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:

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.

Considering a Private College Counselor?

Considering a Private College Counselor?

Today, private college counselors play an integral role in helping students navigate the seemingly daunting task of applying to college in an increasingly competitive educational landscape.  Here are four reasons to consider engaging the services of a private college counselor to help you and your child through this process.

Test Prep…Timing and Balance Matter!

Test Prep…Timing and Balance Matter!

Avoid cramming for any significant test it is advisable that students begin their test prep in earnest approximately 6-12 months ahead of their planned exam.  For example, since most students will take the ACT or the SAT in their junior year, it’s beneficial to begin studying during the summer between 10th and 11th grade.   Enlisting the services of an experienced test prep tutor the summer before your child’s junior year is an investment no parent will regret.  By embarking on valuable test prep sessions long before the actual exam date, students feel less stress, and are therefore able to devote their full attention to the material being reviewed.

Nutrition Is Important Before an SAT or ACT

Nutrition Is Important Before an SAT or ACT

When it comes to prepping for the ACT or SAT, plenty of teachers and parents emphasize the importance of test prep, practice tests, and quality study habits. Though they’re certainly not wrong, it’s just as important to remember to treat your body right in preparation for high-pressure exams like the SAT or ACT. After all, your mind is an organ at home in your body, so proper nutrition goes a long way to boost your brain before the big day. How can students take advantage of the power of brain food?

What Colleges Look for in High School Transcripts

What Colleges Look for in High School Transcripts

Because college admissions are more competitive than ever, an accepted application often comes down to the details. For instance, high school transcripts are an excellent way for students to positively differentiate themselves from other applicants. But what exactly are colleges looking for in a transcript, other than good grades?

New Year’s Resolutions for the College Bound Student

New Year’s Resolutions for the College Bound Student

From freshmen to seniors, there are worthwhile strategies that students can employ in the New Year that will vastly improve the college admissions process ahead. With the clean slate of the New Year, consider these academic resolutions as you and your student make your way through 2017, together. 

3 Steps Toward Stronger Self-Discipline

3 Steps Toward Stronger Self-Discipline

Whether prepping for the SAT or ACT, an AP exam, or completing schoolwork, discipline is an acquired skill that not only gives students an academic edge, but ultimately sustains them for a lifetime. 

College Readiness Begins in Middle School

College Readiness Begins in Middle School

Middle schools is a time for developing study habits, preparing pre-requisites for rigorous high school work to considering college.  Middle school students and their families should use these critical years to plan and prepare for the future ahead. 

How has the ACT Changed? What Do You Need to Know?

How has the ACT Changed? What Do You Need to Know?

About 2.1 million of 2016’s graduating high school students took the ACT before applying to colleges last year. The ACT organization, over the last year and a half,  have implemented several format changes and as well as significant report improvements. Here is a summary.

Is Self-Study a Good Fit for Your Student?

Is Self-Study a Good Fit for Your Student?

When striving for success on college applications, schoolwork, or the SAT/ACT, wisdom dictates that students and their families have a plan of attack. Perhaps the first go-to method in preparing for a test is the solo route: a student and a textbook, a few long hours of disciplined study, and hopefully some positive scores result. Additionally, the rise of online study tools has driven students even closer to the computer screen. But, since each student is both unique and complex—complete with particular strengths and weaknesses, goals, and learning styles—isn’t it prudent to consider if there’s a study method that better serves your student? 

Being a Good Test-Taker is a Lifelong Skill

Being a Good Test-Taker is a Lifelong Skill

When students learn to become better test-takers, they develop positive habits that last a lifetime. One-on-one tutoring and small group classes can provide students with strategies to approach exams both methodically and successfully. The skills described here may serve your students in the world outside the classroom.

Why Are Math Skills Essential?

Why Are Math Skills Essential?

“When will math come in handy?” When faced with tough algebraic concepts and geometry equations, many young learners ask this question. But the value of math extends far beyond the classroom. First consider that a well-rounded aptitude in mathematics is essential to scoring well on major exams, from AP tests to the SAT and ACT. What’s more, exceptional math skills are foundational  skills to much of life outside of high school or college: opening a bank account, tracking expenses, excelling in many chosen career paths, and even an activity as basic as following a recipe.

With that in mind, mathematics must play a pivotal role in a child’s educational strategy, whether brushing up on basic skills or prepping for a school Math test, an SAT, ACT or SAT Math II Subject Test. Here are  key ways that building math skills are essential to overall cognitive ability.

Students Can Overcome Math Anxiety

Here are 4 Reliable Ways
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When it comes to math, some students draw a giant, agonizing blank when tasked with a set of homework equations, or worse, just before test time. If a student balks when faced with basic math computing challenges, then it’s far less likely that he or she will be equipped to tackle more complex concepts, let alone the math portions of the SAT or ACT.

That’s why at Vogel Prep we have assembled four memorable methods for grappling with math-based anxiety, so that when test time arrives, your student has the mental tools he or she needs to power through:

1.      Always Be Prepared

This may seem like a no-brainer, but much of math-related anxiety is due to a lack of understanding of the subject matter. Because math allows little room for error, students often become overwhelmed with anxiety when approaching a problem. Perhaps the healthier alternative is to meet the material with confidence. Asking for clear illustrations during tutoring sessions—even when it seems redundant—is essential to combatting anxiety.

2.      Master the Basics

Many math mistakes are either careless errors or lapses in foundational knowledge. Tackling multi-step equations becomes far less daunting when students recognize all the components and solve each problem piece-by-piece, applying a clear execution of basic math. Likewise, doubling down on basic math skills lessens the potential for silly calculation mistakes. Students can approach math with poise when they are confident in the tools at their disposal: basic mathematical dexterity.

3.      Put Pencil to Paper

Whether tackling the SAT, ACT, or any other math test, anxiety tends to rear its head when students don’t know where to begin. That’s why it’s so beneficial when parents, tutors or teachers encourage students to write down their work by hand, including formulas, equations, and the known steps necessary to complete a math problem. By writing it all down, students take the burden off their mind to abstractly sort through processes and calculation work. This method also helps students stay organized and on task.

4.      Develop a Personalized Strategy for Math Test Prep

Each student is unique, complete with his or her own learning style, goals, weaknesses, and strengths. A tailor made approach to math—whether prepping for the SAT, ACT, an SAT Subject Math Test or an AP Calculus exam, or otherwise—is a reliable way to combat anxiety and aid in overall test preparedness. Likewise, small group or one-on-one math tutoring can provide students the extra time and attention they need to alleviate academic anxiety. Extra face-time with a math tutor means more room for questions, strategizing, practice, and review.

At Vogel Prep, we offer a variety of tutoring services to help students overcome the number one stumbling block when it comes to success in math anxiety. Through one-on-one tutoring or small group classes, we equip students with core knowledge and academic strategies so that they can take on math with pride and self-assurance.  

Vogel Prep serves students in the Phoenix area, including those from Scottsdale, Arcadia, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills, looking to improve their scores for PSAT, SAT and ACT, and much more.   At our conveniently located tutoring center at 13951 N. Scottsdale Rd. Suite 211 in Scottsdale, Vogel Prep also provides academic advising services to students and their families.

Visit www.vogelprep.com, call 480-990-7374 or email info@vogelprep.com.