SAT & ACT

What makes good Test Prep?

Posted by on Mar 15, 2012 in SAT & ACT | 0 comments

What makes good Test Prep?

Based upon decades of experience, the leaders at Eureka Test Prep and Study Smarter recommend the following:

  • Students need to take lots of full exams to increase their test taking stamina
  • Students can start with SAT tutoring, even if the student is going to take the ACT because the tips learned for the SAT will help with ACT preparation as well.
  • Students doing group prep should work with a group that puts students in groups based on pre-test scores. That way the students are working on the same skills
  • Tutors should have regular professional development, use actual ACT/SAT exams for student practice and have students practice taking full exams
  • Students who receive accommodations of extra time usually increase their ACT score more than their SAT score
  • Students should start test prep the spring of junior year, unless a student has higher than a 190 on his/her PSAT (those students can benefit from earlier test prep to potentially become a National Merit Finalist)
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University fabricating SAT scores?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in SAT & ACT | 0 comments

University fabricating SAT scores?

To keep up to date on what is going on in the national landscape of college admissions, I often visit the New York Times “Choice Blog.”
Recently there was an article about Claremont McKenna College fabricating their SAT numbers in an effort to move up higher in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The article goes on to explain how different universities manipulate, hide or delete data in an effort to look more prestigious and selective.

What I want families to take away from this article is that the value of a university cannot be reduced to the selection criteria of the U.S. News and World Report. Instead of thinking in terms of what colleges are “good” colleges based on rankings, I challenge families to talk about what it means to do “good work” in college. Once you lay that out on the table the next question you can ask your student is, “what do you need in order to produce you best work and how can you make the most out of your college experience?” Students may need inspiring teachers, diverse perspectives, interesting topics, hands-on projects, service learning or cross disciplinary connections. Challenging students to think about what factors have helped them in the past to achieve success can be a much more interesting and illuminating discussion than where a certain school ranks in the U.S. News and World Report. It can also bring students closer to understanding the college environment that will be best for them.

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