SAT, ACT, Common Core

Quick Term Cheat Sheet: SAT – formerly an aptitude test, now an achievement test, tomorrow?? ACT – Achievement test Common Core – The curriculum designed to make sure US kids cover some body of knowledge relevant to our future. “It is time for an admissions assessment that makes it clear that the road to success … Read more

New SAT questions released!

The College Board has announced more details about the SAT changes. Here’s an example question: “The coming decades will likely see more intense clustering of jobs, innovation, and productivity in a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions.” The word “intense” most nearly means: (A) emotional (B) concentrated (C) brilliant (D) determined (answer below) What … Read more

Wow! College Admit rates are even worse than you thought….

College admission rates are at an all time low. Stanford and Harvard are under 6%. With acceptance rates like this, families are asking what to do and what happened. Even 10 years ago Elite schools were accepting 10-20%. Here’s my take on the situation. 1. The population has increased. 2. More people are graduating from … Read more

SAT aging gracefully?

Po-ta-toe, Pa-tah-toe, To-may-toe, To-mah-toe . . . Favorite moments in SAT history, aka why some people say SATs and others say SAT. Let’s dial back to the dark ages of the SAT. The year is 1926. And it turns out – your (Great) Grandparents really did walk uphill both ways . . . at least … Read more

What to do when you don’t get in the college of your choice

Congratulations to the Class of 2018! You’re in and preparing for the best 4 years of your life…. But what if you’re not. Perhaps you didn’t realize school was important until your Junior year and you didn’t do so well on the SAT? And you aren’t likely to make the athletic team at the collegiate … Read more

Why every student should have a Personal Learning Network

A Personal Learning Network: what it is and why you need it You learn the most from the people around you. Chances are, most of your interactions are with friends, family, and teachers. By expanding your network of interactions to different kinds of people of various experiences and backgrounds, you are creating a web of … Read more

Know the process, not the formula, if you want to ace the SAT

Teachers, prep books, and tutoring services often recommend memorization as the best and sometimes only way improve your score on the SAT. You memorize vocabulary for the English section, formulas for the math section. Sometimes you even memorize question types. We’ve already explained why vocabulary memorization is ineffective and what you can do instead. But … Read more

Studying SAT vocabulary: alternatives to flashcards

We remember things better when they have some meaning to us. It’s not too surprising that seeing the word tyro on a flashcard is harder to remember than hearing it in reference to a first grader who’d just started learning how to write. So while you may remember a few words paired only with their … Read more

Studying? Don’t forget to take a break

You may think you have all the resources you need to make the best of your test prep: the most up to date resources, a fantastic private instructor, and a supportive home. But you’re not getting the most out of your studying unless you remember one indispensable factor: Rest. There is an importance in rest, … Read more

How to effectively use practice SAT tests

Practice makes perfect, whether you’re a violinist or a student. Students studying for the SAT and other tests are encouraged to take practice tests and solve many of the same type of problem. But a violinist will get nowhere if he does not first learn where to place his fingers. The same applies to SAT … Read more

In walking or test-taking, internalized knowledge wins

Truly internalized knowledge goes beyond memorization. As you read these words, your body is functioning largely without you. Pause to consider this and you may become aware of your breathing and blinking, only two of the many physiological functions your body takes care of for you. 2 million cells will die and be born in … Read more

AP Reading List – Book-A-Day: A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeleine L’Engle Category: Fiction Overview: A young woman, with the aid of the three W’s, travels through time to rescue her father who was abducted by evil aliens. What they’re saying in the Prepwise staff room: Chris: “If you like fantasy and sci-fi, you will love this book.  Technically part of the YA genre, … Read more

AP Reading List – Book-A-Day: Native Son

Author:  Richard Wright Category:  Fiction Overview:  Wright explores what it is like to be an African-American in 1930’s America through the eyes of Bigger Thomas.  Thomas is a 20-year old African-American growing up and living in a very poor urban area of Chicago.  This frames and greatly influences his existence. What they’re saying in the Prepwise … Read more

Kill the lesson plan

In the Prepwise program, great instructors are not born, they are coached. Scripted Lesson plans don’t belong in a private tutoring environment. If this sounds like an extreme statement, consider the fact that tutors have the ability to do what is valued by educators everywhere: get inside each student’s head. Good lessons are fluid, flexible, … Read more

SAT, SATs, ACT… Which test should you take?

College admissions used to be simpler. Now in addition to dealing with the daunting application process, you also have the responsibility of choosing, studying for, and taking the right admissions test. This may have you confused: how do you decide if you should take the SAT, the SAT subject tests, or the ACT? Keeping these … Read more

How much should you raise your SAT score?

You’ve taken your PSAT. You’ve done one or two SAT practice tests. The results are in, and now you have some numbers – what do you do with them? How many points you should aim to increase your score? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Many tutors and tutoring services discuss results in terms of numbers, … Read more

When should you start studying for the SAT?

I was recently approached by the mother of a 7th grader about SAT tutoring for her child. That got me wondering, is it ever too early to start studying for the SAT? My answer is start early but not too early. We sometimes forget that SAT prep is always going on – by attending school, … Read more

How SAT prep can hurt your score

If you’re a high school student studying for the SAT, you may be doing it wrong. You can have the best tutor, buy the best books, and still not see the benefit you believe you should be seeing. That’s because you might be overlooking a critical aspect of studying – when you do it. You … Read more

Why no SAT student cases published?

A parent recently asked me, “Why are there no individual SAT student cases published?” Excellent question. I started teaching full time as a GMAT instructor and have helped students gain admission at top tier business schools since I was an undergrad – it started completely organically, friends, friends of friends, older brothers/sisters. By the time … Read more

Example Undergraduate Standards – Do you cut it?

SAT scores: how do you compare? Here are the standard SAT scores for some of the most top-tier colleges, including Harvard, Yale and Duke. One of the perils of working as an Instructor is explaining what I do when I meet someone new. If you’re an Architect, you probably don’t get the, “Oh my G, … Read more