Why US News and World Report Rankings Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean

Contributed by: Stacey Cunitz, Director of Blue Moon Educational Consulting

Each year, US News and World Report (USNWR) releases its rankings of colleges, and everyone scrambles to figure out what they mean. On the face of it, they are purporting to tell us which colleges are the “best” colleges. However, when we take the time to unpack the methodology, what we find out is that, at best, the rankings simply reinforce the status quo. At worst, the rankings make us overlook some schools that are doing great work and might be the right fit for a particular student.

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Posted in News, College Admissions

Procrastination: What It Is and How to Handle It

In our latest video, we discuss procrastination and how best to handle it. Procrastinating is something that nearly all of us do. But for some students putting off tasks can lead to the feeling that even starting them is impossible, leading to unnecessary stress and anxiety.

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Posted in Study Techniques, News, Executive Function

What You Need to Know About the Coalition App

Contributed by: Laura Blanche

With summer approaching and the college application season ramping up for rising seniors, there is a fairly new application platform and free college planning tool available called the Coalition App, which is short for The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. Introduced a couple of years ago, the Coalition has grown to over 140-member colleges that accept it as a form of application to their college or university. There are three universities—The University of Maryland,  The University of Florida, and The University of Washington—that exclusively use the Coalition App as their own. A full list of member colleges can be viewed on the Coalition website: coalitionforcollegeaccess.org.

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Posted in News, College Admissions

Featured Test Prep Student: Aengus Dublin

Establishing a good relationship between tutor and student is crucial to success. Aengus developed a relationship with his tutors, Kevin Holsopple and Julie Mueller, that just “clicked,” to use his words.

We asked him to elaborate.

“They were both comforting and supportive,” Aengus told us. “They let me know it was okay to make mistakes.”

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Posted in News, Featured Student

SAT or ACT? Find Out Which Test is Right for You

You’re in high school, or you may be the parent of a student in high school. You’re looking towards future possibilities: college, graduate school, graduations, internships, careers.

Not so fast! First, there’s a test.

Actually, there are two tests. College-bound students usually take either the SAT or the ACT as part of their admissions path. The need to choose between the two can trigger several questions.

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Posted in Test Preparation, SAT, Test Prep, College Admissions, ACT

Featured Tutor: Kevin Holsopple

Meet Kevin Holsopple, our A+ tutor in the spotlight.

Kevin has worn many hats in his lifetime, and he brings the accompanying experience with him to A+ Test Prep and Tutoring to serve our students.

Care to discuss degrees? Kevin holds both a BS and MS in nuclear engineering from Penn State. He also possesses an MBA and a master’s in environmental engineering from the same institution.

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Posted in News, Tutoring

The Fit Education Consulting College Visit Guide

Contributed by: Diana Rodgers

College visits can be exhausting, confusing, and overwhelming for parents and prospective students. However, it does not have to be this way! Careful planning and following a solid protocol are the secret to a positive college visit experience.

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Posted in College Admissions

A Thank You Letter from Dan Ascher

Dear Friends,

Thanks to all of you who voted for A+ Test Prep and Tutoring on this year’s Montco Happenings List. It was an honor to be recognized as the top tutoring service in Montgomery County!

We’ve been working with families like yours since 1988 to help your students achieve their goals and reach their dreams, and I feel so lucky to have gotten to work with so many wonderful students over the years. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to know you and your families. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you.

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Posted in News

Practice Matters: The Importance of Proctored Practice Exams

What does it take to excel?

In “Why Practice Tests Matter So Much,”an article written for the website Chariot Learning, author Mike Bergin asks us to consider some examples that illustrate the value of practice.

“Have you ever met someone who planned to take her road test without first logging as much time as possible behind the wheel? Do you know any athletes that expect to play if they miss practice? How about actors who perform without ever rehearsing?”

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Posted in Test Preparation, Free Proctored SAT and ACT Exams, Test Prep

Featured Test Prep Student: Amanda Fricker

“Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes progress.”

That is the maxim that Amanda Fricker quoted to us when we sat down to talk about her A+ experience. It’s the philosophy that enabled her to raise her ACT score from 25 to 28.

Amanda, who lives in Bucks County, is a student at Council Rock North High School. In addition to belonging to the National English, French, and Social Studies Honor Societies, she plays field hockey, is a member of ski club, and participates in SHARE (Students Helping Area Residents Effectively). As part of SHARE, Amanda contributes to the community. She has tutored at-risk inner city students. During the recent storms, she shoveled walkways for homeowners who couldn’t do it on their own. When she started studying for her standardized tests, she had a lot on her plate!

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Posted in Featured Student

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