Archive for the ‘College applications’ Category

5 Tips to Improve Your ACT Score

August 5, 2021

As a test prep coach, students frequently ask me how they can improve their score on the ACT. Since I have been providing test prep for high school students for more than twenty years, I have a few tips that will help students succeed on this important test.

1. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE ACT 
The ACT consists of four sections: English, math, reading, and science reasoning. Each section requires its own individual approach. Take time to understand the format of each section and the best way to tackle it. Read and make sure you understand the directions so you do not need to waste time on them when you take the actual ACT. The more comfortable you are with the test, the easier it will be to improve your score on the ACT.

2. USE GUESSING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE 
There is no penalty foe guessing on the ACT so I suggest you waste no time on questions if you don’t have a clue what the question is asking. See if you can eliminate some answers and then make a guess between what is left. You can always circle the number of the question and come back to it later if you have a minute or two at the end of the section.

3. MAKE THE BEST USE OF YOUR TIME 
Most students find the time constraints on the ACT a problem. You need to decide what questions can be answered more quickly and which you should leave until later. The science section seems to be the most difficult to finish on time. I suggest students skip one passage on the science test and try to be more accurate on their answers on the other six passages. When practicing on the ACT, it is important to time yourself on each test and figure out how to pace yourself.

4. WORK ON BOTH YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES 
Most colleges are interested in the ACT composite score. Your goal is to do what you can to improve that score. If you are strong in English, try to become even stronger. If math is your weakness, don’t try to learn new math at this time. Make sure you do the math questions you know how to do and don’t make stupid mistakes.

5. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE 
There is no substitute for practice if you want to improve your score on the ACT. Practice on real tests and go over every question you miss. Make sure you understand the reasoning behind the correct answer. On the reading section, check any questions you miss and return to the passage to find the supporting information for the right answer. If you are motivated enough to be successful on your ACT practice at home, then do it. If you need a class or some individual test prep, Google “test prep” and the city you live in and find out what is available.

YOUR SENIOR MAY NEED TO APPLY TO MORE COLLEGES THIS YEAR DUE TO COVID-19

October 17, 2020

Parents of seniors are worried how Covid-19 will affect their child’s chances of admission to college. This is my advice. Make sure that you know what is and what is not within your student’s control. Building and honing a college list is within every student’s control. Every school that is on that list, whether it is a safety or reach, should be a school that your child would be happy to attend. It important to have options. With Covid-19, college admissions could be dramatically different than it has been in years past. To save you child from disappointment, check and double check that list and make whatever changes might be necessary. Many application deadlines have been extended and other good schools are on rolling admissions.

Free Webinar: My College Direction, a New, Innovative College Planning Program

June 20, 2020

My College Direction is a new, innovative college counseling program that is for families who want the best advice and most up-to-date information for their student.

Susie Watts is a college consultant in Denver who has 30 years experience helping students create a college list and assist them as they go through the college application and admissions process.

She has felt for a long time that college counseling should be more available to many students who need the guidance, but found it unaffordable. As a result, she has started My College Direction.

Students often do not receive the assistance they need from high school counselors, not because counselors would not like to provide it, but they simply have too many students to work with and too many other responsibilities.

Susie always felt that she enjoyed and was more effective when she worked with students individually in her office. It wasn’t until the Coronavirus struck that she began to move some of her college counseling and test prep online. Much to her surprise, it has worked out quite well, and her students love the fact that they don’t need to travel to an office, but still get the same kind of college planning help they need.

My College Direction will be very similar to the comprehensive college planning program that Susie has offered for the last 30 years. The only difference will be that it is online. Some sessions will be for a group of 20 students (maximum) and others will be individual. The main benefit to you as a family is the cost.

Susie will be doing a free webinar to provide details on the My College Direction program which she has just launched. It will be on Tuesday, June 30 at 7:00 MDT. You can register on the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-webinar-my-college-direction-an-new-approach-to-college-planning-tickets-110359883382?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-source=strongmail&utm-term=listing

 

Who Cares about College Rankings?

November 8, 2018

Quite frankly, I am sick of college rankings. If it isn’t U.S. News, it’s Forbes, Money or endless other publications ranking what they consider the best colleges and universities.  The college rankings can tell us anything from the most connected schools to the best value universities. These college rankings measure different attributes that may or may not be important to a family when they are considering schools for their child. Often they are more confusing than helpful.

Many college rankings are oversimplified and downright unfair. They can be the result of professors, students, or even the universities themselves answering questionnaires that have been sent to them by a magazine or newspaper.  Many times college administrators are asked to evaluate colleges with which they have no knowledge, not just their own school.

Rankings often lead to misleading conclusions. Some colleges will spend money to improve something that will help their ranking, but may not benefit the students at all. Many use college rankings in their marketing materials.  These rankings often ignore factors that are of concern to prospective students.  Too frequently, they contain the same schools over and over.

As a private college counselor, I pay very little attention to these rankings because I want my students to consider colleges that are right for them. The highest ranked schools may not be the best fit or a college where they will have a successful academic and social experience. That to me is what is far more important than any ranking.

 

What Can A College Admissions Consultant Do For You?

April 24, 2018

Most families would agree that the college application and admissions process is both stressful and overwhelming. There are so many questions parents and students face when trying to find the right colleges. They can be equally confused with the different applications, deadlines and required information for financial aid and scholarships. Unfortunately, most high school counselors do not have the time to devote to these matters. Some families think that a college admission consultant is out of their budget, but many don’t realize that in the end, they usually save money because they have received the guidance and correct information to make the right decisions. This is what a college admissions consultant can do for your student and family.

1.   Individual help most students do not receive in high school

2.   Availability for your child and family when you need it

3.   Expertise in the college admission process 

4.   Decreased family stress and more peace of mind. Try to eliminate parental nagging about college applications.

5.   Specific knowledge of colleges, their admission requirements and SAT and ACT testing updates

6.   Get help from an objective third party to brainstorm and read applications and college essays

7.   Gain a competitive edge in the college admission process

8.   College visits that provide first-hand knowledge of schools and their suitability for different students

9.   Save money ​by helping your child enroll in one college, stay there, and graduate in four years.

10. Increased financial aid and scholarship opportunities

Why Hire a College Admissions Consultant?

August 18, 2017

Here are nine reasons why your family could benefit from using a college admissions consultant:

  1. They are experts in the college admission process and visit colleges and universities extensively every year to determine the unique qualities in each school.
  2. They help students with the college search and are not just interested in brand name schools, but want to find colleges that fit your student’s academic, personal and financial needs.
  3. They do not have an emotional attachment to your child and this allows them to provide unbiased, professional advice.
  4. They get to know students on a personal basis which enables them to help students become stronger college applicants.
  5. They help provide direction for students on their applications and essays. This assures students that they are adhering to deadlines set by their high school and colleges.
  6. They assist students and families in finding schools that are affordable. They also provide information on financial aid and scholarships.
  7. They are not limited in the number of hours they can work with students. This allows them to be available when students need them, with the answers they need.
  8. They want to help students find colleges that are committed to seeing their students graduate in four years, rather than the usual five, six or more. This can save parents a considerable amount of money.
  9. They are members of professional organizations like the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and Independent Educational Consultants (IECA). College admission consultants attend state and national conferences to continue their professional development.

Most college admission consultants charge affordable fees and are very generous with their time. Many families believe that hiring an independent educational consultant is the best investment they have made.