Author Archives: Mike Bergin

While most people focus on the big numbers on the ACT score report–section scores and Composite–there’s more to learn by digging deeper. ACT included three reporting categories each for English, reading, and science, as well as eight reporting categories for mathematics. These subscores provide more granular insight into test performance by sorting test questions into smaller categories that can be used to evaluate relative strength in specific subject areas. Why don’t we spend much time on ACT Reporting Categories? Basically, these subscores are worthless from an admissions perspective; colleges don’t care about them. However, Reporting Categories have value in terms of identifying key skills test takers should master for ACT success. In this, ACT Reading Reporting Categories can be particularly helpful. The ACT Reporting Category Interpretation Guide provides valuable insight into all of the subscores on the test. The Reading Reporting Categories fall into three large proficiencies: KEY IDEAS AND…

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Nobody has more credibility about achieving success than wildly successful people. Knowing how to get to the top of the mountain is one thing, but summiting that peak again and again until your smiling visage is carved into it is quite another. Why else would a conversation about what it takes to be great between the King of All Media and one of the greatest comedians of all time is worth repeating on a site about learning and performance. Apparently, Howard Stern recently interviewed Jerry Seinfeld, and the conversation turned to work ethic. Howard started talking about how hard he worked everyday to make a living in radio: Howard Stern: “I thought, you know, it is possible to will yourself, maybe not to be the greatest in the world but to certainly get what you want.” Jerry Seinfeld: “I’m going to adjust your perspective a little bit. That was no…

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School may be letting out, but the opportunity for learning never stops. The recent seismic shift in education has taught us the power of intensive online classes focusing on specific aspects of testing and learning. Last month’s Seminar Series was outstanding, but our June Seminar Series will be even better! Why a Seminar Series? Obviously, our SAT/ACT classes and tutoring programs provide comprehensive preparation for the tests. But some reading, grammar, and math topics can stand further review, especially in creative and focused ways. In addition, some topics may not fit in a general class but hold serious significance for certain students. Ultimately, we’ve designed the series for June 2020 to address the most important, influential, and interesting topics for current, former, and new students alike: June 1 – Calculator Clinic: Are You Ready for the SAT & ACT? (Kaeti Stoss) June 4 – Understanding Your Academic Personality Profile (Mike…

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Everybody knows that practice makes perfect, or rather that perfect practice makes perfect. Once you have adopted the four essential elements of deliberate practice, you have taken your first steps towards the wildest levels of success you can imagine… as long as you practice. If you are a striver, then, the question you’ll always be grappling with is this: “Should you be practicing now?” Thankfully, Bruce Lee has all the answers…     Shouldn’t you be practicing now?

Most of the world looks at tests as, at best, necessary evils. Some hold exams of every stripe even lower in their esteem, considering tests malicious wastes of time. However, considering how pervasive assessments are in academic and professional circles, we can all benefit from a bit of perspective. Before you condemn a test, consider its context and intrinsic merit. This is not to say that all tests have value. If we’ve learned nothing from the opt-out movement inspired by Common Core exams that seemed to test students but grade schools and teachers, it’s that some exams truly are pointless. But most as instruments of education and assessment serve their purpose admirably, whether you respect them or not. Anyone aiming to ace their big tests might want to stop sneering and start understanding why the tests matter in the first place. For example, most colleges and graduate institutions require some…

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Face facts… you simply can’t do everything. You can do many many amazing things, especially of you’ve mastered the secrets of time management. But you can’t do everything. So if you want to fulfill your most meaningful goals, prioritize relentlessly. Once we take a hard look at our priorities, we can sort our goals so we devote enough time and commitment to achieving them. We can and should also enlist help, since success is usually a group effort. But does every type of goal benefit from social support? Consider two types of goals: Give-Up Goals define success through subtraction: e.g. less goofing off, weight loss, bad habit cessation Go-Up Goals define success through addition: e.g. better grades, muscle gain, good habit development Conventional wisdom suggests that we should always share our give-up goals, as others are usually very helpful in encouraging us to drop bad habits. But more aspirational goals…

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