# ACT & SAT Prep and College Admissions Blog

What are logs in math? Do you use them to develop a foundation and build like beavers do? No, you don’t. Instead, in math, logs are the “opposite” of exponentials, just as subtraction is the opposite of addition. If I asked you what number (x) to the third power equals 8 (x3 = 8), then you would take the cube root of both sides and tell me the cube root of 8 equals 2.

Now consider this: if I asked you 2 raised to what power (x) gets you 8, how would you solve it? Well, we know that x=3 because 23 = 8, as we saw from the previous problem. But what steps would you take to solve this problem, or any others like it? As I mentioned before, logs are the “opposite”, or the inverse, of exponentials. Thus, one operation can undo the other. Let’s take a look at the relationship between them.

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.

Just when you think you’ve made headway on your college applications - filling out your information, getting letters of recommendation, writing your personal statement - supplemental essays hit you. These supplement essays for college can seem overwhelming. Many schools require multiple essays, and many offer multiple prompts. So how should you approach writing supplemental essays?

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.

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.

Topics: ACT, ACT test, Writing Section

#### 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.

Topics: Online Reputation Management

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)

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.

Topics: college tips

Strategy 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.