Archive for February, 2014

Test Prep for the SAT and ACT – What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

February 24, 2014

Since the SAT and ACT are important criteria for college admissions, you should not assume that your student can take these tests with no preparation. Test scores can make or break a student’s chances for college acceptance and scholarships. Most experts believe that a good test prep course can help to improve students’ SAT and ACT scores. Here are 5 tips to find a good SAT and ACT test prep course near you:

1. The teaching is most important. Most test prep courses offer similar information, but a good course will have a teacher who can motivate the students. The course should be taught by an experienced test prep coach, not a high school teacher or someone who has only scored high on the SAT and ACT.

2. The test prep course should be affordable. There is no reason why parents need to spend $1000 for a test prep course. Paying more does not make a course better nor does a big name make it more effective. Parents should contact local, small test prep companies and inquire about what they offer before they sign up for another SAT or ACT course.

3. Students should practice and take real tests. Students should only take test prep courses that utilize tests that are published by the College Board and the ACT. Practice should also be done on real tests. This helps students to know exactly what to expect and makes for a less stressful experience. What good is practice if you are not using the real thing?

4. The test prep course should focus on content and strategies. Parents should inquire about whether a test prep course focuses on test-taking strategies or also includes practice materials with review and explanations. Students need to understand the content of the test, but they also need to know how to approach each part of the test and some test-taking techniques that will help them improve their scores.

5. A test prep course should fit the needs of your child. Is the test prep course small enough to be beneficial? A course should include no more than 8-10 students. Does it take too much time away from homework and other activities? Students should spend only as much time as they need and once a week classes should be sufficient. Will your student learn how to handle anxiety and gain confidence? Stress relieving practices should be introduced and practiced.
Small improvements in test scores can make a difference in college admissions. That’s why test prep can contribute to the overall success of a student’s chances for college acceptance.

Why SAT and ACT Prep Matter, But Don’t Have to Break the Bank

February 10, 2014

The SAT and ACT are used for both college admissions and scholarships. I do not believe students should take these tests without some good test prep. Look for local tutors or test prep courses that are usually more affordable. They are also just as effective as large franchise businesses, sometimes even more so..

College Smart Radio

ExamWhile finding an excellent SAT or ACT tutor can give your children a significant advantage when they take their test, finding quality SAT tutors can be difficult at times. Obviously, a good SAT or ACT tutor can have a profound influence on a successfully improved score, but many great resources are available to families that can either complement the efforts of a tutor or substitute for them.

Returning to those promised resources, here’s a list of 6 free things you can do to help your student improve her SAT and ACT scores:

1.  Watch Jeopardy one night a week as a family. Why? It will expose your child to words she might not know, teach her the type of thinking that goes into crafting standardized test questions, and provide a relaxed and entertaining setting in which she can learn.

2.  Listen to A Way with Words. This curious, once-a-week

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Western Undergraduate Exchange: Is Your Student Eligible for Reduced Tuition?

February 6, 2014

WUE is something every student in the West should check into. It makes a big difference when it comes to paying for college. You can go to the WUE website to see which schools are included in this program.

College Smart Radio

Map of participating WUE states.Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) operates as a non-profit facility and essentially acts as an informational hub, conveying data or “resource sharing” between educators, governors and policymakers.  They pride themselves as an organization dealing with and concentrated exclusively on higher education.

It’s centered in 15 western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

For more background information, visit the WICHE about page on their website.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is one of their primary initiatives focused on financial aid.  As a resident of one of those states, you’re eligible to receive reduced tuition of 150% at over 150 WUE participants.

Wondering if your dream school is part of this program?  A full list can be found here.  You may also use their search feature and they grouped colleges by state for your convenience.

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