Juniors and Seniors: Making Summer Productive

Juniors and Seniors: Making Summer Productive

As the temperatures rise and students begin to look forward to exciting summer plans, I want to remind all of them to remain focused and finish the school year strong. As the end to the school year approaches, so do AP exams and finals and I encourage students to apply themselves and to stay focused so that their grades do not suffer.  For rising seniors, this is especially important because many college applications deadlines fall in November and December so Fall Semester grades will not be included in your applications.  Below are a few more notes for juniors and seniors.

A Case of Varsity Blues

A Case of Varsity Blues

As you are aware by now, the FBI has uncovered a $25 million operation where wealthy parents have paid for their children to cheat their way into some of the “best” colleges in the country. Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are just some of the people named in this scandal.

Now higher education institutions are under pressure to take a close look at the many students who received unfair advantage, as well as their own admissions practices. USC just announced that students involved in the admissions scandal are prevented from registering for classes and getting transcripts until the investigation is completed. Some other universities affected by the scheme (UCLA, University of Texas at Austin and Wake Forest University) are either planning to take no action or still investigating.

SAT vs. ACT: Which Test Is Best for You?

SAT vs. ACT: Which Test Is Best for You?

Since both the SAT and ACT are acceptable for colleges, how do you decide which take to take? The tests are a bit different, and some students might do better on one than the other, depending on the student’s thinking style, academic knowledge, time management, and test-taking savviness. So how do you find out which test is best test for your student? You expose and test them on both tests’ formats, then compare the results and discover if one is more favorable for your child.  

How can we expose students to both formats? Here are some options:

Check Students' Flexible Thinking

Check Students' Flexible Thinking

It’s true that verbal and abstract reasoning are the cognitive skills that predict academic achievement. The ability to make sense of complex information is undeniably essential to learning at every age.

But once students leave the K12 classroom, research suggests that flexible thinking might be equally important to college and career readiness. As explained by author Eric Barker, “Schools reward students who consistently do what they are told— and life rewards people who shake things up.”

Arizona's PSAT scores available online 12/10/18!

Arizona's PSAT scores available online 12/10/18!

Attention Sophomores and Juniors who took the PSAT in October 2018!

Both Sophomores and Juniors are eligible to take the PSATs. Scores will be out in just a few days. If your student took the PSAT you want to look at the overall results to evaluate their comfort level with standardized testing as well as any potential strengths and weaknesses. If your Junior took the PSAT in October, you may want to compare the results with previous years and also assess if they qualify to enter the 2020 National Merit Scholarship competition.  

Regardless of whether your student is a Sophomore or a Junior, PSAT scores should provide parents and students an understanding of where students might be in terms of College Readiness and potential future College Entrance Exams at the time of the test. Here are some of the major insights that could help evaluate the situation:

A Simple, Powerful Cognitive Approach

A Simple, Powerful Cognitive Approach

Vogel Prep’s unique Cognitive Learning and Study Skills System.  Designed to teach students how to be active learners rather than passive receivers of information, the program is simple, yet powerful.  It starts with a MindPrint Assessment and is followed by personalized plan based on your student's profile.

The PSAT/NMSQT Test: Why It Matters

The PSAT/NMSQT Test: Why It Matters

When it comes to prepping for the SAT, most students and parents view the PSAT, or Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, as a simple test-run of moderate importance. However, the PSAT—and your student’s results—wields more influence than you might realize. Though available to students in both their sophomore and junior years, the stakes get higher during 11th grade, when PSAT results hold weight.

Here are a few key ways in which the PSAT goes beyond its role as a simple “practice” test.

Special Accommodations for the SAT and ACT

Special Accommodations for the SAT and ACT

Students who receive extra time for tests in school may also be eligible for extended time on standardized tests from ACT and/or College Board (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, PSAT, and AP exams). Some common reasons to qualify are ADHD, dyslexia or other learning issues or medical conditions. ACT or College Board may also approve students to take tests with extended time over multiple days, sometimes over multiple weeks. To protect students’ privacy, they do not disclose information about accommodations when reporting scores to colleges or scholarship programs.

Celebrating Ten Years of Vogel Prep!

Celebrating Ten Years of Vogel Prep!

Has it really been ten years? It seems like only yesterday that we set out to equip students with the tools necessary to realize their potential by creating the most personalized tutoring service in the Valley, but it’s true—we started this business in the summer of 2008, and it’s with a combination of pride, exhilaration, humility, and gratitude that we look back at our first decade serving Arizona students and recall the hard work that it took to get here. But hard work is far from the whole story.

Q-Read: Quality Reading

Q-Read: Quality Reading

Is your student a struggling reader?  A reluctant reader? A middle school student nervous about high school reading requirements?  Or a high school student concerned about the challenges of the reading passages on the ACT or SAT tests? Perhaps a future college student concerned about the imminent load?

Vogel’s unique Q-Read: Quality Reading was designed by expert teachers to help middle and high school students improve reading speed and comprehension and develop the skills needed to successfully handle both classroom reading and reading test requirements.

SAT/ACT Decisions: Should I Complete “The Essay”?

SAT/ACT Decisions: Should I Complete “The Essay”?

Any student preparing for SAT or ACT testing has an important decision to make: Should I complete the optional essay portion of the exam? In most cases, yes! With the right preparation, and a little practice, the essay task will go from daunting to doable.

Boot Camp: Get Ready, Get Set, Succeed

Boot Camp:  Get Ready, Get Set, Succeed

ACT or SAT Boot Camp: Sound intense? It is, but it’s also an excellent option for busy high school students. If heavy homework loads or extracurricular activities make it difficult to schedule test prep during the school year, Vogel Prep’s summer Boot Camp is the answer.

SAT Subject Tests: Five Tips

SAT Subject Tests: Five Tips

Subject Tests are one-hour tests that are designed to assess academic readiness for college. SAT Subject Tests focus on very specific subject areas such as Math (Level 1 or 2), Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Literature, United States History, World History, Spanish and more. While SAT Subject Tests are often seen as tests for only those applying for admission to elite universities, every student wanting to go to a four-year college could benefit by taking at least three SAT Subject Tests. Why? Because there is no downside and lots of upside.

4 Easy Steps to Better Essay Scores on AP Exams

4 Easy Steps to Better Essay Scores on AP Exams

Looking forward to writing essays for the upcoming AP Exams? You are among the few!

For the majority of students, essay writing is one of the most dreaded aspects of the AP Exams. Unfortunately, the pressure doesn’t end there. Essay writing is a fundamental component of academic life in college. Whether you like it or not, the beloved essay, along with the requirement for you to write one, isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Writing Skills: Why They Matter in the Digital Age

Writing Skills: Why They Matter in the Digital Age

While the history of written language is subject to debate, its significance to humanity is absolutely clear. Writing has played a vital role in modern human development and progress. As an essential component in human communication, written language allows a writer to preserve and transmit a message throughout time and space. The reader, then, is afforded greater opportunity to contemplate the message, internalize it, and formulate a response.

ADHD: What every parent NEEDS to know

ADHD: What every parent NEEDS to know

ADHD: What every parent NEEDS to know

Let’s start with a clarification. ADHD is a medical condition, not a personality flaw. Just as you need to be aware of, monitor, and support any other medical condition your child might have, the same is true of ADHD. Here’s why:

A child who isn’t paying attention, isn’t learning

Selecting High School Classes Wisely

Selecting High School Classes Wisely

Selecting the high school courses that will best enhance a college application should not be done haphazardly, or hastily. As the college admissions process becomes ever more competitive, students need to be mindful of what will ultimately wind up on their transcripts.   Here we’ve provided a how-to guide for making smart decisions about which high school classes need to be taken.

AP courses and exams in college admissions process!

AP courses and exams in college admissions process!

According to a recent study by The Washington Post, 16.1% of students in Arizona took an AP course and scored a 3 or higher in their final AP exam. On a national level, 22.4% of all public high school students scored a 3 or higher on their respective AP exams. By the numbers, a successful showing in an AP exam most certainly sets a student apart from the pack. By scoring a 3 or higher in just one AP exam, a student has a distinct advantage over 77.6% of students nationally.

6 Reasons Students Need to take SAT Subject Tests

6 Reasons Students Need to take SAT Subject Tests

With over 20 different options of SAT Subjects Tests, it may seem like a daunting prospect to try to determine which subjects a student should take. Try not to get overwhelmed. First, consider your academic strengths. Do you have a knack for history? A special capability when it comes to chemistry? Choose the subjects that you both enjoy, and that you excel in, as potential SAT Subject Tests to take.