Chariot Learning Blog

Test preparation means being prepared for test day, come what may. While most preparation occurs in the months, weeks, and last desperate days before an exam, every test taker should endeavor to be ready for whatever might happen on the day when it all counts. And unexpected, surprising, and sometimes even alarming things can happen during tests. The process of testing can take as much of a toll on a body as it does on a brain. The atmosphere of intense concentration and anxious silence tends to open up nasal passages and magnify the nuisance factor of every little itch, pain, and sniffle. Toss in the fear that the students testing next to you might be carrying COVID-19 (even though they almost certainly are not) and you can understand why your Test Day Checklist must include a well-stocked first aid kit: MASK Don’t expect to get into your test center…

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While scattered locations across the country saw ACT administrations in June and July, the last weekend of August really marks the beginning–and hopefully not the end–of college admissions testing in the time of the novel coronavirus. Many school districts may have abruptly closed their test sites, but many still seem committed to offering anxious teens the opportunity to test. If you were lucky enough to register for a test center that is still running the SAT or ACT, make it count! College Board has shared guidance on health and safety measures for weekend test administrations, including the following rules: — All students and staff to wear a mask or protective face covering during an SAT administration. — Students must be seated at least six feet apart during testing. — Students must confirm a series of safety screening statements prior to entering the test center or room. Clearly, testing during COVID-19…

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When you help as many motivated, authentic, and endearing students as we do in the college admissions process, you can’t help but want to find more ways to support them. Obviously, the best way we educators can support high schoolers is by providing the best test prep, tutoring, and coaching possible. But sometimes you want to do even more. From that thought arose the Tests and the Rest Counselor Select Scholarship. My podcast partner Amy Seeley and I both wanted to add something new to the constellation of local, national, and organizational awards students contend for and consulted with scholarship expert Monica Matthews on the best way to proceed. We liked our initial idea so much that we extended it to our national professional network to provide a way for students in multiple states to be nominated for the scholarship by their school counselor and apply for it. As a…

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Students often come to us with expressed fear of the math and English sections, and we usually start with one of those sections first because there is so much content we can cover that will quickly lead to higher scores. The Reading section of the tests, however, remains elusive, and is often the hardest section to make progress in. The best thing a student can do to improve their reading comprehension for the tests is read more–read widely, read often, read actively–and seek to understand what the text is saying, ideally by looking up vocabulary that is unfamiliar. Sustained reading increases the skills tested in the Reading section over time, but many students are scrambling to prepare for the SAT and ACT only a month or two before the exam date. So, when faced with a time crunch, what can we do to increase a student’s score in Reading? One…

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Earlier this week, I had the privilege to speak to a large group of families from the Pittsford and Fairport school districts. In this College Admissions Testing for the HS Classes of 2021 and 2022 Seminar, I explained what the tests are, why they matter, and what you can and should do about them during this singular moment in recent history. Attendees submitted questions ahead of time, so we made sure to address the following points: Does it make sense for me to take the SAT/ACT if I have a strong GPA and colleges are making it optional? What does test optional really mean? Will the SAT/ACT be required for the class of 2022? When should students in the class of 2021 or 2022 try to take the tests? How has COVID changed the role of testing? What is the best preparation for the PSAT? What habits should students cultivate…

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The recent seismic shift in education has taught us the power of intensive online classes focusing on specific aspects of testing and learning. 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. We’ve designed the series for August 2020 to address the most important, influential, and interesting topics for current, former, and new students alike. Don’t let summer end without trying a few! August 22 – Extra Help on Archaic SAT and ACT Reading Passages (Patty Camloh) August 22 – SAT Historical Documents (Patty Camloh) August 23 – Making SAT & ACT Math Flashcards (Mike Bergin) August 24 – Calculator Clinic: Are You Ready for the SAT & ACT? (Kaeti Stoss) August 25 – SAT & ACT Punctuation (Hilarie Lloyd) August 27 – Overcoming Test Anxiety (Mike Bergin) Each…

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