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Building Vocabulary Skills for Life

Last month, I discussed the importance of building good reading skills and habits. Another important way to “prepare early” for tests and improve general academic performance is to build vocabulary skills. A strong vocabulary is a huge help on virtually any standardized test. Some tests, including the ISEE and the GRE, directly test vocabulary knowledge. [...]

By | 2018-05-30T16:41:45+00:00 June 8th, 2018|HSPT, ISEE, Test Prep|0 Comments

Big Change Coming to ACT’s Extended Time Policy

ACT 50% Extended Time Will Be Similar to SAT’s Starting September 2018 On May 21, the ACT announced a significant change in the way it administers extended time. Up until now, test-takers receiving an accommodation for time-and-a-half on the nationally administered ACT test were given one five-hour block of time and allowed to divide it [...]

By | 2018-05-30T16:47:28+00:00 May 31st, 2018|ACT|0 Comments

When Should My Child Take the ISEE?

On August 1, 2017, the first day registration opened for the Fall 2017 ISEE testing dates, a concerned mother got to her computer at 9:00 A.M., determined to reserve the ideal testing time and location for her son. She was shocked when she discovered several of her preferred dates were already full--other parents had gotten [...]

Building Reading Habits for Life

As a test tutor, I sometimes encounter parents who want to start preparing their students early for tests like the ISEE and SAT. While students should learn some test-taking skills and strategies, my best advice to those who want to “prepare early” is to spend more time reading. Reading comprehension shows up on almost every [...]

By | 2018-05-11T09:41:10+00:00 May 11th, 2018|ISEE, Test Prep|0 Comments

How to Determine Your Target SAT/ACT Score

Though it’s tempting to simply say you want to score “as high as possible” on your college admissions exam, a target score will help you determine how much of your limited time and energy you devote to test preparations. So how should you determine you target score? There are several factors to consider: 1) What [...]

By | 2018-05-01T13:08:41+00:00 April 27th, 2018|ACT, College Admissions, SAT, Test Prep|0 Comments

How Many AP Classes Should You Take?

If you’re a high school student choosing classes for next year, an important question is how many Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes you should take. For years, the answer to this question was, “More!” The number of students taking AP classes has doubled in the past ten years, and also doubled in the ten [...]

By | 2018-04-11T17:17:32+00:00 April 13th, 2018|College Admissions, High School, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Legacy Admissions and College Acceptance Rates

As top schools become more and more competitive, many people have been scrutinizing the practice of legacy admissions, which means giving preferential treatment to children and close relatives of alumni. There’s good reason for this attention: Harvard’s 2017 survey shows that 29% of its incoming freshman class are legacy students. Other Ivy League and highly [...]

By | 2018-03-08T16:43:12+00:00 March 30th, 2018|College Admissions|0 Comments

Putting It Together: The Complicated Math of Financial Aid Packages

If you are a top student and you play the financial aid game right, you could end up with multiple sources of free money: a needs-based grant, a merit scholarship from the school, and/or outside scholarships. The way your school combines these aid sources can be more important than the numbers themselves. It’s important to [...]

Free Money for School! Tips for Applying for Private Scholarships

When I was a high school student (a long, long time ago), I knew that affording college was going to be a challenge for my family. Because of this, I paid careful attention to our school’s scholarship bulletin—which, at the time, was a paper posted on a bulletin board—and applied for numerous private scholarships, starting [...]

Maximizing Your Aid, Minimizing Your Costs: Need-Based Grants and Merit Scholarships

The FAFSA and Profile (discussed in these previous posts: Part 1 and Part 2) will determine your family’s financial need and “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC), but it’s up to the school and the government to determine how much you actually pay. Government Grants Certain forms of government student aid, such as Pell Grants and Cal [...]

By | 2018-02-09T15:33:49+00:00 February 16th, 2018|College Admissions, Financial Aid, Uncategorized|0 Comments