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Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset | What you need to get a high score on the SAT!

Growth mindset definition

A person’s mindset has a lot to do with their success. According to Carol Dweck, there are two types of mindsets, the fixed mindset and growth mindset. To give an overview of the growth mindset, here is an excerpt from our Math SAT prep workbook.

“Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that people are born with intelligence and abilities that cannot be changed. As a result, attempting to improve one’s intelligence or ability is futile. Persons with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that with training, additional education, and practice, one can improve one’s intelligence and ability to perform a task (Dweck, 2017). As a result, those who have the growth mindset, see unfamiliar territory as a challenge and are eager to learn how to grow and overcome those challenges … If you do not have the right mindset for mastering the SAT and getting a [high] score, no amount of tips, tricks, or knowledge will help you” (Grant, 2021).

Fixed vs. growth mindset

Let us consider two students who are studying for the SAT exam. Alex has a fixed mindset while Jane has a growth mindset. Both students are performing poorly on their practice SAT exam.

Alex has a fixed mindset

With a fixed mindset, Alex will start thinking negatively and consider himself a “reject,” a “failure,” an “idiot,” and a “loser,” among other things. As a result, he will stop studying because he believes he would not achieve a higher score either way.

Jane has a growth mindset

Jane with a growth mindset, on the other hand, will start thinking positively. She will see the series of low SAT scores as an opportunity to work harder on the next practice test to improve and do well on the actual SAT exam.

Work towards having a growth mindset

“Students with a fixed mindset will be unable to learn and thus will not be successful in their academic journey. For example, the previous student with a fixed mindset, Alex, is a hindrance to his learning. That is, he decided to put less effort into studying for the exam and as a result, he will perform poorly on test day. Jane, on the other hand, is more likely to improve her score, and possibly achieve the [high] score she seeks on the SAT exam” (Grant, 2021).

Try to work towards having and maintaining a growth mindset as you study for the SAT exam. Growth mindset images are helpful to help keep you on track. Here is an example we came up with, also from our SAT prep workbook.

Most of the content from this blog post was taken from our SAT prep workbook:

Need help preparing for the math section of the SAT, sign up for our math SAT prep course at


Dweck, D. C. (2017). Mindset: Changing the way you think to fulfill your potential. New York: Robinson.

Grant, S. K. (2021). Math SAT Prep Workbook, First Edition. Georgia, Sharpe Sessions LLC.


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