Posted: Friday, December 7th, 2012 | Filed under: CATES Tutoring news, college, education, study skills | author: By Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Posted: Friday, September 28th, 2012 | Filed under: ACT, ACT exam, ACT grading, ACT strategies | author: By Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Student and Tutor
Over the past several decades the popularity of tutoring has skyrocketed, and what once seemed like a luxury is now looking increasingly like a necessity. Particularly in competitive, high-achieving areas like New York, it’s almost the new normal. There are any number of subjects in which tutoring is common, but the greatest growth has been in the area of standardized testing. From seventh graders preparing for the SHSAT or ISEE, through high school juniors studying for the SAT and ACT, all the way up to college graduates taking the LSAT and the MCAT, more and more people are finding that tutoring is a good choice for them.
Posted: Friday, July 22nd, 2011 | Filed under: ACT, SAT, SAT prep | author: By Teddy Bergman
Superscoring on the SAT has been a hot topic for a while now, so by now you probably know that it has nothing to do with just doing super well on the test (although that certainly doesn’t hurt). With superscoring, schools look at your best scores for each section—critical reading, writing, and math—regardless of whether those highest section scores are from the same testing date or not, and add those three best section scores up into a “super score,” which will be higher than any of the actual scores you got on the SAT tests that you took (unless all your highest section scores happened on the same test/test date).
Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2011 | Filed under: ACT, SAT, SAT exam, SAT prep | author: By Teddy Bergman
How can I use my summer to prepare effectively for my SAT or ACT exam?
The importance of getting a head start on standardized test prep can’t be overstated. While it’s important to give yourself a break over the summer, to clear the clutter of your school year, by July 5th, it’s a good idea to get back to studying for the ACT or SAT.
If you start over the summer, until waiting until the school year begins, you’ll be able to focus on your SAT or ACT test prep without the distraction of schoolwork, and you’ll be much more comfortable with the SAT or ACT test by the time you finally take it in the fall, winter, or spring. You’ll be able to fully absord the standardized test-taking techniques you need to master, before the craziness of the school year starts up again.
Think about it. If you learn just 50 new SAT vocabulary words a week over the summer, you’ll have mastered 600 words by the end of August. Compare that to a student who starts cramming new SAT vocabulary words for the first time just a couple of weeks before he or she takes the ACT or SAT test. Giving yourself the extra time to work through practice math and reading problems is also going to improve your score.
Best of all, if you give yourself the opportunity to take three or four practice ACTs or SATs over the summer, you’ll feel much better prepared to tackle
the massive length of these standardized tests (three hours and twenty-five minutes for the ACT exam; three hours and forty-five minutes for the SAT exam). By giving yourself a little extra practice, you come into your junior or senior year feeling like an expert in taking standardized tests—rather than a frightened beginner. In other words, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.
Just like going to the gym, studying for the SAT or ACT exam is a lot easier with a coach to help you structure your preparation, and to suit your particular needs. A SAT or ACT tutor can help you determine a study plan that works for you, working around your vacation plans and summer jobs. Come in and take a free SAT or ACT test, see how you do, and then talk to CATES about helping you organize your time in a way that maximizes your preparation and minimizes your stress level.
What should I do after the end of the school year?
If you’re a junior, you’ve finished what was probably one of the most intense academic years of your life. Chances are, you’ve made it through some challenging AP or Honors classes, and (after weeks of anxious waiting) you’ve gotten your ACT or SAT test results back.
Whether or not you’re planning on taking another SAT or ACT test in the fall, we recommend you take at least a little time to kick back and unwind. Finishing another year of high school, especially as the frenzy of preparations for college admissions and SAT and ACT exams begins to heat up, is a reason to celebrate. Take a breath. Take a break. Take the time you need to clear your head.
After a couple of weeks, though—and no later than July 5th—you’ll want to hit the books again. Summer is the perfect time to improve your mastery of testtaking techniques, and to build your SAT vocabulary or, if you’re taking the ACT exam, to get the hang of those tricky trigonometry problems. You’re no longer in the middle of the hustle and bustle of your junior year, and you’re not yet in the breathless dash to the finishline of senior year. This is the perfect opportunity for sustained SAT or ACT prep. Once your senior year starts, it’s going to be a whole lot harder to find the time or headspace for it.
If you’ve just completed your senior year, on the other hand, and wrapped up not only the dreaded ACT or SAT exam, but your last high school exam as well, then congratulations! Just the fact that you’ve finished the long process of applying for college, taking the SAT exam, and graduating from high school represents an enormous achievement.
Take some time to relax, and also: take a moment to reflect on everything you’ve accomplished, in the process of studying for the SAT or ACT. You’ve proven that you’re capable of working hard and diligently, that you’re someone who’s capable of great things and committed to succeeding. These are lessons you’ll be able to apply not only in your college classes, but after college, as well. Not only is there life after standardized test prep; standardized test prep turns out to be pretty good practice for life.
You’re on the brink of leaving your home and your parents behind, and though you’ll miss them, you’re bound to be pretty excited about heading to college. You should be. It’s a thrilling place to be, and you’ve earned the right to take your place there.
Have a great summer, and best of luck next year!