Tag Archives: PSAT

Redesigned ACT & SAT: How It Affects YOU!

The ACT had some minor changes starting with the reading portion in December 2014, then in February 2015 to the science portion, followed by an overhaul of the writing test in September 2015. That massive shift with the writing test left many seniors retesting in the fall of their senior year caught between two different versions of the writing test and frankly, dazed and confused. In April 2014, CollegeBoard announced a massive overhaul of the SAT test to “deliver opportunity” to underserved students, or was it to financially catch back up to the ACT who overtook them in 2012?  Regardless, … Continue reading

Critical Deadlines on the College Bound Journey

If you plan to send your child to a four-year college living on campus, your investment will likely be over $100,000 without any gift aid in the form of scholarships and grants. This is based on the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015).  Private schools run higher than the $23,872 of all four-year institutes at $35,074. Educating your children could likely be your most expensive investment outside of owning a home. Because of this, it is worthy of planning a careful, thorough and measured as a home purchase or your own retirement and savings to garner an excellent return … Continue reading

Determining ACT? SAT? or Both?

Good news! All colleges accept both the ACT and SAT tests without preference being given to one over the other. Some schools are even test optional. So how does a student determine which test to invest in? Consider PRE-Test Scores Up until April 2014, the pre-ACT was called the PLAN test. It was based on a 32 point scale. This scale allowed easy conversion to predictive ACT scores by adding 3-4 points to a PLAN composite. These predictive scores are also listed on your PLAN score report. For students graduating in 2016 or earlier, they are operating off PLAN scores … Continue reading

Finally, MY TURN! Chapter 1

It’s my turn!! I’ve worked for 15 years as an independent college counselor assisting families on college selection, application, career selection and admission. Finally, I have a high school junior, and I get the privilege (yes, I just said privilege) of embarking on the journey from a different perspective. Most certainly this will result in moments of wanting to pull my hair out (as my clients have attested to me), but hopefully many more of fun and joy. I’m frequently asked, “What would you do if he were your son?” when parents are seeking advice from me. In effort to … Continue reading

Summer To-Do for Rising Juniors

Sophomore year is coming to a close. Students are thinking they are “half-way through” high school. While that may be true, when you  factor in that by August 1 of the following summer going into your senior year you’ll be ready to apply to college, students suddenly realize it’s time to LEAP forward with college selection. Whatever the grades are at the end of the junior year (and for most test scores – if you plan right!), that is what you’ll apply to college with and that list of colleges needs to be finalized before the senior year begins. To … Continue reading

Tips for Building High School Schedules

As high school students start scheduling for the coming school year, I encourage them to think ahead and think hard to make wise choices. Think Ahead While the choices you make will be in stone for next year, you should sketch out the remaining high school years as well whether you’re one, two or three years from graduation. You’ll want to make certain you are first meeting all graduation requirements.  Next looking ahead to the junior and senior years where you have more room to take what YOU want, you’ll want to pay close attention to prerequisites for those advanced … Continue reading

Lessons Learned from PSAT Results

‘Tis the Season – PSAT results season, that is.  In October most juniors and many sophomores took the PSAT.  Unlike the SAT and ACT where you get results in just over two weeks, PSAT results are finally delivered two months later before you head off on winter break. So now that you’ve got the PSAT score report in your hands, how do you make sense of it? Scores are based on a scale of 20 to 80.  Your Selection Index, used for National Merit purposes (see below), is a total of the three parts (critical reading, math and writing).  It might be … Continue reading

Making the Most of Winter Break

While sleeping in, video games and Facebook maybe calling over the Winter Break, there is still plenty of time for college bound students to do something productive toward their college goals. FRESHMAN Have you put together a resume? If not, start now! It doesn’t have to be something fancy or even well formatted.  Simply start a list of activities, honors and community service along with dates. This is something to build on throughout high school and will save you time three years from now when you’re completing college applications. Pulling your resume together will also help you see any holes … Continue reading

5 Questions to PSAT Prep Success

Coming from LEAP, where we pride ourselves on increased ACT and SAT scores of students in our program, it may sound counterintuitive that we advise most rising  juniors not to prep for the PSAT.  (This is not the advice we give for ACT and SAT prep!)  See, most families who are questioning whether or not to prep for the PSAT are doing so with the National Merit Scholarship program in mind.  The bar is high to qualify as a finalist, as we talked about in an earlier post on PSAT and National Merit basics.  Essentially, finalists are the top 15,000 scorers from … Continue reading

How to Schedule “rigorous” High School Classes Colleges Want

Colleges will look closely at the level of rigor a student has in their schedule.  What does “rigor” really mean? Honestly, something different for each student.  Rigorous courses are meant to challenge the student; colleges want to see that a student has appropriately challenged herself. Choosing rigor can start as early as eighth grade when many students have the opportunity to jump start high school by taking high school courses for credit.  If a student is ready for that level of work, go for it! Keep in mind, grades earned in these courses will in most cases impact the high school GPA … Continue reading

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