Chariot Learning Blog

Do you live within 50 miles of Ithaca, NY and have college in your (or your teen’s) sights? I’m excited to announce the first Greater Ithaca Getting-Into-And-Succeeding-In College Fair. This isn’t your typical event with long rows of college admissions reps. Instead, this free fair will feature expert presentations on getting into, paying for, and excelling in college. Chariot Learning is partnering with Beth Howland of College Navigators to present this innovative educational event on Saturday, May 11 from 10:30am-1:30pm: Tompkins County Public Library Borg Warner Room 101 E Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850 You can look forward to Upstate New York experts in every element of the college process from getting in to getting out with maximum success and minimum debt! Check out the itinerary: 10:40 SAT vs. ACT: Which Should You Take? Mike Bergin, President of Chariot Learning, Co-host of Tests and the Rest podcast 11:00  Understanding and…

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March 2024 didn’t mark the world’s first digital adaptive SAT–that took place in March 2023. This year’s first SAT was, however, the inaugural U.S administration, which meant that exponentially more eyes were on the exam and its implications. As the President of the National Test Prep Association, I facilitated a conference to bring 70 educators and counselors from around the globe to crowdsource observations from tens of thousands of students after March scores were released. Here are some of the major conclusions: 1. The official test is harder than the Bluebook tests. Based on reports from students who have been taking digital SATs outside the US, we anticipated that the Bluebook exams might not adequately prepare test takers for the highest difficulty items on the test. Even the newest additions to Bluebook–tests 5 & 6–more closely resemble the practice tests than the official tests. How did this disparity in difficulty…

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Despite the dream of going one and done on your admissions test of choice, ACT and SAT retakes often pay off handsomely. In fact, we’ve known for a long time just how worthwhile taking another SAT or ACT can be. In the interest of further quantifying the benefits of retakes, ACT parsed the data from students who took the ACT multiple times with the goal of improving their scores and postsecondary credentials. The October 2022 paper, Six Things You Should Know About ACT Score Gains From Retesting, drew significant conclusions: 1. Average score gains are modest (about 1 score point) Specifically, the average time from the first to the last test was 8.3 months and the average ACT Composite score gain was 1.14. 2. Score gains increase with more time between tests That said, ACT scores tend to increase more while students are in school and stagnate or even decline…

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No matter how much you’ve planned or prepped for your official SAT date, you can’t get in without an admission ticket. In the days of paper tests, you’d have a paper ticket to print and present. Getting your SAT admission ticket in the digital age is a bit more complicated but every bit as essential–those who don’t follow the right steps in advance will not be able to sit for their exams. Start the process 1–5 days before the test. We strongly recommend taking care of this on Monday or Tuesday for a Saturday exam: Log into your account on Bluebook, the same testing application you’ll use to take the SAT, on the device you’ll use on test day. Follow the prompts to complete a system check and exam setup. When you see a green check and “Your exam setup is complete,” you’ve done it. At the end of exam setup, the…

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The pursuit of higher education is a noble endeavor, yet it often comes with the heavy burden of financial debt. However, with strategic planning and smart decisions, it’s entirely possible to minimize or even bypass the need for student loans. This guest article from Laura Pearson, co-creator of Edutude. delves into a series of actionable strategies designed to empower students to manage their finances effectively. Through Edutude, Laura strives to find unique, creative ways for parents and educators to encourage students to be challenged, motivated and excited by learning. In addition to her work with Edutude, Pearson is an advocate for children’s rights and education. Leveraging Academic Resources for Success One of the most underutilized treasures of higher education is the plethora of academic support services available to students. Universities offer various resources, including free tutoring and workshops, aimed at enhancing student performance. By taking advantage of these resources, students…

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When someone mentions “tests,” the emotion that flowers in our heads, hearts, or the pits of our stomachs rarely resembles love. Anxiety typically tops the list, but feelings range along an emotional spectrum that encompasses irritation, fear, and flat-out hate. Many become irrational at the very mention of tests; at least one infamous crank has made a cottage industry out of whining about standardized tests. So why do I love tests? I love the challenge of a well-designed test, both the methodical ingenuity behind each question and the inexorable gauntlet of the test as a whole. I love the opportunity to compete against a potential pool of millions of test takers, past, present, and future. And, because I’ve always been good at most tests, I love to win… nailing a particularly tough test feels like a profound victory. However, my personal reasons for appreciating oft-maligned assessments do not, in themselves,…

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