Tag Archives: SAT

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 http://www.joycesinger.com

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. http://www.joycesinger.com

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 🙂

www.joycesinger.com

“I’m a junior. When should I take the SAT and ACT?”

30 Jan

So many juniors ask me this question!  It’s a good idea to get baseline scores on each exam, so I recommend juniors take “practice” SAT exams in January or March. Then, take a “practice” ACT in December or February.

Not only will you get a “feel” for each exam, but when you have both scores back, you will see where you performed best.  THEN, target THAT exam.

So here’s the scoop—

  • Some people prefer to study leisurely and will take the targeted exam in June.
  • Others will use the summer to study more leisurely and will retake the targeted exam in October.
  • Students taking multiple AP exams in May tend to retake the targeted exam in June.
  • Occasionally, AP students will retake the March SAT or the April ACT.
  • Students not taking AP exams usually retake the SAT in May.

What to do?

Determine your style, timeframe, and preference.

WAIT until you get those practice scores before you begin working with a private tutor or taking classes.

KNOW scores typically increase from year to year merely because you’re that much older.

RELAX! Your scores are only one piece of your application package.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

JS 🙂

www.joycesinger.com

SAT Section 10

21 Jan

Just sharing some hints for Jan. 28 test-takers–

The test writers LOVE to trick you, especially in Section 10, so remember:

  •  two, and probably three, questions will be correct;
  • pay attention to the meaning of the sentence in addition to its logic, and
  • note they like to focus on the same grammar or usage “issue”  multiple times.

While a student and I worked on some practice tests today, we discovered one Section 10 had three questions testing comparison, and the other had three questions about parallel structure.  

JS 🙂

www.joycesinger.com

Tune in when you’d rather tune out!

19 Jan

“Oh, no,” some students think as their eyes begin to glaze.  “Not another grammar lesson! My paper didn’t have any errors.  Why should I care?”

Here’s my latest flash– Sit up and pay attention!  When will doing so really matter?  Those standardized tests are closer than you think!

SAT and ACT writers groove on testing students’ knowledge of grammar and usage.  You need to know how to recognize errors and how to correct them, not only for those tricky questions, but in your own work as well.  So, tune in! You will score higher on the writing sections of these exams and also will become a more efficient proofreader–for yourself–and for your classmates during writing workshops.

Soon, you’ll be whipping through those dangling participle and gerund questions like a pro!  The tests won’t fool you; you’ll impress your teachers, and your friends will admire your smarts.   Now, won’t you feel good about yourself?

JS 🙂

www.joycesinger.com