Tag Archives: test prep

The College Board administers the SAT in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. ACT, Inc. follows suit by offering the ACT in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July (everywhere but New York). So if students can only take the SAT or ACT during the school year, why should they prep during the 2.5-month summer span when they can’t? The answer is obvious: because there’s no school! Today’s college-bound high school students are busier than ever before. No, that’s not a cliché. As admissions standards spiral ever higher (along with tuition), students strive to differentiate themselves through advanced classes, sports, clubs, jobs, and every other activity they can fit into each overscheduled week. This frenzy of activity reaches its peak in junior year, from the beginning of fall sports until the end of finals. Considering how many important commitments students are asked to juggle, why not try…

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Considering how many changes and questions the college admissions process holds for the high school graduating class of 2022, there is tremendous benefit to checking in on a regular basis to assess facts and dispel rumors. To that end, it was my great pleasure to join Eric Domroes and Karina Anderson from the Mendon HS Counseling Department for an interactive discussion with district 11th graders and parents about the current state of college testing admissions. What will you learn in this video? How are colleges considering test scores for the HS class of 2022? What does test optional really mean and who do these policies benefit? How does selectivity influence the necessity of test scores? What are the most recent changes to the SAT and ACT? How can a student determine which test to take? When should students plan to take the SAT and/or ACT? When and how should students…

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All exams, with the exception of those administered by medical professionals, presuppose some level of background knowledge or experience. Score data lacks meaning without the context of the test takers themselves. The same standard applies to test prep, in that knowing where a student begins not only explains prior results but also future paths and potential outcomes. If you are about to embark on an odyssey of exam preparation, whether through self-prep or with an expert, ask yourself a few pointed questions as you begin… and answer carefully! How familiar are you with the exam you are preparing for? REASON: Familiarity with test content, structure, and timing represents the low-hanging fruit of score improvement. Those who retake a standardized test often score higher simply because they have more experience and insight into what to expect. However, that trend won’t hold for further retakes without additional practice and coaching. How much…

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When you want to prep for a standardized test–and you should always prep–the right class can offer the optimal mix of insight, expertise, and value. Assuming you can find a class taught by proven experts that includes both curriculum instruction and practice testing and review, you should sign up… as long as group instruction makes sense for you. Just keep in mind that even the best class should be seen not as a complete package but rather as a powerful foundation for success. What does this mean? A class is a start. When you take a cooking class, you don’t instantly master cuisine just because an instructor supervised the preparation of one easy recipe. Becoming a great chef requires the same elements mastery in every field demands: practice and coaching. The right class provides essential information and techniques for success that only become yours through additional work. Over the years,…

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Coming into March 2020, most high schoolers had the rest of the school year mapped out: Spring Break, state tests, prom, finals and maybe more tests like APs, SATs, ACTs, and Subject Tests before the long-awaited summer vacation. No matter what you planned, the global pandemic of COVID-19 delivered a stark reminder of Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke’s oft-quoted insight: No plan survives contact with the enemy. This reminder resonates at a time when our greatest enemy may be uncertainty. As I write this, we have no idea when closed schools will resume or if any spring sports or activities may be salvaged or written off as losses. We know that the April ACT and May SAT have been cancelled, but will the June SAT and ACT run? Will those online AP exams carry the same weight as the traditional ones? We honestly have no idea what next week holds,…

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If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times: if you’re not taking tests, you’re not really doing test prep. This is not to say that effective test preparation doesn’t incorporate an extensive array of educational strategies and interventions beyond testing. The best test prep programs don’t ignore individualized instruction, systematic content review, or targeted coaching and feedback; they simply make sure they leverage the power of practice testing to full effect. How exactly can a learner best leverage the full value of practice testing? Start with a perfect representation of an official test, ideally published by the actual test maker. Next, seek out an opportunity to take this test under simulated testing conditions, optimally with a trained proctor. Lastly, take the test as seriously as possible to derive maximum experiential value. Yet, even this simple recipe for success may be improved upon with a few more choice…

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