Should I Write the Optional SAT or ACT Essay?—Part 2

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we discussed the value of opting to write the optional SAT or ACT essay. Part 2 delves into the essay itself. Once you make the decision to write, how can you do your best?

The good news is that anything your English teachers have taught you along the way is likely to work here. So let’s take a lightning tour of what features go into a well-written essay.

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Posted in Test Prep

Should I Write the Optional SAT or ACT Essay?

(Part 1 of this two-part series addresses whether it benefits a student to complete the essay portion of his or her standardized test.)

To write or not to write? That is the question that plagues college applicants in between band practices, soccer games, algebra quizzes, and proctored practice SAT tests. Should I elect to write the optional SAT or ACT essay? Should I spend even more time taking an already tiring test? Is it worth it?

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Posted in Test Prep

Effective Executive Function Skills—Organization Tips for Busy Students (and Parents!)

Several times during the run of the hit TV series Sherlock, the title character (Sherlock Holmes) uses a memory technique called a “mind palace” to call up information stored in his brain. TV plots being what they are, the attempt nearly always yields spectacular results.

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Posted in Executive Function

Featured Test Prep Student: Sonoi Kawakami

Philadelphia’s A+ Test Prep and Tutoring is making waves in Hawaii! Recently we sat down to talk with Hawaii resident Sonoi Kawakami (by phone, of course) about her experiences and achievements working online with our tutor, Julie Mueller.

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Posted in Featured Student

The ACT Writing Test – An Overview, Part 2       

How is My Essay Scored?

(Second in a two-part series)

It’s test day, you’ve plowed through all the multiple-choice sections, and you’re now facing the essay… What happens next? Does it disappear into the great unknown where mysterious beings will evaluate it against an ancient, unknowable set of standards?

Not Quite.

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Posted in ACT Prep

The ACT Writing Test – An Overview, Part 1

(First in a two-part series)

It takes a lot of focus and endurance to complete the ACT test. As the Writing test associated with it is optional, the temptation is often to quietly opt out. After all, many colleges do not require the Writing section, and opting out of it means having more time and energy to devote to preparing for the English, Math, Reading, and Science sections.

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Posted in ACT Prep

Tips for Writing Your College Application Personal Statement

The following article was contributed by Dr. Mae Sakharov, College, Graduate School & Career Counseling.

The thought of writing a college application personal statement of 250 to 650 words as part of a college application sends chills down many students' spines. They shudder at the thought of being judged on such a little piece of writing. Some spend restless nights thinking about what magnum opus lies buried in the depths of their unconscious.

How can their story, most often that of a generally unscathed 17-year-old, be told in a way that is unique, putting them over the top with the admissions committee? The stress over what should go into an essay often rises beyond all appropriate proportions.

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Posted in College Admissions

SAT and ACT Vocabulary, Revisited

What do the words anachronistic, demagogue, and lobbyist have in common?

According to Quizlet, they are three of the “Top 100 Common SAT/ACT Vocabulary Words.”

Building a strong vocabulary is an integral part of effective preparation for any standardized test. The best way to absorb vocabulary, of course, is slowly throughout all of a student’s school years. It’s done by reading, defining, and using new words. But if you have a couple of months until your first ACT test and you’d like to give your word power a boost, what can you do?

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Posted in Test Prep

Student Discounts - Part II

A few weeks ago, we posted a short article offering information on student travel discounts. This second article highlights even more discounts for students. We direct you to some helpful websites as well!

Students are able to take advantage of more discounts than any other category of customer (with the possible exception of senior citizens). When buying a product or service, it’s always wise to inquire whether the price will drop if you or one of your party is a student. A case in point is auto insurance: State Farm, a major insurance provider, offers both a “Student Away at School Discount” and a “Good Student Discount.”

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Featured Test Prep Student: Stella Kelley

Stella Kelley is one of our latest A+ Featured Students. We recently had a conversation with her about her success and experiences in our program. She had a lot of worthwhile things to say!

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Posted in ACT Prep, Featured Student

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