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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.