A+ Test Prep & Tutoring Blog

What’s New at Penn State: Highlighting Local Colleges

When you start considering where you want to spend the next four years of your academic life, it is sometimes easy to overlook all the choices we have locally.

Pennsylvania State University is a world-class institution right in our own backyard. Founded in 1855 and expanded throughout the next century-and-a-half, PSU today boasts 275 majors and 1200 student organizations on over 20 campuses, including not only University Park, but campuses closer to our area such as Abington and Berks.

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Posted in College, College Life

Requesting Copies of Your Test Questions and Answers: A Short Guide

You’ve just taken your SAT or ACT test. From the moment you close your test booklet and hand in your answer sheet, you are anticipating what your score might be. Will it match your highest goal? Will it meet your ideal school’s requirements? Will you need to sign up for another tutoring session or another test?

Those two and four digit numbers are, of course, what we all focus on. But did you know that they are not the only valuable information distributed by testing agencies? Both The College Board and ACT.org offer (under certain circumstances) copies of a tester’s questions and answers and answer keys to help the tester evaluate his or her performance. 

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Posted in Test Preparation, Proctored Practice Test Date, ACT Prep, SAT, SAT Prep, Test Prep, ACT

A+ Featured Student: Alec Sandroni

Alec Sandroni is a generally quiet young man who lets his actions speak for him. This year Alec scored a 35 on the ACT test—one point away from a perfect score. He also took the SAT Physics and Math 2 tests and scored 800 on each.

Talking to Alec about his impressive achievement success underscored two principals of test prep that we like to stress at A+:

  1. Pick the standardized test that is right for you.
  2. Practice, practice, practice.
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Posted in Tutoring, Featured Student

Beating Freshman Stress

A little stress can be a positive thing. For example, change can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be negative.

Accepting new challenges is how you progress from one stage of life to the next. According to Alice Boyes, Ph.D. in Psychology Today, “Pursuing things you're curious about and interested in helps create a sense of meaning in life” and “builds skills and confidence.”

But moving away to college entails many changes. You have a new routine. You move among a new set of people. Your diet and sleep patterns are likely altered. How can you keep extra stress from unduly influencing your mood and school performance?

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Posted in Education, College Life

Preparing Neurodiverse Teens Today to be Successful Adults Tomorrow

Like many parents, at this time of year you are probably anticipating and preparing for the start of a new school year. Back to school time is both exciting and stressful for all parents as children transition to new classrooms, new teachers, new routines, and new schools. Parents of neurodiverse teens often have to anticipate additional challenges associated with this time of transition such as handling executive functioning difficulties, embracing different classroom expectations, understanding friendships, and regulating emotions.

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Posted in Educational Trends, Educational Reference, Education, Educational Research

Campus Safety and You

Freshman year is here, and you are officially a collegian. Whether you intend to live on campus or commute, you will soon be moving into a new environment. There will be lots of exciting discoveries to make: classrooms, labs, study nooks, eateries, and fun spots.                                      

Before you run out to explore these new places, take a moment to consider a responsibility of paramount importance—safety. No meeting, class, test, or party is urgent enough to ignore basic safety precautions whether in the dorms or out and about.

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Posted in Educational Trends, College, College Life

Financial Literacy 101: Avoid becoming a “bad debt” statistic

In June of this year, CNBC reported that “36% of U.S. college students say they already have more than $1,000 in credit card debt.” For those of you who remember your SAT conversions, that’s over a third of all American students.

One cause for this startling fact may be that few educators are bothering to prepare future collegians to assume fiscal responsibility. In an article for Forbes, Mark Avallone reveals that “only 17 states require that high school students take a course in personal finance.”

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Posted in Educational Trends, Paying for College, College Admissions, Cost of College, Financial Aid

A+ Featured Student: Jennifer Allison

Sometimes all you need is a friend.

Jennifer Allison is a junior going into senior year at Hatboro Horsham High School. When Jennifer’s best friend recommended A+ for test prep, Jennifer decided to check us out.

Boy was that good advice! Jennifer was able to raise her ACT score by five points—up to 23!

Jennifer took time out of her busy summer schedule of lifeguarding and swim competitions to talk about her experience with us.

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Posted in Test Preparation, ACT Prep, Test Prep, ACT, Featured Student

3 Things Your Teen Needs to Know About Living Away at College

Living on campus means studying new subjects and meeting new people—taking advantage of all that collegiate life has to offer. For many, it also marks the first time they will live independently as young adults.

If this describes you, you might want to take a minute to consider the responsibilities of living on your own.  Of course, your school cares about your well-being, and there will be people you can go to for help. But, for the first time, you may be away from parents who know your health history, dietary needs, and living habits. Never fear! With a little planning, you can begin to assume those responsibilities that all adults share.

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Posted in College, College Admissions

What Test Score Do I Need to Get In?

Every individual school is unique.

That sounds like a truism and not a very helpful one either. Shall we make that thought a little more specific?

Every school has its own unique set of admissions requirements. This is especially true when it comes to standardized testing. Although individual components may be similar—SATs, ACTs, essays, and SAT Subject Tests—the way colleges and universities pick and choose from these elements is far from standard. Rather than making an assumption about what a university wants to see from an applicant, your best bet is to familiarize yourself with testing requirements at each school you are interested in.

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

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