Tag Archives: Test Prep

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

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

Tips for Getting ACT Extended Time

You’ve never finished a PSAT, EXPLORE or PLAN test within the allotted time. Performing your best on the ACT is daunting task, because you most always require additional time at school. Quit stressing and apply for extended time on the ACT.  You never know, you may just qualify and can relax a bit! Who Qualifies and How Students with physical disabilities, hearing or visual impairment, those who have diagnosed ADHD, psychiatric conditions or learning disabilities may apply for extended time.  Before you apply for accommodations, you’ll need to register online for your ACT test. As with everything in the college selection and application process, … Continue reading

Timing is Everything with Testing

Every fall LEAP receives at least several calls of anxiety ridden parents whose senior student has yet to have a first attempt at the ACT or SAT, let alone the recommended second attempt. Now they realize their back is up against the wall with limited testing dates and college application deadlines. With the ample number of ACT and SAT test dates year-round, there is no reason for a family to ever get in this position. Make a Plan LEAP has been prepping students for college entrance exams since 1999 with great results.  From our experience, we advise for most students to start … Continue reading

Who Should Take the ACT or SAT Again?

To Retest or Not? By Lisa Mader, LEAP, 2011 If you were told you have a 55% chance of winning the lottery tonight, would you purchase a ticket? Of course! That same percentage of students will increase their ACT or SAT scores on a second attempt.  Often this can lead to what feels like winning the college lottery. Many juniors taking their first round of ACT and SAT tests in the spring want to be done with testing only to move on to tackling college applications. Regardless of the first set of scores, I regularly encourage students to take a … Continue reading

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