Scholarship Mom Tip #151: The Word of the Day Matters
Nov19

Scholarship Mom Tip #151: The Word of the Day Matters

Test prep programs are a great way to help students increase scores and a word of the day calendar can make a great gift to help build vocabulary.

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SAT Test Prep Tips from Magoosh on #CampusChat
Oct09

SAT Test Prep Tips from Magoosh on #CampusChat

Featured guest, Magoosh, shares SAT test prep tips during #CampusChat. From practice tests to video tutoring, there’s a wealth of resources available.

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’twas the Night Before SATs
Nov30

’twas the Night Before SATs

Author and humorist Nancy Berk shares her take on that timely (and often dreaded) event in the following video excerpt from her book–College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get Into A Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind.

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SAT Test Prep Tips
May31

SAT Test Prep Tips

Got SAT test anxiety? Preparation is the key and even if you’re in a time crunch with a test date looming, there’s still time to pick up some quick tips to help you along the way. Our four-part series is co-published with BellCurves. To read the complete series, click here, or download the PDF version. Each section of our test prep guide is listed below: The Test Environment – It’s a different world, so go prepared when you sit for the SAT. Scoring – Should you skip a question on the SAT? Understand the scoring, then decide. (Re)Learn the Content – The SAT and ACT test you on content from 1st through 11th grade. The Tricks – Know that tricks are not magic.  They are soundly reasoned strategies that let you take advantage of the quirks and patterns of the test to either do work faster or make a good guess. If you’re still anxious, enjoy the comedic style of Dr. Nancy Berk, author, psychologist, mom and regular contributor to Smart College Visit:  ’twas the Night Before...

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Expert Tips on How to Prepare for SAT/ACT Tests, Part 1: The Environment
Nov29

Expert Tips on How to Prepare for SAT/ACT Tests, Part 1: The Environment

Akil Bello ALL YOU EVER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SAT AND ACT: The Environment The following is Part 1 of our 4-part series on SAT/ACT test prep developed by Akil Bello, co-founder of Bell Curves: In my 20+ year career in test preparation, I’ve been asked at least 1000 times “what would you tell a child getting ready for the SAT or ACT?” My response is universally the same: “Prepare.” This short answer is really the best advice anyone can give anyone getting ready for any test. It’s what we all did for our driving test; its what we did for our weekly spelling test in 3rd grade; its what people do when they defend their dissertations in graduate school. This test is no different from any other in that preparation results in better scores. That being said, how one prepares for the SAT/ACT is very different than how one prepares for a test in school, so to help you out I’m going to give a bit more clarity to the truism “prepare.” The short list to the short answer: Prepare for the environment. Learn the scoring and content. (Re)Learn the content. Learn the tricks Now for the details: 1. Prepare for the environment. Taking the SAT or ACT is a very tough and strange experience for most kids and the PSAT or PLAN are like running a 5k to prepare for a marathon – it’s nice but not enough. To get yourself ready for the SAT/ACT you have to experience it. Think of it this way: if you were getting ready to perform a Chopin piece in Carnegie Hall would you prepare by playing Do-Re-Me at home? Probably not. You’ve got to simulate the full experience as much as you can. NFL Players will practice with crowd noise blaring in the background to simulate a loud stadium. You should do something similar. Take a full-length proctored practice test in a room with other kids (sniffling, tapping, grunting, and groaning when you are trying to concentrate). Take a full-length practice test with a proctor who doesn’t give a 5 minute warning. If you prepare for the testing environment you increase you chance of success on the day of the actual test. –>Continue to Part 2: Scoring. *** Akil Bello is co-founder of Bell Curves, a socially responsible test preparation and educational services company based in New York City. Since its inception, the company has developed a diverse clientele comprised of non-profit organizations, educational institutions, young professionals, and college and graduate school-bound students. For more tips on test prep, check out the Bell Curves Blog. Related SAT/ACT Test Prep...

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Expert Tips on How to Prepare for SAT/ACT Tests, Part 4: The Tricks
Nov29

Expert Tips on How to Prepare for SAT/ACT Tests, Part 4: The Tricks

ALL YOU EVER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SAT AND ACT The following is part 4 of our 4-part series on SAT/ACT test prep. To read the entire article, click here, or download a PDF version here. Part 4. Learn the tricks. You’ll hear a bunch about tricks for the test, which are only partially useful. Tricks mean different things to different people so when you are looking for “tricks” to make you a better test taker you have to understand what a trick is and whether it will help you or not. The most popular SAT/ACT “tricks:”  Plugging in numbers to avoid doing algebra (this one is gold) The word “being” is always wrong in grammar questions (this is diamond, while it’s valuable its rare) Using the addition/subtraction method for simultaneous equations rather than substitution (this is in many math textbooks) Eliminating answer choices that are “obvious” (this one is sketchy because if you can tell its a bad choice, can you not just find the good choice?) Not reading all of a reading comprehension passage (this is great for the SAT not so much for the ACT). You probably see where this list of tricks is going; it’s a combination of things that may or may not be real “tricks” but it’s important to remember that they are not magic.  They are soundly reasoned strategies that let you take advantage of the quirks and patterns of the test to either do work faster or make a good guess. If you learn the nuances of the test well it becomes predictable, laughable, and much more enjoyable. I hope this helps you better understand what to do to prep for these tests. If not drop me a comment and I’ll clarify in later posts! –>Continue to Part 3: The Content. –>Review Part 2:...

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