Author Archives: Jim Reinish

The beginning of December can be a very busy time for anyone connected with test prep or college planning.  Why? That’s when students start to get their PSAT scores back and, consequently, when parents get to see their child’s PSAT scores.  For many families, this marks the official beginning of a year or more of test-related angst and pressure. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re a parent who hasn’t yet learned what these scores mean and what your next steps should be, consider these tips to get you through the initial discovery of your child’s PSAT score: Other than for National Merit and related scholarship consideration, your child’s PSAT score means nothing!  In fact, a 10th grader’s PSAT score is not even used for National Merit Scholarship competition.  While the PSAT does offer a useful baseline to predict future SAT performance, it is, for all intents and purposes,…

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Clearly, 2020 has been a year of adjustments for students and teachers alike, but thankfully, technology and a little bit of creativity have gone a long way towards making it possible to tutor your children efficiently and effectively without losing that personal connection that one on one tutoring provides. When it was clear that the pandemic was going to keep me out of the office, I called my son who is a high school English teacher in Virginia and an admitted tech geek; his web site is appropriately titled teachernerd.com. I could see him smiling as he calmly walked me through my options. They ranged from simple and inexpensive to ridiculously complex and expensive. I chose an option that would make the most of what hardware I already had and only required a $100 purchase. I have Zoom loaded on my MacBook Pro. I recently upgraded my internet speed, so…

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The recent negative publicity that the SAT has received once again exposed College Board’s inability to provide students and colleges with both a perfect test environment and a reliable measurement tool. This is nothing new. It just received a lot of publicity this time. After the story broke, my wife asked me why the colleges don’t offer their own entrance exams. My response was that despite having more than fifty years to come up with an alternative, they have done nothing. Sadly–and I say this as a parent–I don’t think it will ever change. Colleges simply do not have the resources to give your child’s application the review time that it deserves. As a result, they are dependent on two numbers: GPA and test scores. One would hope that GPA is a reasonable measure of a student’s academic accomplishments, although high schools are unfortunately not immune to the grade inflation…

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So… you are finally ready for the big test. You go to sleep Friday night, confident in your progress and abilities, and proceed to be agonized by nightmares that limit you to two hours of sleep. Or worse, you get so much sleep that you slumber right through your alarm. Better to have a strategy to make sure that all of your hard work was not in vain. For starters, don’t do any prep work Friday night. Cramming may work for final exams and college, but if you aren’t prepared for the test by the night before, you are in trouble. From personal experience, I can attest to this. Many years ago, I was frantically preparing a new manual for an SAT math class that I was running in New Jersey. I did something I hadn’t done since college – the dreaded “all-nighter”. With the book close to completion, I…

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