Tag Archives: SAT

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

Will Super Scoring Help with College Admission?

As scores rolled in, students started asking us IF they should retest.  I wrote about this previously in our post Who Should take the ACT or SAT Again?  Since that article, ACT has updated their statistics on who actually improves on a second attempt.  Overall, 57% of students will improve. To see your odds, according to ACT data which differs from students who prep with LEAP, consult the chart on the ACT site. While considering whether to retest or not, the option of Super Scoring should be taken into consideration for students who already have two or more testing attempts on the same test. What is … 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

Risky Business: The ACT-SAT Optional Writing Test

Given the opportunity what teenager wouldn’t rather skip writing a 40 or 50-minute essay? The adolescent me would have jumped at the chance. The college counselor I am today hopes someone would have stopped me. Much to the disappointment of teenagers, LEAP‘s recommendation is to take the optional writing test each and every time. Yes, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The financial cost of doing so will increase your testing fees by $11.50 (SAT) or $17 (ACT – which is cheaper than the non-writing SAT). The potential opportunity cost of not opting in could be missing out on the college of your dreams. … Continue reading

The Two Week Rule

This time of year many seniors are feeling behind on applications. As we step in to assist, there’s the reminder of a fairly consistent rule on the college bound journey: 2 weeks. Regardless of where you are on the journey, keep this rule in mind and know with each step along the way, you ought to at least 2 weeks. College Visits: The general rule of thumb is to plan no less than 2 weeks in advance. It isn’t unusual for special visit days to fill sooner than that. The early bird gets the worm! Testing Registration: While we encourage students … Continue reading

The Expensive Choice of Testing Prior to Prep

Expense can be calculated in the terms of time and money. Taking the ACT or SAT for a “trial run” before embarking on test prep and serious testing is a costly mistake. LEAP’s proven approach since 1999 is as follows: Take a prep course – we hope you’ll choose LEAP! Take the first attempt at the ACT and/or SAT. Analyze scores and decide which test to retest on. 57% of students increase on a second attempt. If necessary (not always the case), do additional prep (LEAP offers individualized tutoring) to strengthen weak areas on the test. Retest on the ACT … Continue reading

The Redesigned PSAT for 2015

You took the PSAT in October 2014 as a sophomore as practice for the “real thing” in October 2015 in the junior year when it counts for National Merit only to find out the 2015 is completely overhauled and redesigned. Insert sigh. So what’s new and can be expected on either October 14 or 28, 2015? It’s longer! The new PSAT is 35 minutes longer than the old version. It still lacks an essay section, but has been expanded to 2 hours and 45 minutes; it’s almost as long as the multiple choice new SAT which debuts in March 2016, so it’s good practice for … 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

Rising Senior Summer – Be Prepared for Fall Apps

For many of you, it’s hard to believe just months from now as senior year is starting you’ll need to be ready to apply to college. That statement may leave many of you feeling behind. So how do you maximize summer so you’re ready and not overwhelmed come fall? 1. Finalize list for application. Most college applications go online August 1st, including the Common App which over 500 colleges use. LEAP recommends you start these apps when they come available to so they don’t crowd your fall schedule when you’ll have a lot more to do. To be ready to … Continue reading

How NEW is the Overhauled SAT?

I went into the CollegeBoard SAT meeting announcing sweeping changes in 2016 to the SAT a bit skeptical, and I have to say that is where I remain. The first 30 minutes were spent on telling viewers (mainly those of us in the college admissions game) how altruistic the CollegeBoard is. While their heart of accessibility is certainly great, I was hungry for the meat of change. While the changes do create a new test for the second time in a decade (sweeping changes were also made in 2005), on the surface I’m not convinced there’s much cutting edge here. … Continue reading

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