It has come to my attention…..

2 Nov

My Take on a New Offer

The idea of parents forming small groups for SAT/ACT preparation is an excellent opportunity for families who wish to take advantage of an offer to save costs.  However, the topic warrants some cautionary comments.

First, parents should not assume that just because they have formed a group that their children will work well together, particularly when the participants know one another.

Second, the instructor must remain mindful of such students’ personal relationships and build brief periods of “break” time into the sessions so that group members can relate on a personal level.  As sessions tend to occur after school or during weekend time, if the facilitator is not mindful of the students’ need to interact, some will have difficulty focusing on the content until their need for socialization is met.

Third, the size of the group should be small so that students who need individualized attention will seek it without fear of embarrassment in front of their friends.

Fourth, the facilitator needs to teach students skills that will improve their study habits and that will transfer to life-long learning.

Fifth, students must “do their homework” so that sessions focus on the explanation of reasons one choice worked better than another as opposed to test-taking practice. This practice, known as metacognition, or thinking about their thinking–particularly in retrospect, moves learning forward.

Lastly, some students flourish only when they receive private instruction. When families take advantage of this option, the number of required meetings often reduces.

While the standardized testing big business will force the retention of these exams, today, many colleges and universities elect to move away from requiring the submission of standardized test scores.

Instead of obsessing over their performance on these tests, students need to focus, instead, on their grades; their extracurricular pursuits; opportunities that allow them to serve their community and, thus, contribute to society, and on the quality of their application essays.

Joyce Singer


November Special!

2 Nov

Are you, or is anyone you know (including parents) still obsessing over your college application essays or about your SAT or ACT preparation?  From now through the end of November, I am offering a $100 discount to new clients (prepaid retainer required).

Relax and enjoy the process!  

I am available for in-person, Skype, and FaceTime conversations and look forward to seeing you soon!

See my website for successes and testimonials.

In Honor of Christopher Columbus!

14 Oct

Did you know Columbus’s REAL birthday is October 12?

To honor his special day, for the next 12 days, you can save 12% on two hours of expert advice on your application college essays!

All you have to do is to contact me before 12:00 midnight on Oct. 2612 days from today, and the discount is yours!

Check out my services, success rate, testimonials, and contact information on my Website

I am available to chat via FaceTime and Skype and now accept credit card payment.

So, wherever you are in the world, I look forward to seeing you soon!

JS 🙂

Productivity or Procrastination? Tackling Those College Apps

10 Oct

Use the Columbus Day Weekend to further your goals!

Deadline dates loom.  Some friends completed their essays during the summer. Others have just about finished theirs.  What about YOU?

Do you know where your time goes?

  • Are you just too social?
  • Do you spend excessive amounts of time on Facebook or texting your friends?
  • Do you REALLY care what others tweet about?
  • Worse, does one or more of your friendships sap your energy or challenge your self-esteem and keep you thinking, thinking, thinking?
  • What about the opposite sex?  Do you spend too much time thinking about getting, or FORgetting, him or her?

 Your problem? P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N!!!

 Now, what are you going to do about it? 

MY PLAN (for me)

  1. Take an Internet sabbatical.  Resolve not to check personal e-mail.
  2. Turn off the cell phone. Anyone who needs to talk to me has my home telephone number.
  3. Identify one evening and one day for pure relaxation.
  4. Find a hidden corner in the public library.  Productivity increases to the tenth power!
  5. Just get started.  It feels soooooo good!

I don’t mind if you copy my plan, but please let me know what happens.

Joyce 🙂

Eeek! The Early Decision Applications Are Almost Due

9 Oct

Whether you’re applying to college for Early Decision or Early Action, or whether your top choice college or university has a Rolling Admissions policy:

Have you done the following:

  • Brought your résumé current?
  • Visited the campus?
  • Scheduled a personal interview?
  • Read the school bulletin?
  • Started filling out the application?
  • Asked two teachers for a recommendation letter?
  • Visited your guidance counselor?
  • Met with the coach of any team(s) you are interested in joining?
  • Scheduled any “one-more-time” testing dates for the SAT or ACT?

What about the essays?

  • Can you submit the common application essay?
  • Have you begun thinking about your response to the larger, personal statement?
  • How many supplemental essays do you need to complete? Did you get started answering these questions?

Have you identified an expert to help you and/or to review your final application just before you push “Submit”?

If not? I look forward to meeting you soon!

JS 🙂

Please visit my website, and feel free to contact me for further information at (203) 259-1442.

How does Step Right Into College work?

8 May

In response to two inquiries I received this morning, I composed the following explanation of the Step Right into College! program for college-bound high school seniors.

One-on-one sessions are individualized by student interest and begin with a self-selected article from The New York Times on a topic the student is curious about, yet is beyond his or her everyday knowledge.  Then we “attack” it using pre, during, and post-reading activities geared toward the implementation and acquisition of strategies that transfer easily to college-level reading, listening, note-taking and writing tasks.  As we go through this process student strengths, as well as areas needing coaching, become apparent.

Then, depending again on student interest and/or need, we may work on another article, a piece from a college text (I have many), on a novel, short story, or any form of nonfiction he or she wants to read.  This choice allows students an opportunity to practice the level of thinking, questioning, and writing college professors expect.  We work at each student’s pace and at mutually convenient times.  Because the process is a combination of interest, challenge, and no pressure, students tend to enjoy these interactions immensely, as do I.

After teaching college freshman for more than a decade, to my surprise, I discovered too many arrive on campus underprepared to meet the many academic demands, often compounded by typical adjustment and time-management issues. Having valuable strategies for adjusting to the “schooling” aspect of the college experience alleviates much of the insecurity incoming students must overcome during these first months.  And so, I created Step Right into College!

Our amount of time together depends upon both interest and need.  Sometimes, students and I continue the conversation via e-mail (and now we can Skype) from wherever they are on the planet during the summer months.

Again, visit my website, and click on Students: Keys to College Success. Feel free to contact me for further information at or at (203) 259-1442.

See yesterday’s post for a discount coupon offered to those who register with  retainer remittance.

Joyce 🙂

College Bound?

8 May

Congratulations on your college acceptance!!!

and may I suggest that you


  Consider . . . .


· Step Right Into College! ·

Designed for College Freshmen

 Invaluable Strategies for Successful Transition

 For more information, visit

Click on Students: Keys to College Success


Have fun (really), and save some $$$ too!

8 May

  15 % discount coupon

Receive a FIFTEEN PERCENT DISCOUNT toward the first $500.00 of all WriteRight! services engaged before June 15, 2012.

(203) 259-1442

To Next Year’s Seniors

8 May

CLASS of 2013 


Now that you have (or almost have) all your “practice” scores . . .

 View Learning Module Descriptors, click on Students: High School

and /or to


  Write Essays to Knock Their Socks Off (and yours, too!)

 For more information, click on Students: College Applicants

I look forward to meeting you!

Joyce 🙂


February ACT Score Release PLUS Some Advice

24 Feb

To all juniors (and parents) waiting anxiously for the results of the February 11 exam:

Multiple-choice test scores will be available online Monday, Feb. 27.  If your return to school that day marks the end of Winter Recess, you have two reasons to get into gear!

ONE – Second semester has started, and you’ve already met new teachers for some courses and received new syllabi. Even if you have year-long courses, you have a new opportunity to increase your GPA.

ADVICE – If you have not yet done so, take out your planner, and fill in important due dates and test schedules.  If you participate in a team sport, you also should have received the practice schedule and game dates. Add those to your planner as well.  Now, add YOUR schedule. Yes, I mean the dates on your social calendar.  Notice how much time you do have to study!

TWO – You now have your scores from both the January SAT and the February ACT.  Now what? 

ADVICE – It is time to ask yourself some questions and to make some decisions. 

  • Where did you earn the highest scores?
  •  Which exam do you prefer? 
  • Which one will you target?
  • Are you going to take one, or both, again in the spring? 
  • Which exam dates best fit into your schedule?  [SAT – March 10, May 5, June 2; ACT – April 14, June 9 ]
  • Do you have enough time to prepare for these tests? 
  • Do you prefer to study during the summer months and take the test(s) again in the fall?

Decisions, decisions, decisions!  Revisit my blog post of January 30 to help you make them.

JS 🙂