College

Tip for Older Students Taking New SAT This Weekend

Are you a non-traditional (read: older) student planning on taking the new SAT (aka rSAT) this weekend? If so, our friends at ArborBridge test prep are reminding us that there are special rules you need to be aware of, and might need to work around asap:

All of us adults who registered to take the March SAT this weekend so we could see the new test received an email from the CB [College Board] today telling us we had been booted to May instead.

Pro Tip: Don't Disclose Your Grades, Courses, or GPA When Registering for the ACT

If you're a high school student (or the parent of a high school student), you probably thought that the ACT is just in the business of creating and administering the ACT test, right?

Actually, they do quite a bit more, and one of their "side" businesses can affect your college applications without you even knowing it. Please read the following advice carefully:

In order to increase its profitability and market share, the ACT has been developing other "predictor" tools to sell to colleges.

Pro Tip: Register for the October SAT (Reasoning or Subjects) by June 24

As you may already know, there were problems with the June 6, 2015, SAT Reasoning test because of misprints in the instructions on some of the test booklets. It took a little time for the dust to settle and for the College Board to decide how it was going to respond. As of now, the College Board has decided to do the following:

  1. Score the tests without including the scores from the affected sections (the affected sections were the last reading or math section – you might have had reading last or you might have had math last, but neither will be scored).

Juniors: Common Application Essay Topics are Out, But Don't Start Writing Until July!

Juniors, have you been on pins and needles wondering what the essay topics will be for next year? If so, your agony is over. The Common Application released the 5 essay topics that will appear on next year's Common Application today. They are:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

What Can Your 11th Grader Do Now to Prepare for College Applications This Fall?

If you are a planner by nature and like to avoid last minute rushes, there’s some foundational prep work your 11th grader can be working on now before crunch time hits in the fall of 12th grade. One of the foundational exercises we go through with rising seniors is to have them create an old-fashioned resume. 

That might sound strange at first.

Get Your Game Face On for the SAT!

This SAT is just a few days away. Here are a few suggestions to put you into the test zone so you can do your best :) .

1. Get good sleep — that means a good 7-8 hours per night for 4 nights before the test! (Teenage brains perform best on tests with 7.5 hours of sleep, and your brain registers as "sleep deprived" for at least 3 days after you shortchange yourself.)

2.

Low PSAT / SSAT/ PLAN / Achievement Test Scores — Now What?

If your child is testing low on the SSAT, PSAT, PLAN, or Achievement Tests in grades 7-10, that’s a sign to start thinking about adding a test prep protocol, or reevaluating one you might already have in place. That’s also a sign to do a full battery of learning disability testing to figure out the underlying cognitive issue.

The goal isn’t necessarily to get accommodations for standardized tests, because not every kid with learning problems has those kinds of learning disabilities.

52 Weeks to College: Week 31 — Deferral Updates

If you've already submitted your best and most compelling application — your standout application — is an application postscript ever be warranted? Yes! In three cases:

1. When you have significant updates to your application

2. When you have been deferred

3. When you have been waitlisted

This week, we're focusing on the deferral scenario. 

If you've applied early to one or more colleges, the decision letter might not actually contain a final decision.

52 Weeks to College: Week 30 — The Midyear Report

The school report and its subsequent updates — midyear report, final report, optional report — are prepared and submitted by your high school counselor or another high school official. We talked more about school reports in Week 15, which you can read here

At this point in the admissions cycle, it's time to pay attention to your midyear report.

52 Weeks to College: Week 29 — Following Up On Your Submitted Applications

This week we're giving tips about how to follow up on the Regular Decision applications you've already submitted.

Week 29 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college. Read them and take whatever action is necessary.
  • Update your parents about what you’re doing.

New Book on the Admissions Process by NYT Columnist Frank Bruni

I'm pre-ordering this book, VERY excited to read it:

Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania 

The title alone is a great reminder not to conflate your whole identity with where you do or don't get into college (or grad school for that matter). My immediate reaction is this, and it's something I've been mulling over for some time now:

One of the real downsides to the current "holistic" approach to elite university admissions in the United States is that the schools give the impression that they're evaluating you (judging you) *as a human being*.

52 Weeks to College: Week 27 — Get Ready for Submission Crunch Time

If you put together a good action plan this week, you won't be caught flat-footed the day your applications are due. Natural disasters and man-made catastrophes tend to happen exactly when you can least afford them. You can and should plan ahead, because the universe has a funny way of messing with us when we're rushing to meet important deadlines. We've been there!

Week 27 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college.

52 Weeks to College: Week 26 — Prioritize

Happy holidays! It's a big week for lots of reasons, and no doubt you want to put your college applications out of your mind during your school break. But now is not the time to lose your momentum. This week we'll focus on three skills that matter not just for your college applications, but for other parts of your life as well.

Week 26 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college.