News, Updates, & Resources

Are My SAT / ACT Scores Good Enough?

Most students (and their parents) want “good” scores, but the problem comes in defining exactly what that means. Sure, most people would agree that a 1500 (out of 1600) on the SAT is good, so is a 34 (out of 36) on the ACT. But scores like 1500 and 34 reflect the top...

Why Was There An Extra Experimental Section on My SAT / ACT?

You took the SAT or ACT and instead of four sections, you had five. Why? What happened? You were ready for four timed sections and this extra caught you by surprise. Don’t Panic First, don’t panic. That extra section is a way for the test writers to try out new...

Advice for 2020 Seniors

A couple weeks ago I wrote an article advising 2020 juniors on ACT and SAT testing. Thank you to everyone who contacted me and shared the article with your friends, neighbors, and school groups. If you missed it, you can find it [here]. Since then I've had a lot of...
Sometimes the Right Academic Advice Isn’t Popular

Sometimes the Right Academic Advice Isn’t Popular

It seems like I’m always the one having to deliver bad news. I meet with clients who often want me to give them “permission” to take a ridiculously light course load or assure them that they can easily gain admission to a highly-selective university. As much as I...

Do You Need To Take The SAT or ACT Optional Essay?

Do You Need To Take The SAT or ACT Optional Essay?

Today I’m addressing an old topic, but with a newly revised answer. “Do I need to take the written essay on the SAT or ACT?” My answer to this question has changed. My old advice was, “Yes, you must take it!” In the last couple years, though, I’ve changed my answer....

SAT Subject Tests: Who Needs Them & How to Prepare

SAT Subject Tests: Who Needs Them & How to Prepare

I had a prospective client ask me about SAT Subject Tests this week. When I went to my blog to link an article on the subject, I found my 2015 information was out of date. So much has changed in the last five years that my current advice differs. Here's the update. A...

Focused Extracurriculars Activities Can Give You an Edge

I am continuing my series on extracurricular activities. If you missed the earlier parts, you can find them here: Why do colleges care about extracurriculars? Do I need to participate in a sport in high school? Extracurricular time during high school can give you an...

Do I need to participate in a sport in high school?

"I'm involved in a lot of activities at my school, but I don't play a sport. Will this hurt my chances for college admission?" This is a common question-- should an otherwise involved student play a sport? Team and individual sports allow students the opportunity to...

Why do colleges care about extracurricular activities?

Why do colleges care about extracurricular activities?

What does your extracurricular resume say about you? We've all heard that colleges want students who are involved, but this tends to bring up more questions: What level of involvement is expected? What types of activities should you choose? Should you be involved in a...

Quick Tips for Taking the PSAT

Quick Tips for Taking the PSAT

This Wednesday, October 16 is one of the national administration dates for the PSAT. I wanted to offer some quick tips for students taking the PSAT.   First, everyone should understand that the PSAT will not be used for college admission.   For 9th and 10th...

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