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How to Write a Compelling Essay for your College Application

Almost all colleges require applicants to write an essay. Why, you may ask? Aren’t great grades and SAT/ACT scores more important? Colleges have many requirements for gaining admittance and grades and SAT/ACT scores are just part of the overall picture you present to a college. However, the number of applications received by colleges far exceeds the number of available spots. Even if you pass the numbers test, you still may not be accepted. The application essay can be the defining feature on your application and may be the difference between you receiving an acceptance or rejection notice. Most college essays are [...]

How and When to Prepare for the PSAT, SAT or ACT Exam

Many students wonder if they should study before taking the PSAT, SAT or ACT exam. The simple answer is YES. There are many methods of study that are available to you and your preparation can be tailored to meet your learning style. Many students like preparing online and there are programs that can guide you through the exam prep. Some programs are free while others charge a fee that varies from inexpensive to expensive. I recommend this method of studying if you are a self-motivated learner and can master new skills without personal instruction. If you prefer guidance from an [...]

How To Make Your College Application Stand Out

Getting an early jump on college prep is the key to getting ahead in the competitive field of college applications.  Each year, the number of applications at a wide range of institutions have increased over the previous year and the acceptance rate has dropped. The stiff competition can be blamed in part on the popularity of the Common Application, which is currently available for use by more than 500 colleges.  This makes it easier for students to apply to multiple colleges swelling the application pool. 1. PLAN WAY AHEAD Start designing your academic route early, even before high school if [...]

By | 2019-01-14T07:17:54-08:00 October 9th, 2015|Entrance Exams and Essays, General Admission Information, Tips for Parents, Tips for Students|Comments Off on How To Make Your College Application Stand Out

Which Exam – Act or SAT –Is Right for You?

Choosing which exam to include in your college application portfolio is an important part of your college application strategy.  Many years ago, your choice would have been dictated by geography. Students applying to Midwestern schools took the ACT, while students applying to schools on the East or West coasts took the SAT. Today, most colleges or universities accept both exams and place equal weight on both.  This new flexibility allows the savvy applicant to play to their key strengths based on the structure of each exam. Focus on determining which test would allow you to excel most.  The SAT exam [...]

By | 2015-09-28T22:14:58-08:00 October 8th, 2014|Entrance Exams and Essays, Tips for Students|0 Comments

How to Write a Compelling Essay for your College Application

Almost all colleges require applicants to write an essay.  Why, you may ask?  Aren't great grades and SAT or ACT scores more important?  Each college, especially the elite ones, has number requirements for gaining admittance.  However, even with highly selective schools, the number of applications received is more than the number of available spots.  Even if you pass the numbers test, you still may not be accepted. The application essay can be the defining feature on your application and may be the difference between you receiving an acceptance or rejection  notice. Most college essays are good, just not great.  A good [...]

The 6 Worst College Application Mistakes

We are officially in the midst of the college admissions season! Millions of students across the world have been and will be submitting applications. And while technology is making submitting easier, there is still room for human error. Below are the 6 worst college application mistakes that you want to avoid before you actually hit SEND! 1. Misspelling your own name. Make sure that your name is spelled correctly on all your applications and official documents Simple typos and misspellings – Daneil versus Daniel, Cathy versus Kathy, or Smith versus Smiht – can cause colleges to think that two different people [...]

By | 2018-06-11T00:39:41-08:00 December 21st, 2011|Entrance Exams and Essays|Comments Off on The 6 Worst College Application Mistakes

Tips for the Personal Essay Options on the Common Application: Avoid Pitfalls and Make the Most of your Personal Essay

It is important to understand your options when it comes to the Common Application essays.  Below is a discussion of the six essay options. Option#1:  Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. The key word here is evaluate.  You aren't just describing something, the best essays will explore the complexity of the issue.  When you examine the "impact on you" you need to show the depth of your critical thinking skills.  Introspection, self-awareness and self-analysis are all important here. Option #2:  Discuss some issue of personal, local, [...]

By | 2018-06-11T00:39:41-08:00 November 23rd, 2011|Entrance Exams and Essays|Comments Off on Tips for the Personal Essay Options on the Common Application: Avoid Pitfalls and Make the Most of your Personal Essay

Low SAT Scores? Tips on Getting into a Good College with Low Scores

Low SAT scores are not the death knoll to getting accepted into a good college.  Here are some tips for helping your teen get accepted into a good college. 1.  Retake the exam.  Depending on when the applications are due, If your teen has the time to re-take the exam, it should be done.  Your teen should take a qualified review course.  Simply taking the exam again without additional preparation isn't likely to increase the score very much.  Most colleges will consider only the highest score, and with Score Choice, your teen can submit the scores from the best exam [...]

By | 2018-06-11T00:39:42-08:00 November 10th, 2011|Entrance Exams and Essays, low sat scores colleges|Comments Off on Low SAT Scores? Tips on Getting into a Good College with Low Scores

Steps to Mastering the SAT Essay

The SAT exam began testing a student's writing ability in 2005.  Even the worst wordsmith shouldn't get too concerned about this section of the exam since it only counts for 10% of the total score.  However, It may very well be the most useful section of the test.  That's because the writing skills it helps to hone are critically important to any student wishing to be successful in college, where papers are assigned on an almost weekly basis. Don't over think it. You only get 25 minutes to write the SAT essay and it comes right at the start of [...]

By | 2018-06-11T00:39:42-08:00 September 20th, 2011|Entrance Exams and Essays, Tips for Students|Comments Off on Steps to Mastering the SAT Essay

Top Tips for Writing a Compelling College Essay

Your student is about to write one of the most important essays of her life.  Don't panic.  A great college admissions essay will present a vivid, personal, and compelling view of your student to the admissions staff.  It will round out the rest of the application and help your student stand out from the rest of the applicants.  In order to stand out from the crowd, the essay must elicit an emotional response from the reader.  The focus of the essay should be narrow and personal, authentic, not superficial.  The essay must prove a point or thesis.  The reader should [...]

By | 2018-06-11T00:39:45-08:00 June 22nd, 2011|Entrance Exams and Essays, Tips for Students|Comments Off on Top Tips for Writing a Compelling College Essay