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.

Good News for February LSAT Takers

What a glorious week all you February LSAT takers are waking up to. Exhausted, curled up, wrung out? Take heart, you could be these people over in Boston:

Twitter: @OnlyInBOS

Here's some of the best news, though. For many years I've been banging the drum to apply EARLY, EARLY, EARLY in the admissions cycle. Recently, though, it's been more of a finger tapping. 

Many people who submitted their applications last fall are already getting acceptances, so that hasn't changed, and that's a nice bonus for them.

52 Weeks to College: Week 32 -- Managing Your Way through the February Lull

It has finally come.  The February lull.  If you have been working your 52 Weeks plan steadily, you really don’t have much to do with regard to college admissions this week. Maybe an interview or two. Maybe some things related to financial aid. But nothing big. Yay! Stay on track by handling the lull well.

Week 32 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 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.

Finding Your Voice

Some nice feedback on working with our consultant Greg, from an applicant headed to a T14 law school:

Greg, I am absolutely delighted to let you know that I have been accepted at _________  [T14 law school]!! It is honestly a dream come true for me.  _______ was a reach school for me, as I fell right along the median for GPA, but slightly below for the LSAT.

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.

The Wild and Crazy February LSAT

Today’s advice comes from our friends at Blueprint LSAT Prep. Blueprint students average an 11-point increase on their in-class practice tests, and can enroll in live LSAT prep classes throughout the country or online LSAT courses from the comfort of their own home.

With February LSAT deadlines abound, you’re running out of time to start studying for the next administration.

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*.