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But We Never Learned This! Math Concepts on the ISEE You Probably Haven’t Learned Yet in School (Part 2)

By | Independent School Admissions, ISEE, Test Prep | No Comments

Below you’ll find a detailed breakdown of concepts and material for each level of the ISEE(along with handy sample problems and solutions) that students may not have encountered yet during their normal schooling. Lower-Level ISEE On the lower-level test, a fourth or fifth-grader can expect to see these concepts from the fifth-grade curriculum, which might…

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But We Never Learned This! Math Concepts on the ISEE You Probably Haven’t Learned Yet in School (Part 1)

By | Independent School Admissions, ISEE, Test Prep | No Comments

“Help! I never learned this!” is a common reaction of students taking an ISEE diagnostic test for the first time, and for good reason. Unless they’re working a couple of years above grade-level, most students (before test preparation) will encounter math concepts and types of problems on the test they have never seen before. The…

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Building Vocabulary Skills for Life

By | HSPT, ISEE, Test Prep | No Comments

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….

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Building Reading Habits for Life

By | ISEE, Test Prep | No Comments

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…

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Putting It Together: The Complicated Math of Financial Aid Packages

By | College Admissions, Financial Aid, Uncategorized | No Comments

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…

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Free Money for School! Tips for Applying for Private Scholarships

By | College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships | One Comment

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…

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

By | College Admissions, Financial Aid, Uncategorized | No Comments

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…

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CHSPE vs. GED: What’s the Difference?

By | CHSPE | No Comments

CHSPE vs. GED: What’s the Difference? For individuals in California who wish to receive a certificate of high school equivalency—technically equal to that of a diploma—passing the GED (General Education Diploma) test and the CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam) will serve the same function. There are, however, some important differences between the tests. “Early…

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Why One-on-One Tutoring?

By | High School, Test Prep | No Comments

Proven Effectiveness Numerous studies show that one-on-one tutoring by a highly qualified tutor is one of the most effective ways to increase grades, academic achievement, and test scores. It has also been proven to improve student attitudes about school, especially for the subjects in which a student is struggling. Individualized Instruction A private tutor hones…

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The Pros and Cons of Retaking a Standardized Test

By | ACT, College Admissions, GMAT, GRE, HSPT, Independent School Admissions, ISEE, SAT, SSAT, Test Prep | No Comments

After working through a grueling standardized admissions test, the moment of judgement arrives when you get your scores. If you got the score you were hoping for, congratulations! You can now focus your time and energy on the rest of the admissions process. If your score is much lower than you’d hoped, however, you have…

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An Overview of the GRE Quantitative Section

By | Graduate School Admissions, GRE, GRE Tips, Test Prep | No Comments

According to the ETS Web site, the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE General Test measures “problem-solving ability, focusing on basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.” What doesn’t it test? This is not a test geared towards math majors; the actual math on the test is what you (hopefully) learned in high school. In…

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An Overview of the GRE Analytical Writing Section

By | Graduate School Admissions, GRE, GRE Tips, Test Prep | No Comments

What does it test? According to the ETS Web site, the Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test “measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.” It measures these skills by having you write two 30-minute essays: the Issue Essay and the Argument Essay….

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An Overview of the GRE Verbal Section

By | Graduate School Admissions, GRE, GRE Tips, Test Prep | No Comments

According to the ETS Web site, the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE General Test “measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.” To put it in simpler terms, it measures your verbal reasoning,…

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The Right Way to Self-Proctor a Practice Test

By | ACT, CHSPE, College Admissions, GMAT, GMAT Tips, GRE, GRE Tips, HSPT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT, SAT Tips, SSAT, Test Prep | No Comments

Proctoring an organized diagnostic/practice test is an easy job. All the proctor does is keep time and “babysit” a room full of quiet kids, right? So, why even wake up early and go into an office or classroom to do something you could do at home? One reason is that some students don’t take the…

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SAT and ACT Test Prep for Students with Disabilities

By | Accommodations, ACT, College Admissions, High School, Learning Differences, SAT, SAT Tips, Test Prep | No Comments

Sitting hunched over a desk and bubbling in an answer sheet for hours at a time doesn’t bring out the best in most students, but it can be especially overwhelming if you are a student with a learning disability and/or ADHD. While there is no magic formula to help you get a perfect score, the…

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ISEE Prep for Students with Disabilities: Part 2

By | Accommodations, High School, Independent School Admissions, ISEE, Learning Differences, Test Prep | No Comments

If you are the parent of a student with a disability, registering for the ISEE is a task in itself. Part I of this post discussed the unique requirements and characteristics of the ISEE, along with the process of applying for accommodations. Once a student is registered, however, there is an even bigger task ahead:…

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ISEE Prep for Students with Disabilities: Part I

By | High School, Independent School Admissions, ISEE, Learning Differences, Test Prep | No Comments

The demands of the ISEE can be overwhelming for any student, but it can be especially difficult for students with a learning disability and/or ADHD. Part I of this post will address the unique requirements and characteristics of the ISEE, along with the process of applying for accommodations. While there is no magic formula to…

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The New, Improved College Board Accommodations Approval Process

By | Accommodations, College Admissions, High School, Learning Differences, PSAT, SAT, SAT Tips, Test Prep | No Comments

For students with disabilities, applying for and receiving accommodations for College Board exams (including the PSAT, SAT, and AP tests) has been a daunting task–sometimes more daunting than actually taking the tests! Parents and school administrators often had to submit extensive documentation, and even then sometimes the request was denied and would have to be…

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Why take the PSAT?

By | PSAT | No Comments

Why take the PSAT? Short for Preliminary SAT, the PSAT is administered to sophomores and juniors every October across the nation. While it is not officially a factor on the college application, there are many reasons for sophomores and juniors to take it, and to take it seriously. Here are just a few: You’ll have…

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