Tag Archives: ACT

529 plans, tax advantaged investment vehicles designed to make it easier to save and pay for college or alternate post-secondary training, have been in the news lately. These plans, otherwise known as qualified tuition programs, have become somewhat popular with families all too aware of the steadily rising cost of a college education. Over the years, a number of clients have come to us requesting documentation so they could use 529 college savings plan funds to pay for their SAT & ACT prep. The practice become so common that we started telling new clients about the 529 option as a matter of course. Good thing we’re in education, not tax services! The last time a client commented to me on how excited she was about the option of using 529 college funds to pay for prep, I decided to consult an actual accountant to confirm what I thought was true.…

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NextStepU has been running a terrifically informative series of short video interviews called 5 Minutes to College. David Mammano, the CEO/Founder of NextStepU, has spent 5 minutes at a time with admissions consultants, career experts, and college sports pros. At last, he’s turned the camera on an expert in test preparation: yours truly!     David and I discuss the following essential points in this video, which you are sure to find informative and possibly even witty: Whether the SAT & ACT are here to stay How the ACT differs from the SAT What 5 steps a student should take to prep for the tests When should a high schooler prepare As you imagine, we needed a little more than 5 minutes to cover these topics, but spare just a little more than 7 minutes, and you’ll learn a lot!

If a four-year college, especially a competitive one, is in your future, the question is not if you’ll be taking the SAT or ACT, but rather when. Some families want to start planning for test day during the first week of high school. Others, unfortunately, don’t consider testing until midway through senior year. But, as you’ve surely heard, timing is everything. Taking the SAT or ACT at the right time ensures the right levels of readiness while allowing a buffer for retesting. When should a student take the SAT or ACT? In the absence of extenuating circumstances, the best time to take these tests is 11th grade. Junior year is ideal for the tests for many reasons, which ACT has skillfully summarized: You’ve probably completed the coursework corresponding to the test material. You’ll have your test scores and other information in time to help you plan your senior year. (For…

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We should all follow Denis Waitley’s advice heading into a big test: “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” But some test day surprises surpass the bounds of common sense… like deer attacks. This past Saturday morning, a deer crashed the party during an SAT administration at Lockport High School.   School Board President John A. Linderman said the deer struck a door in the music wing, damaging a pane on the door, and then ran off. “Some of the kids saw it,” Linderman said. He said no injuries were reported.The pane of glass on the door was broken. Linderman said that despite the drama, the kids were able to complete their testing.   This is the first time I’ve heard about a test disrupted by a deer. Have you heard of other test day wildlife encounters?

Almost a decade ago, the creators of both the SAT and ACT introduced essays to their previously pristine multiple-choice exams. Each organization charted a different course, differing in what the essays are written on, how long students have to write, and, perhaps most importantly, whether students are even required to write the essay. Considering that the College Board is moving towards a longer optional essay, it’s fair to say the ACT model won that particular competition. That said, one more aspect of the ACT essay infrastructure deserves recognition and further consideration from that other testing authority. While both organizations assign students 2-12 essay scores through a similar grading process, ACT provides additional context for performance in the form of stock essay comments. These essay comments, derived from the ACT scoring rubric, are selected by one of the two essay readers for inclusion on the student score report. Code numbers corresponding…

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The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people. ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

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