Author Archives: Mike Bergin

If your son or daughter is currently entering 10th grade, you may not be entirely steeped in every detail of every aspect of college admissions… at least not yet! But decisions made early in high school often prove influential for better or worse once college applications start shipping. You and your teen should be thinking about academic rigor, extracurricular commitments, and innovative ways to pursue their most particular interests. And, for just a moment, you might think about admissions tests. Make no mistake: 10th grade is too soon for most (but not all) teens to take the SAT or ACT. But change is coming to the SAT, and we’re already getting questions about how to proceed. The SAT is going fully digital in the United States in 2024. American students will see a digital PSAT in October 2023, but expect the March 2024 SAT to be the first domestic digital…

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For those of us who work with students to achieve their best grades and highest test scores, conversations about intelligence come up as often as discussions of athleticism in a major league broadcasting booth. Certain attributes very clearly connect to success in a specific task without actually being either necessary or sufficient, and intelligence definitely falls into that category. Part of the problem comes with mistaking intelligence with smarts. The term ‘smart’ seems to be a catch-all for a diverse mix of skills, strategies, and cognitive attributes the elude consensus. I like the spin Seth Godin–a genius in his own right–has on what smart really means these days: Smart is no longer memorization. It’s not worth much. Smart is no longer access to information. Everyone has that. Smart is: • Situational awareness • Filtering information • Troubleshooting • Clarity of goals • Good taste • Empathy and compassion for others…

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No matter what how the current SAT or ACT is scored, its score scale is arbitrary. Understanding the difference between a 200-800 SAT score and a 1-36 ACT score can drive a person crazy. That’s why percentiles matter so much. Every SAT and ACT section score is based off a raw score which is then converted to a scaled score based on a larger testing cohort. Any score report will include both scaled scores and percentile ranks. And, really, the only way to understand the value of the former is to consider the latter. For any given score, your percentile or percentile rank describes what percentage of the testing population you scored higher than. For example, a score in the 70th percentile is higher than 70% of all the scores for that population. When it comes to test scores, the higher the percentile, the better you are doing! Students prepping…

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College is definitely, at least in most cases, a pricy proposition. Attending community college or earning substantial scholarship awards can defray the financial costs of college, but higher education demands a considerable time commitment as well. Considering just how much college students (and their families) invest in higher education, questions about the return on that investment only make sense. Any attempt to evaluate potential ROI from attending college requires the juggling of a variety of complex terms along with a stomach for uncertainty. College major alone dramatically influences potential earnings after graduation. What other factors should smart shoppers consider? Net Price Net price is the average cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, and living expenses, minus aid received from all sources. Net Present Value (NPV) The net present value is how much a sum of money in the future is valued today. This metric includes costs,…

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The standard school year feels like a long slog, where students begin knowing very little in certain subjects and finish fearing that they’ve learned little more over seven or eight months of instruction. All those culminating exams from finals, APs, and state tests to the SAT and ACT may feel like obstacles in the way of a lovely summer break, but they actually represent critical opportunities to lock in learning and prove that a long year of study was not spent in vain. June is here. Crush the SAT, ACT, and every other test in your way. On the other side lies a long summer with plenty of time to rest, play, and prepare for future challenges!

At Chariot Learning, we have all kinds of effective ways to help students earn impressive test scores while learning critical academic and executive skills. With summer coming, you’re probably looking for help with testing as well as the larger higher education admissions process. Following are some of the essential resources we recommend for our prep students and all test takers, but feel free to contact us if you don’t see what you are looking for: GETTING STARTED Whether you are working with Chariot Learning or not, you’ll be able to better understand any and every aspect of test prep and admissions with these trusted sources: Chariot Learning Frequently Asked Questions Tests and the Rest college admissions podcast College Road parent newsletter Upstate College Conversations Facebook group Chariot Learning Motivational Instagram COLLEGE ADMISSIONS AND TESTING FOR THE HS CLASSES OF 2022 AND 2023 Understand the current admissions landscape better with this…

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