ACT & SAT Prep and College Admissions Blog

Stress and Standardized Tests: Coping Strategies

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Fri, Dec 09, 2016 @ 06:19 PM


Stress is something that everyone experiences; however, the triggers and manifestations of stress differ for everybody. As illustrated in the Yerkes-Dodson Human Performance Curve, a little stress can be good; it keeps us focused and motivated, and can positively impact performance. However, too much stress can be physically debilitating and can decrease productivity, performance, and cognitive function--a particular issue when engaged in a high cognitive activity, such as standardized tests. While effective time management, productive study habits, and strong organizational skills can help combat stress, there are also coping mechanisms that you can utilize to help mitigate stress.

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Topics: Managing Stress, Standardized exams

How to Ace the ACT Writing Section

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 05:13 PM


Writing an essay in 40 minutes can be a daunting task. The ACT graders expect you to write a well-developed, coherent essay about a topic that you may not be familiar with. However, knowing more about the ACT Writing section, and what graders are looking for can help you to prepare for this task effectively.

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Topics: ACT, ACT test, Writing Section

The Anatomy of Great Online Reputation Management

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 10:53 AM

Every tech-savvy student realizes that there’s a ton of information about them online (most of which they’ve posted themselves) and that this information is widely accessible by their peers. Fewer students consider how their online presence will impact their admissions to colleges or to the work-force. And fewer still consider how they can take control of their online presence to ensure a positive impression of them shines through amongst the cluttered returns of a Google search.

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Topics: Online Reputation Management

College Application Timeline

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 10:00 AM


 SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR

 JUNE               

  • Take the ACT/SAT
  • Take time this summer to volunteer or shadow a professional

JULY               

  • Go on campus visits to start narrowing down your college list

AUGUST         

  • Get started on Common App Essay* (brainstorm, outline, drafts)
  • Create a college list taking into consideration: academics, graduation rate, majors, size, location, school resources, campus life.
  • Be sure to apply to at least 4 schools. Your college list should include at least:
    • 1 Safety school (a college you’re confident that you can get into)
    • 2 Good Fits (colleges that you’re pretty sure you can get into)
    • 1 Reach (a college you have a chance of getting into, but it’s a stretch)
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Topics: College Applications, college advice, college timeline

College Essay Writing Tips

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Perhaps the most intimidating part of the College Admissions process is composing your personal statement. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, here are some tips to help you out.

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Topics: college tips

Simple but Powerful Test Taking Strategies: Part 1

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 06:00 PM


act-tutoring.pngStrategy is an intrinsic part of preparing for standardized tests. Without the proper strategies even the most advanced students find themselves performing below their full potential.

Here are a few proven test taking strategies that will take you a long way in your quest for a high score, regardless of the test you’re taking.

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Topics: test taking strategies, ACT, Reading Comprehension, process of elimination

A Brief Review of the New SAT

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Apr 06, 2016 @ 01:00 PM


Three little letters: SAT.

For many years now, those three little letters have evoked feelings of dread, fear and anxiety in the minds of countless high school students across the country. We are speaking of course, of the Scholastic Aptitude Test. It is a standardized exam offered by the College Board used in determining college admissions and, in many cases, scholarships to a given institution. The ACT (American College Testing) is also offered and accepted at all four-year institutions just like the SAT.

As many of you may know, the SAT has been around for quite some time now, with the first test being administered on June 23, 1926. To this effect, for the first time in 11 years, the writers of the exam figured it was time their exam was updated and thus, the newly reformatted SAT hit test-takers desks March 2016 for the first time.

This article will give you the full scoop on this new exam, its structure and breakdown, and more specifically, what you need to do differently to make sure you succeed on this new test.

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Topics: test taking strategies, SAT

The Hidden Key to College Admissions Success: Staying Organized

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Better organization skills can benefit almost anyone in any stage or area of their life.

When some people hear the word organization their first thought is about home organization and a big box store specializing in ridiculously overpriced closet-systems. There are others who seem to find happiness in staying organized; these are the folks who are constantly making lists and crossing things off of them.

For students, developing organizational skills is inherent to achieving academic success whether as a high school freshman studying for final exams for the first time, or a junior taking the first steps in the college admissions process. Applying to college can be particularly overwhelming due to the numerous requirements and deadlines. This process takes place simultaneously with taking AP Exams and working to maintain your GPA among feelings of “senioritis.”

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Topics: College Applications, admissions essays, college advice, college entrance, college admissions process

ACT - English: Overview and Basic Strategies

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 @ 12:00 AM


This article provides a quick overview of critical information to know and key strategies to apply to boost your performance on the ACT-English test.  

It is organized around three sections: overview, strategies, and concepts.

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8 Critical ACT-Math Strategies

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Mon, Jan 04, 2016 @ 09:00 AM


In this post we'll share 8 strategies for improving your score on the ACT-Math section. We have worked with hundreds of students, and these ideas are almost always helpful.These strategies are written in a “top 8” list format, but they aren’t necessarily in order. Depending on the student, any given strategy might be more or less effective.

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Topics: test taking strategies, ACT, test anxiety, math, ACT math