Many high schoolers, and their parents, are often looking for ways to boost their SAT scores. The hope is that a higher score will increase their probability of getting into their school of choice.
One popular approach is to hire an SAT tutor; someone who will work one on one with the student to improve their knowledge of Math and English. And for many students, such an approach does lead to better SAT scores.
But if we were to extrapolate a bit from a recent study conducted at the University of Delaware, there may be a more novel approach to boost at least the student’s verbal score.
Researchers found that exercise appears to help boost a child’s vocabulary skills.
A group of children between the ages of six and 12 was taught some new words before moving on to one of three activities. Some children went on to take a swim, while others performed CrossFit exercises, and the third group filled out a coloring booklet. Notably, kids assigned to the swimming group performed 13 percent better on follow-up vocabulary tests than the other two groups.
According to lead researcher Maddy Pruitt, “motor movement helps in encoding new words.”
As to why CrossFit didn’t result in the same learning benefits, study authors theorize swimming is more beneficial for learning because it’s more of an automatic exercise requiring less mental energy. The kids could go swim and not really think about it, whereas CrossFit demands much closer attention to detail. Not to mention the fact that children had to be taught how to perform the CrossFit moves. In this experiment, everyone in the pool group already knew how to swim.
Imagine if such an approach could be used with students studying for their SATs. That 13% increase might be the difference between getting into a student’s school of choice and their safety school.
I just wish I knew this when I was in high school. Given all the time I spent swimming, I should have been able to score a perfect score on the verbal section of the SATs.
And imagine the big words I could be using in my blog posts.
But it’s too late for that, so I’ll just keep writing at a third-grade level…