Category Archives: Test Prep

Traditionally, high school students are supposed to take the SAT and/or ACT at the end of junior year and, if needed, the beginning of senior year. COVID-19 ruined most opportunities to test in the spring of 2020, but College Board and ACT have responded with a ton of fall options. If all goes well, September will be a month like no other with more official SATs and ACTs than every before. That’s good news, as September may be the best month of the year for testing? Why should people get excited about testing right as they get back to school? Well, obviously, July and August have a lot to do with what makes September so great for testing. During those blissful summer months, most teens historically enjoy a much lighter academic and extracurricular schedule. The current pandemic has further constrained activity to the point where some SAT & ACT prep…

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Summer is here, and time is right to improve academic and executive skills, at least part of the time. 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. 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 July 2020 to address the most important, influential, and interesting topics for current, former, and new students alike: July 20 – SAT & ACT Punctuation (Hilarie Lloyd) July 22 – Overcoming Test Anxiety (Mike Bergin) July 23 – Extra Help on Archaic SAT and ACT Reading Passages (Patty Camloh) July 27 – Understanding Your…

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With all the uncertainty swirling around school openings this fall, the last thing most families want to consider is SAT and ACT testing. However, the recent rash of colleges declaring test optional policies for the HS class of 2021 shouldn’t be viewed as respite from admissions testing. Most attributes of college applications–near-perfect grades, outstanding extracurriculars, poignant essays, and glowing recommendations–are also “optional” but 100% necessary for those seeking entry to competitive schools and maybe some merit aid to boot. Make no mistake: high school juniors and seniors should STRONGLY consider testing this fall. Of course, the rash of test cancellations over the last several months may discourage even the most proactive planners. The good news amidst so much bad is that College Board and ACT have added an unprecedented number of test dates to the beginning of the 2020-21 calendar: SAT – August 29 ACT – September 12 ACT –…

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If you thought the academic year that just ended was crazy, you might not want to look ahead. Anything having to do with college admissions and testing exists in a state of perpetual, exasperating flux. But in the absence of clarity, we can always rely on common sense, right? With so many questions about test optional application policies and uncertain test dates swirling about, my friend Allison Dillard–math professor and author of Crush Math Now and Raise Your Math Grade–has been hosting a series of Facebook Live sessions to provide answers. I first met Allison as a guest on my podcast to discuss high impact strategies to help students succeed in math, and this time she was the host as we tackled a topic on the minds of students and parents everywhere: Do Colleges Still Want the SAT, and Should We Take It In Fall? And, yes, I really do…

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I recently had the good fortune of being invited to take an official ACT in my own home by computer. As a lifelong student of standardized testing, I’m never going to turn down the opportunity to learn something new while challenging my skills. And now that I’ve taken the test, the educator in me demands that I share my insights on this new twist on an old test. What did I learn by taking the ACT on computer? 1. I still got it! While performing at a high level obviously matters to me, I have nothing but professional pride on the line. Elite performance can be difficult to achieve without a real incentive, and I already have my college degree, thank you. Apparently, though, I can still turn it on when needed πŸ˜‰ 2. Testing on a computer takes longer. I spoke at length with ACT Senior Director of Research…

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One reason I love hosting the Tests and the Rest podcast is because I meet so many smart and interesting educators, then learn from them. That’s why interviewing counselor Emily Kircher-Morris on the topic of college admissions for twice-exceptional students was such a treat. Once Emily explained what twice-exceptional or 2E meant, I realized how many 2E learners I’d met and worked with in the past. So you should listen to that podcast episode and learn as well! Another reason love hosting the Tests and the Rest podcast is that meeting these remarkable professionals often sparks further collaboration. Emily happens to be the host of the Mind Matters Podcast, which features discussions with leaders in the fields of psychology, education, and beyond, with an emphasis on gifted/talented and twice-exceptional children and adults. Imagine how flattered I was when she invited me and my Tests and the Rest co-host Amy Seeley…

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