If you really want to get a high SAT score, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that “talent” or “IQ” matters far less than you think. There are not really “math people” or “natural readers.” What matters is the amount and quality of your SAT prep, which of course is influenced in large part by how passionate and genuinely interested you are in doing well on the SAT or ACT. So if you want to get a 99th percentile SAT score or a 34 on the ACT, it’s possible that you can do it.Read More
ACT & SAT Prep and College Admissions Blog
What is the best way to prepare for the ACT or SAT?
Well, it’s true arriving at a useful answer to this question does depend a lot on your timing and the context. If you are a junior with average grades, but aspire to get a high SAT score, and you take the SAT in 30 days, this article should be able to help adopt the right mindset and bring some calm and confidence to exam day. But practically, with only 30 days until the exam, you should be considering online SAT tutoring or an SAT crash course to get the best SAT score you possibly can. SAT tutoring and courses can and will help you get a higher score.Read More
Since we are an SAT tutoring company, you might expect us to argue that hiring an SAT coach is almost always worth it. But we don’t believe that to be true.Read More
Parents of high schoolers frequently ask me when the best time is to begin planning for college. My answer is usually “now!” which often, and more importantly, leads to talking about “how.”Read More
You may have heard it said before that applying to college is a “process,” and it really is. Additionally, every student’s process is different. However, there are some typical stages a student may go through to find their ideal college, and in this blog we outline them for you.
We recommend that students seriously begin the college process during their junior year. If students or families are college-focused, there are things freshman and sophomores can do, but they mostly revolve around earning strong grades and getting involved in activities. Toward the middle of junior year, students can kick- off the college process by determining what qualities they want in an ideal college. Students should consider size, location, major, and other factors to create an initial list of schools.
During the next stage of the process, students will research potential colleges online, in books, through campus visits and other ways. By learning more about colleges, students can determine which schools they really like and which ones they don’t. They can also determine which criteria are more important than others (ie, “It’s really important to me that the school has an equestrian program, so I’ll look at schools smaller than I initially wanted.”) During this stage, it’s important that students verbalize their goals and be realistic about their expectations. It’s also helpful when families plan college visits and attend college-sponsored information sessions.
When it comes time to apply to colleges, the stress level can be at an all-time high. Deadlines, essays, resumes, interviews... the list goes on and it can be a lot for a student to manage alone. Parents, school counselors, admission counselors and college counselors are all helpful resources to help students during this time.
At some point, hopefully earlier rather than later, families need to have a conversation about the cost of college and how to pay for it. Honesty is the best policy; parents should let students know what their realistic options are. Students may need to add less expensive colleges to the list, apply to schools where they are likely to receive a grant, and/or apply for scholarships.
The final stage of the process is usually the favorite one, but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Once a student has (hopefully) a few acceptances to various colleges, the family needs to sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each school. Sometimes it’s an easy decision, but occasionally it’s really difficult. Families need to have these discussions and come up with a decision that everyone is happy with.
SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR
- Take the ACT/SAT
- Take time this summer to volunteer or shadow a professional
- Go on campus visits to start narrowing down your college list
- 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)