Results-oriented, personalized SAT/ACT coaching.


view:  full / summary

New SAT ESSAY: Prepare for the Possibility of Critiquing a Poorly Constructed Essay

Posted on October 15, 2016 at 10:30 AM Comments comments ()

Many of the retail prep books and SAT Essay books are written with recommendations that assume that every SAT persuasive article presented in a prompt will be well written and that a student need only find the appropriate tools of reasoning, evidence, and stylistic elements to praise.

I disagree.

Read Full Post »

ACT Changes Essay Score back to 0-12 scale

Posted on July 30, 2016 at 9:00 PM Comments comments ()

In case you missed the ACT Continuous Improvement latest series of announced changes to ACT reporting, I’m writing to let you know that you will be ecstatic to learn of this change, particularly with all of the grumbling and articles complaining about the 2015 move to report Essays on a 1-36 scale.

So, let’s say you scored a 25 Essay on your December, 2015 ACT, even though you had a 34 Composite. Let’s say that this 25 essay was comprised of three 8 sub-...

Read Full Post »

The Problem with Recycled Tests

Posted on June 16, 2016 at 6:10 PM Comments comments ()

I’ve been in the habit of taking the June ACT test and October SAT test for several years now. I generally view the June ACT as one of the more challenging tests of the year, although generally not as difficult as the December test. 

I was surprised to find my June 11th test in English and Math to be easier than I had expected. The Science section was not as difficult, other than one passage, as I had expected. I sensed ther...

Read Full Post »

Understanding New SAT Inflated Scores, Percentiles and Concordance

Posted on May 25, 2016 at 9:25 AM Comments comments ()

College Board released scores almost two weeks ago from its March 5th National New SAT test date and the public school weekday New SAT test administrations. A flurry of articles, reports, and inflamed letters has appeared in response.

The highlights of what we have learned so far include:

Read Full Post »

ACT Research posts new article explaining New Essay scores

Posted on May 19, 2016 at 4:20 PM Comments comments ()

The ACT has very recently posted a new technical research article for constituents to explain and defend its scaled scores on the New Essay format that was introduced in September of 2015. The main points of the ACT Research paper are:

1. Based on the research studies and the September and October 2015 administrations of the ACT tests, the results indicate that the New Writing test has “similar reliability, precision,...

Read Full Post »

Number One Tip for ACT test-takers

Posted on March 22, 2016 at 2:20 PM Comments comments ()

I offer small group mock testing frequently for my students who tutor with me, usually at least in the form of a baseline test and a mock test shortly before their first real tests. Although I take real ACTs and real SATs side-by-side with other juniors and seniors, I hadn’t had the opportunity to observe from the perspective of one who sits at the front of a class. I also hadn’t had the opportunity to walk around such a large group of students to watch their tech...

Read Full Post »

A Random Walk down the SAT Score Trail

Posted on February 2, 2016 at 11:10 PM Comments comments ()

Collegeboard is about to introduce its New SAT in just one month.

These recent events --
• misprinted test booklets
• “anomaly” tests with unusual scales, and
Read Full Post »

Features of a Top-Scoring SAT Essay

Posted on November 6, 2015 at 10:30 PM Comments comments ()

On the current SAT, the 25-minute essay section comes first. It helps set the tone for the rest of the test. Done well, a winning essay will help a student relax and feel confident with the start of the multiple choice sections. If not done well, the essay will linger in the mind of the student and erode his confidence. This is the one somewhat right-brain activity on the SAT. I would argue that top-scoring essays are somewhat formulaic, however. It is easier to know ...

Read Full Post »

Lifestyle Area #3 -- Get Your Sleep!

Posted on October 31, 2015 at 6:45 PM Comments comments ()

A while back, I started a 3-part blog on the 3 key Lifestyle areas to achieve peak performance on the SATs/ACTs. In my first blog, I addressed Nutrition. In my second blog, I addressed Meditation. In this blog, I address SLEEP. These three elements are the foundations for a balanced, healthy lifestyle that lead to peak performance in testing and other life events.


Everyone needs sleep to fu...

Read Full Post »

Lifestyle Area #2 -- Add Meditation to your daily ritual

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 2:45 PM Comments comments ()

A few weeks ago, I started a 3-part blog on the 3 key Lifestyle areas to achieve peak performance on the SATs/ACTs.  In my first blog, I addressed Nutrition.  In this blog, I address Meditation.  In my final blog, I will discuss sleep.  These three elements are the foundations for a balanced, healthy lifestyle that leads to peak performance in testing and other life events.

Meditation:  Archeologists and sc...

Read Full Post »