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What You Need to Know About the New hello world Pre-ACT

Nicholas L   
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Jul 28
While the SAT has had an official hello world pre-test for decades (the well-known PSAT/NMSQT), the ACT is just now getting into the younger-grades testing game. Starting in the fall of 2016 the ACT will offer a brand new exam, known simply as the Pre-ACT, designed specifically to help high school sophomores gauge where they’re at in terms of college-readiness and to assist them in setting goals for the upcoming years. What is the Pre-ACT At

Is Early Decision a Good Decision for You?

Nicholas L   
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Jul 21
Summer is wrapping up and back-to-school supplies are beginning to crowd store shelves. If you’re a senior stocking up for your last year of high school, though, you’ve got bigger decisions to make than simply which backpack will best withstand the weight of all your textbooks this year. College applications are right around the corner, and if you’ve been toying with applying early decision it’s time to start getting serious. What Is Early Decision? Early

What To Do if You’re Accused of Cheating on the SAT

Nicholas L   
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Jun 23
For an SAT-test taker, it’s a worst-case scenario no one wants to encounter: having your test flagged for possible cheating.  Each year, roughly 2500 students are informed that their scores are considered suspicious.  Knowing what to do if your legitimately-earned numbers are flagged can be the difference between keeping your scores and starting from scratch. Why You Were Flagged Being called out for cheating can happen at any point in the testing process, including during

Zeros and Factors of Polynomials

Nicholas L   
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Jun 17
Reading over the list of topics included on the math section of the new SAT can seem like slogging through a knee-deep vat of jargon. Buried in that list is the phrase “understand the relationships between zeros and factors of polynomials.” Although it sounds like the sort of thing writers on a sci-fi show dump in to make a scene seem technical, (“Sorry, Captain, the relationship between the zeros and the polynomial factors in the

Why Your New SAT Score May Seem Higher than Your Old SAT Score

Nicholas L   
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May 23
You’ve received your latest SAT score in the mail and feel ecstatic when you read the number--it’s significantly higher than what you expected based on scores from when you took the test a few months ago before the new format was released. While some of that bump is undoubtedly due to your diligent studying, this week the CollegeBoard  released data that suggests at least some of it is the result of test differences between the

Factoring and FOIL-ing – Polynomials Techniques

Nicholas L   
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Apr 28
When it comes to the mathematics portion of standardized tests there are at least two F-words that the test writers are actually hoping you’ll think of: “FOIL” and “factor”. In this post, we’ll take a look at these two important polynomial techniques and why they’re so useful. What are polynomials? Polynomials are algebraic terms that include a constant multiplied by a variable that’s been raised to an exponent. That means that when you see an algebraic

The Forgotten Power of Flashcards

Nicholas L   
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Apr 22
In many ways, test prep has gone high-tech. There are practice tests online, apps to help you review vocabulary, and digital descriptions of the best way to study for each section. And yet, one of the most powerful ways to prepare for standardized tests is the same one that was probably used by your grandparents--flashcards. Why Flashcards? Physical flashcards offer a number of advantages that digital test prep has struggled to match. First, preparing them

What to do When You’re Wait listed

Nicholas L   
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Apr 11
After months of wondering, it’s finally time for a verdict--were you accepted or rejected by the college of your dreams. Sometimes that long-anticipated envelope contains something between yes-and-no, though--the dreaded wait-listed letter. Here’s what you need to know when you’ve been put into the college-prep equivalent of purgatory. You’re Not Alone According to US New & World Report, roughly 10% of students end up on a wait-list as part of their college application experience, and

Guessing on the New SAT

Nicholas L   
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Mar 18
You’ve probably focused most of your test-prep time on increasing the chances that you’ll know the right answer to questions on the SAT. But what about when you don’t know the answer? Is it ok to guess? The answer is a resounding YES! In this post, we’ll look at how guessing on the new SAT works on the test and discuss ways to make it an effective part of your overall test-taking strategy. No Penalty for

Conquering Senioritis

Nicholas L   
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Mar 05
Each year, shortly after second semester begins, millions of high school seniors are struck with a dangerous disease.  High school diplomas and college acceptances are among the damage inflicted by this infection, and it’s a plague that’s unlikely to be irradiated anytime soon.    It’s conquering senioritis.   And while it’s the sort of epidemic that the CDC can’t possibly hope to contain, thankfully there are a few things you can remind yourself of to keep