Archive for January, 2014

How to Find Test Prep that Works

January 17, 2014

I am a firm believer in test prep for the SAT and ACT.  It is time right now for high school juniors to get prepared for the two admissions tests coming up this Spring.  I usually suggest students take both tests to see how they do.  If they score higher on one than the other, they can concentrate on that one if they wish.  Colleges do not need to receive scores from both tests and would rather get the highest score that the student can get.

College Direction has been offering test prep for the SAT and ACT for over twenty years.  The classes meet once a week for six weeks for 2  1/2 hours.  The classes are limited to nine students.  The six week course help students gain practice on real tests and the score improvements have been impressive, but realistic.  All this and test prep is affordable too.

I have been able to answer  “yes” to the following questions posed by this article as to what parents and students should look for in a good test prep course.  College Direction offers all this and more.  If you want to improve your opportunities for college admissions and scholarships, test prep is the place to start.


College Admissions and the Overly Involved Parent

January 7, 2014

Parents are constantly criticized for being overly involved in their child’s college admission process. Some of the criticism may be for a good reason, but some may not. When a college admissions office reports that they received a phone call from someone claiming to be an applicant, they knew for sure it was the parent calling. The voice was definitely not that of a prospective student and the question was the kind that only a parent would ask. Overly involved, yes!

Many parents, however, are going through the college admission process with their child and they realize how dramatically things have changed since they applied to college. They are right. College admissions has become far more competitive than it ever used to be and there are just too many students applying to schools with too few spots available.. Perhaps, for this reason, parents want to help their child be as competitive as possible and think that assisting with the college applications and essays might help. Some parents also realize that most high school students don’t get the college advising or attention they need from the high schools they attend. Thus, the parents take over and offer the best advice they can.

As a college consultant, I find that most of my students’ parents are very supportive of their children and try not to interfere but let their teenager be in charge. They call with their concerns, but this is usually a conversation between the two of us and they simply have questions that need clarification. This is how it should be. The college admission process is a big step for high school students, but it is also a wonderful opportunity for self-assessment and growth. Parents should be involved, but not obsessed.

Now for the parent who is over the top. This is a quote from the Director of Admissions at a well known university. “We always have parents who open the decision letters while their child is still at school. They call and ask, ‘What am I going to tell her when she gets home? She will just be devastated.’ We always reply, ‘Well, you might want to start by explaining why you’re opening her mail.” Overly involved, yes!