Top 5 simple ways to improve your SAT and ACT score

1. Time yourself

The most baffling mistake in all of test prep – never timing yourself. Year after year we see students that do not accurately time themselves for standardized tests and suffer unnecessarily for it. There are timing devices available on amazon, or even better yet, come to one of our practice exams. The first one is on us!

2. Get Diagnostic Results

Another simple error is never getting a diagnostic report done. Many students self-study or go through school programs that do not have detailed diagnostics. Heck, even the SAT and ACT have very inadequate reports that come with their tests. “I got a 26 out of 40 on Math, what does that mean?” Yup, you guessed it, nothing. The fake data given out by the testing companies is made to give you a false sense of assurance. Luckily we have the most detailed diagnostics possible. Once again, the first one is on us, and we send you one every time you take a test with us.

3. Learn Math Formulas

Another very simple solution to a higher SAT or ACT score is to simply know every math formula cold. We can provide you a list of formulas you need to know on the test to get you started. It is senseless to lose points because you forgot the special right triangles, or the pythagorean theorem. Anyways, remember that knowing the formulas is step 1, but being able to apply them is step 2. We can show you both.

4. Learn Grammar Rules

Another obvious but overlooked aspect of the SAT/ACT. You MUST know every grammar rule tested on the exams. You must understand the parts of speech, independent and dependent clauses, and how to use punctuation. This is not a sounding test, and anyone that tells you to sound out answers is simply incorrect. You must analyze the grammatical issues in each sentence in and out. Knowing the rules is the first step to a higher score on these questions. We can teach you the rest.

5. Know when to Skip/Guess

A final easy way to improve your score is to simply guess on questions you do not know. For starters, you should leave no questions blank, even if you run out of time. There is no longer any penalty for wrong answers. Second, it is crucial that you do not get bogged down on one question at the expense of others. Each question is worth the same number of points!

– Take these 5 simple rules to heart and really try to absorb them. You are already on your way to a higher score! –

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By: Nicholas LaPoma, Owner, Curvebreakers

How to help your child cope with the stressors of college prep exams?

Every time we think of the word exam the next word that comes to mind is the word ‘stress.’ We have all been there. Everyone knows that the days of exam preparations are full of anxiety. In fact, exams bring along a package of the biggest stressors of student life. And, as a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure your kid doesn’t succumb to that stress.
Here’s how you can do your job well as a parent and help your kid cope with the anxiety and pressure that often comes tagged with days of prepping for the examination –

First off – recognize the stressors

• Not being ready to accept uncertainties/failure
• Unrealistic expectations set either by the parent or the student
• Procrastination
• Family issues making it difficult to focus on studies
• Negative self-talk or pessimism

Be their support system

We all want some form of support system. And, the biggest support system comes from parents. This is not just some fancy way of saying that your kids need you! It’s the truth. Do not distance yourself from your children when they are prepping for the exam. Be available to talk out any problems if you feel they are going through them. Express your willingness to help them and actually be there when they need you.

Do not remind them of your high expectations

Sometimes kids fear more not being able to live up to their parents’ expectations than their own. After all, we all know how disappointing it can be to let someone down. The situation becomes worse when that party is our own parents. It’s the first rule of parenting 101 – never express your high expectations from kids. Instead, show faith in them that they will do their job best. Even if they fail to, tell them you still love/accept them no matter how they perform in exams. This alone should make them feel lighter and less stressed out.

Give them a peaceful space to study from

Create a separate study room for them and make sure not to use it for any other activities. Make sure the environment is conducive of studying with full concentration. Do make sure there are no noises from the background or the television.

Try not to bring up family issues or raising them in first place

The human mind can only focus on one thing at a time. If students are preoccupied with family issues, they would never be able to concentrate on their studies. Do not give them negative things to think about. Try to maintain harmony in relationships when exams are nearing.

Avoid using negative words

Times of prepping for examination is when the kids need the dose of positivity the most! Therefore, parents need to be mindful of the words they use while around kids. Do not say stuff like ‘why haven’t you started prepping yet’? Or ‘there’s so little time left for the exams.’ Instead, give them encouragement. Do not put them down.
Kids take their parents words at face value. Therefore, everything you say should be positive, healthy, and full of encouragement. Ask them if you can help them out in any way possible.

Give them assurance

Sometimes kids set too high or unrealistic expectations for doing exceptionally well in the exams. And that can set into motion a series of prolonged anxiety and self-created pressure. We all know that things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to. Despite all the hard work, we sometimes fail to achieve the goal with which we set out.
With that said reassure your kid time and again that it’s okay if they don’t do that well in exam or even if they score a little less than their target.