ACT & SAT Prep and College Admissions Blog

Mark Skoskiewicz

Recent Posts

Designing an ACT Study Plan? Here are our Recommended ACT Study Materials

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Dec 29, 2016 @ 02:54 PM


When designing an ACT study plan, one key question is “what materials will I use?” Luckily, the most effective material is also the most inexpensive (more on that later).

To begin, it’s helpful to ask yourself one basic question: am I fundamentally comfortable using online materials or not? There are many web-sites and “apps” available to help you prepare for the ACT. But for some people, plain old paper and pencil is still their preferred way to learn. I tend to encourage students to at least consider an online approach, since it’s generally very convenient and because many online resources are “adaptive,” meaning they give you suggested practice content based on how you’ve performed on previous practice problems to build on your strengths and address your weaknesses. But, if an online approach just isn’t for you, don’t force it.

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Topics: ACT study plan, ACT, ACT overview, ACT concepts, ACT tutoring

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

SAT Math: Solving Impossible Math Problems

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 11:47 AM


The SAT sometimes approaches math a bit differently than we’re used to in math class.  One of these differences in approach is in the way some SAT math problems ask us to solve for relationships between variables, rather than the value of one particular variable.  These problems can seem very challenging, or even downright impossible, at first glance, because they often give us multiple variables but only one equation.  

One thing we learn in math class when studying systems of equations is that in order to solve for 2 variables, we usually need 2 separate equations; to solve for 3 variables, we need 3 separate equations; and so on.   Certain SAT math problems will appear to violate that general rule and ask us to do something that’s supposed to be impossible, like solving for 2 variables with only 1 equation.  When we look more closely at such problems, though, we realize that the SAT is not really asking for the value of each individual variable involved.  Instead, we’re asked to find the value of the sum, product, or some other relationship involving 2 or more variables.  

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Topics: SAT, math skills

What Students Can Learn from the 2016 SAT Re-Design

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

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Topics: sat tutoring, SAT redesign, SAT study tips, SAT classes

How to Determine Which SAT Subject Tests to Take

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Dec 03, 2013 @ 08:27 PM

Recently, a number of students who have worked with MyGuru for ACT or SAT tutoring have followed up asking about SAT subject tests.  Their main question has been which SAT subject tests should I take?

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