ACT & SAT Prep and College Admissions Blog

Lisa Alvarado

Recent Posts

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