Early SAT Prep Tuition Savings Ends May 9!

Early tuition discount ends May 9The early-bird discount for the June SAT prep class ends May 9.   Use the code EARLYAPLUS and save on tuition for the course that has helped hundreds of NC students score higher on the SAT and earn college scholarships.

Remember: students who are serious about college should take the SAT before their senior year. Why?

  1. Getting a good score now makes senior year less stressful. (Students can focus on other, more fun aspects of senior year.)

2. Students will have more time to prepare if they retest. (There’s only one month between tests in the fall).

 3.  Getting a good score early maximizes a student’s  chance for scholarships. (Earlier in the school year is when more money is available.)  

4. Time is money.  (Many students who wait end up retesting numerous times during their senior year to achieve higher scores because of stress and a crammed schedule and often spend much more money to do so than they would have if they had begun the process much earlier. Also, scholarship money is running out.  See #3.)

5. Rising JUNIORS & SOPHOMORES, the SAT will be completely redesigned in 2016.  Avoid the unknown.

The next A+ SAT Prep course begins June 3; register by May 9 and get $25 off (use the code EARLYAPLUS).  

Register early; save time and money!

Click here to register; save time & money.


Interested in Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford, or UPenn?

Exploring College Options is a unique program featuring five of the country’s leading universities: Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard College, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. At each event, representatives from the five schools will offer brief slide presentations about their institutions and answer your questions about the sometimes-mystifying world of college admissions. You will learn about what distinguishes one fine university from another, what competitive colleges look for in the selection process, and what you can do to enhance your college application.

The next NC presentation will be held on May 4th at 7:30pm at the Embassy Suites in Cary, NC. The address is 201 Harrison Oaks Blvd, Cary, NC, 27513. For more information and registration, please visit www.exploringcollegeoptions.org


Will The New SAT Be Easier? Not Likely…

by Cristiana Quinn, GoLocalProv College Admissions Expert

Wednesday, the Collegeboard released more details and sample questions for the new SAT that is currently in development. Scheduled to be released in 2016, the test creators have promised to make the test more relevant, eliminating rarely used vocabulary words and focusing more on questions that relate to the real world. Will they succeed? That remains to be seen, but from the sample questions released this week, the test certainly doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Here is what we can glean from the sample questions:

• Thematic changes focus on asking students to analyze things more, whether it is reading passages to ascertain the meaning of a vocabulary, interpreting historical speeches or understanding a scattergram.

• The Math section will focus heavily on Algebra, linear functions, data analysis, reading charts and problem solving. What time the “train left the station and when it will arrive” has been replaced by translating rupees into dollars and analyzing the percentage of fees incurred for pre-paid charge cards. Note that parts of the Math section will not permit the use of calculators.

• The Critical Reading section will become the Evidence Based Reading and Writing (optional) section and will focus on the analyses of texts not just from literature, but also from scientific, historical and social science sources.

• Assuming that most competitive colleges will require the Writing section (based on precedent from the ACT), students will go from writing for 25 minutes and taking a personal stance on an issue, to writing for 50 minutes and analyzing text.

What’s the Good News?

• Students won’t lose points for wrong answers

• A computerized version of the test will be offered

• The Collegeboard is partnering with Khan Academy to provide free online prep courses

• Fee waivers for college applications will be more accessible for low income students

How to Prepare

• Put away the vocabulary flash cards and read, read, read. Exposure to a variety of texts, the ability to interpret passages, and the recognition of words in a variety of contexts will be key.

Read more via GoLocalWorcester | Lifestyle | College Admissions: Will The New SAT Be Easier? Not Likely….


ACT Pilots First Digital Version of Its College-Entrance Exam

“ACT Pilots First Digital Version of Its College-Entrance Exam”  by Caralee Adams

The first wave of students took a computer-based version of the ACT this past weekend, marking a new era in college-admissions testing.

ACT Inc., based in Iowa City, Iowa, reports that 4,000 students at schools in 23 states took the test on computer on April 12. The schools had been selected by ACT and invited to participate in the pilot. Content of the exam is the same as in the traditional paper-and-pencil version, and the new digital scores are considered official for students to submit to colleges.

“The administration went very well overall,” Jon Erickson, the president of education and career solutions at ACT, said in a press statement. “As always at this stage, there were some technical issues, and we learned a great deal. We appreciate the participation of the students and high schools and their extra efforts during the process.”

The move to a digital version of the test is an effort to “meet young people in the world where they already live,” said Erickson. After the pilot, ACT plans to officially launch the digital version in selected states and districts in the spring of 2015, with expanded release in the spring of 2016. The option will be available only to districts and states that administer the test to all students on a school day, according to ACT officials. ACT Inc. has no plans to discontinue the paper-and-pencil version of the test, officials say, and will continue to offer it for as long as there is a demand.

As the result of research on testing methods, students who take the digital ACT are given five more minutes than in the paper-and-pencil version to complete both the reading test and the science test, adding 10 minutes total to the exam period. ACT officials may make adjustments to the time allotment after reviewing the pilot administration.

The College Board announced last month that it plans to offer a computer-based version of the rival SAT in the spring of 2016.

via ACT Pilots First Digital Version of Its College-Entrance Exam – College Bound – Education Week.


Six Words of Advice for Parents of College-Bound Juniors 

One group is more anxious about this year’s college admissions decisions than the parents of this year’s seniors — and that’s the parents of next year’s seniors. Junior parents love their children, and they would welcome any advice colleges could offer that would give their child’s application an inside edge.

To support that effort, here’s what a college admissions officer told me when I asked for advice I could give to junior parents:

“Let your child drive the bus.”

The explanation she offered for this counsel, combined with long-standing conventional wisdom, gets to the heart of the college application process, and shows what admissions officers are looking for in a successful applicant beyond the numbers:

Initiative.  From start to finish, a college application has to send the message that applying to this school was the student’s idea, and the student is excited enough to do something to bring that idea to life. This is why so many colleges want students to visit campus or meet the admissions representative at a local college fair; it shows the student is serious about their application.

That seriousness is questioned when the application is completed in what is clearly the handwriting of an adult, or when parents call the admissions office to ask questions. This is particularly true if the parent starts the call by saying “We’re applying to your college next year.” If the student wants to start building a meaningful relationship with the college, they make the calls, and speak in first person.

Read more via Six Words of Advice for Parents of College-Bound Juniors | Patrick O’Connor.


Read the College Essay That Got Kwasi Enin Into All 8 Ivy League Schools

Kwasi Enin [is] the 17-year-old Long Island student who was accepted to every Ivy

League school and whose own essay is now public, thanks to the New York Post. It is very much a college essay — flowery language, Big Ideas, lessons learned — but it also worked.

Enin writes about his love of music — he plays violin, bass, and has a good voice, too — stretching the refined extracurricular into a story about leadership, community, and bringing joy to the world by singing and dancing in a production of Guys and Dolls. “Music has become the spark of my intellectual curiosity,” he writes. “I directly developed my capacity to think creatively around problems due to the infinite possibilities in music.” (Don’t be jealous.)

Read the essay & more via Kwasi Enin College Essay Worked on Every Ivy — Daily Intelligencer.


ACT, SAT scores also a factor in financial aid

A student’s score on either of the best-known exams — the ACT or the SAT — won’t exclude him or her from higher education, said two Omaha-area high school counselors. But it’s vital to approach the tests seriously, they added, the better to enter one’s preferred school, avoid remedial courses and land scholarships to reduce or avoid debt after graduation.

“People think the ACT’s (needed) just to get into college,” said Jeanne Simmons, guidance director at Bryan High School in Omaha. “It is, but it also can decide where you start.”

Read more via ACT, SAT scores also a factor in financial aid – Omaha.com.