Archive for August, 2012

When Is the Best Time to Take the SAT or ACT?

When is the best time to take the SAT or ACT? Should you get it over with early, at the end of 10th grade or start of 11th grade?  Should you take it your junior spring, along with most other students? Should you wait until senior fall in order to benefit from the knowledge you will gain in 11th grade? Continue reading ‘When Is the Best Time to Take the SAT or ACT?’

Choosing Extracurricular Activities for the School Year

The alarming trend of dwindling college acceptance rates creates pressure in every aspect of students’ lives. Because college admissions has become so competitive, students are led to believe that even something as simple as choosing which extracurricular activities to participate in may wind up being the difference between acceptance and rejection senior year. They stress about which extracurriculars will differentiate them as applicants and often wind up enrolling in too many. Do not panic! Picking activities does not have to be a burden. Continue reading ‘Choosing Extracurricular Activities for the School Year’

Algebra is Essential in More Ways Than You Think

The state of California is leaning toward dropping Algebra I from 8th grade, preferring to rely on a “Common Core” set of guidelines that leaves out Algebra. Having a math curriculum core that leaves out the foundation of all high school mathematics is a major retreat from the curriculum standard throughout the United States, an acknowledgment of a broken pedagogy. In addition, in a New York Times editorial, Andrew Hacker rails against Algebra I as unnecessary, as a waste that causes students to drop out. This attitude shift is one of the largest in the education economy in years. Arguing for dropping Algebra ignores the structural reality of higher education. During each phase of a student’s academic career, from high school through professional school, Algebra proves essential. Algebra is also increasingly necessary in all careers. Continue reading ‘Algebra is Essential in More Ways Than You Think’

The Facts About Early Action and Early Decision for College Admissions

“Should my kid apply early?” parents are now wondering, shuffling behind their prospective students on a college tour inevitably ending on the steps of the school bookstore where the tour guide turns around for final questions.  Go ahead and ask the weathered upperclassman at the risk of your son or daughter’s embarrassment, but don’t let the memorized response determine your stance on such a critical decision in the application process.  Read on for an insider’s perspective on Early Action and Early Decision. Continue reading ‘The Facts About Early Action and Early Decision for College Admissions’

The New ISEE: Changes to the Independent School Entrance Exam

Along with the SSAT, the ISEE is one of the most popular tests taken by students applying to private schools. The SSAT and ISEE used to be nearly identical tests. However, in the fall of 2009, the ISEE changed significantly, particularly the Middle Level and Upper Level versions of the ISEE. These changes, which are most prominent in the two math sections of the ISEE, have drastically altered the nature of the ISEE and the preparation regimen necessary to succeed on it. Continue reading ‘The New ISEE: Changes to the Independent School Entrance Exam’