home this point, consider how dynamically the world, especially the business world, is changing.
Rich Napoli, CEO of Objectfrontier, a leading software provider, said it best when he stated that today’s digital disruption will cause the average corporation to become extinct after just 15 years, so in this age of Digital Darwinism, when “survival of the fittest” means using the latest technologies, companies must learn to connect with modern customers and meet their needs in new ways – before someone else does. Napoli rarely recruits computer science majors, preferring physics, mathematics and – believe it or not – music majors. He says:
“The college curriculum focuses on mechanical, rote processes that don’t teach the skills we are looking for – the ability to apply static constructs, that never adapt perfectly in the real world, to ambiguous complex problems that regularly pop up and never are the same. This is what digital transformation is all about – being able to adapt on the fly. For example, whoever thought you could ‘improve’ on taxis – and then Uber came along. A study by Yale University said that by 2020 three-quarters of the S&P 500 will be companies that you haven’t heard of yet. Consumer digital standards are not set by your competitors, but by iTunes and Netflix. What does the word ‘bank’ mean? It used to mean a brick-and-mortar building with tellers, managers and vaults. Now you can do all your banking in the cloud. The vast majority of companies must rethink old problems that were seemingly ‘solved’ in the pre-digital world and solve them in a new fast-paced digital environment. We need to hire young people who appreciate that old methods often don’t work – they must thrive on taking ambiguous, unstructured problems and solve them by expressing them in a structured mode where the solution pops up. To do that you don’t need programming skills, you need problem solving skills.”
The point is that the more you learn critical thinking and problem solving skills the more you are preparing yourself to succeed in this ever-changing environment that affects every establishment across the globe.
As you prepare for the SAT using the Coughlin Method you first learn critical thinking skills and then apply them to very intricate and complex SAT problems. Thus, your SAT prep becomes an excellent platform for growth that will serve you well throughout your career.