Tag Archives: Test Prep

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

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

ACT Changes for Fall 2015 – Here We Go Again

While the SAT is undergoing a major overhaul to premiere in March of 2016 (watch our video explaining the redesigned SAT/PSAT), the ACT is announcing a few, albeit rather small comparatively speaking, changes as well. Some of these changes were seen in the last school year, but the most major change, to the writing test, debuts in September. LEAP has invested a great deal of time and research on SAT and ACT changes and our test prep program started in 1999 is at the ready for the newest versions of the tests! Reading The test remains 40 questions in 35 … 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

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

Crystal Ball: the PLAN Test

The PLAN Test is an ACT based test normed to 10th graders.  Many schools around the country give the test to their 9th and 10th graders as it has high value.  For those living in the Greater Cincinnati area whose school does not give the test, LEAP gives a retired version of the actual test several times each year. Why invest the time in taking the PLAN test? Predict future ACT scores. While the scale of the PLAN test is 32, versus the ACT’s 36, it does cover the same content areas as the ACT and therefore can give a … Continue reading

Shame on You, SAT!

Students and families, for many years, have begged both SAT and ACT to add summer test dates at the end of summer, so students can prep and test during the summer months when they are removed from the pressures of school. Additionally, Collegeboard (owner of the SAT test) has warned families to not use test prep as they say it doesn’t make a difference.  Finally, SAT is doing something about it this August AND it looks like they are endorsing test prep!  Excited?  Don’t be. The August SAT will be given to a select few 50 students.  Not only are the … Continue reading

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