TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Tutoring & Test Prep

Posted Jan. 21, 2015, 9 a.m. by Nicolaus Jannasch | View Comments
how to study more efficiently

With college admissions being more competitive than ever, high school students have to take on the challenge of taking more rigorous classes. The only problem with that is that there are only 24 hours in a day—sometimes there is just not enough time to study for all of your classes before a big test or an exam. Too often, students make the mistake of pulling all-nighters and cramming everything in the night before, which is the worst mistake a student can make. These following tips can actually help you study more with less time. 1. Create Mnemonics Mnemonics are ways ...

Posted Sept. 29, 2014, 10 a.m. by Elly Swartz | View Comments
college application writing tips

You sit on your bed, at your desk and in the library wondering where to begin your college admissions essay. It’s not like there’s a Google map showing you how to go from here to there. How do you dig through 17 years of experiences and select the one that shares your voice, your vision, your passion? Was it when you sat behind Grandpa’s dented old Buick the day you got your license, or the time you figured out how to rig your book to the shower door without getting it soggy so you could finish the last chapter of ...

Posted Sept. 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Is Right for Your Teen?

Even though the SAT and ACT are both nationally recognized college admission tests, the tests are very different. While some colleges and universities have decided to become “test optional” (see list below), the majority of schools still require applicants to submit a standardized admission test score. How can parents help teens choose which test is right for them? What are the main differences between the ACT and the SAT? The SAT will be undergoing major changes in 2016. But for now it remains the same test as in prior years. Both tests have a math, reading, and writing component (although ...

Posted Aug. 1, 2014, 10 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
taking a standardized test

In the past few years, and increasing number of selective colleges and universities have adopted test-optional policies, no longer requiring students to submit their standardized test scores. Institutions eliminating or de-emphasizing standardized tests often cite a lack of confidence in the SAT’s and ACT’s ability to predict college success and/or a desire to improve campus diversity. Test-optional schools are still a minority in American higher education, but their numbers are growing and now include several highly desirable and ultra-competitive institutions. College Transitions recently published a complete list of selective, test-optional colleges. TeenLife also recently published the blog Test-Optional May Not ...

Posted July 22, 2014, 10 a.m. by Sara Zhou | View Comments
studying for standardized tests

With admission rates plummeting year after year, the Class of 2015 is gearing up for what looks to be a tough academic year. Much of the focus is placed on who will get in where, but this time of year is also ideal test-preparation time for lowerclassmen. For those juggling college applications with an already-tight school life or just starting to think about the college process, there’s good news yet. There’s one thing you can easily conquer—and despite its legendary menace, it’s only three letters long. Diagnostic Tests What is the SAT? (A) Scholastic Aptitude Test (B) Requirement for College ...

Posted July 20, 2014, noon by Sara Zhou | View Comments
Test-Optional May Not Be as Optional as You Think

For all that trivia and testing techniques that I know about the SAT, I don’t much like the test itself. According to a recent study by the American Educational Research Association, there is a clear relationship between economic privilege and standardized testing performance. Other critics point out that doing well on the test is much more influenced by who has the chance to hire SAT tutors than in academic ability. When the SAT-optional movement picked up momentum a few years ago, it seemed that there was an answer to all these problems. More Opportunity for More Students Students seemed to ...

Posted July 7, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Reasons to take the PSATs

For many high school students, the PSAT is their first big standardized test. The PSAT is often considered a practice test, but it is technically a preliminary test for the SAT, with one big distinction: Scoring well can get you named as a National Merit Scholar finalist and earn you cash for college. It’s the perfect test to figure out your best strategies for test prep, especially if you’re a sophomore taking it for the first time. The PSAT has three categories worth 80 points each: reading, writing and math. A perfect score would be 240 Points. The test takes ...

Posted July 1, 2014, 1 p.m. by Sara Zhou | View Comments
3 Time-Saving Study Techniques

We’ve all been there before. It’s an ungodly hour in the night-slash-morning—Is that the sun rising outside your window? —And you’re online, browsing old Yahoo Answer threads with informative titles like “HELP??! Chemistry!” Perhaps this is not the best way to finishing your stoichiometry study set. But what better methods can there be? To help you through finals despair and aid you in all endeavors desk-related, we’ve compiled some of our favorite study techniques. For a more efficient and pleasant study experience, you may want to try out these five techniques. Speed Reading If you’re ever tempted to skip a ...

Posted May 9, 2014, 2:36 p.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Taking the SATs

Everyone knows how important standardized tests are in the college application process. But what about SAT Subject Tests? How important are they to college admissions and should everyone take them? What are SAT Subject Tests? SAT Subject Tests are hour-long content based tests, which allow you to demonstrate proficiency in a specific subject. There are 20 Subject Tests in all and unlike the SAT where you have to complete all three sections, you get to choose which Subject Tests you would like to take. Subject Tests are offered on the same dates as the SAT and you can take up ...

Posted May 5, 2014, 3:02 p.m. by Magoosh | View Comments
5 Facts Every Parent Should Know About the SAT

Parents are so inundated with information regarding the SAT that they often have trouble knowing fact from fiction, truth from hyperbole. For years, I’ve dealt with such misconceptions and uncertainty any time I talk to a parent. If I had to think of five things I wanted every “SAT parent” to know, five important facts to help them navigate through the welter of confusion, I would tell them the following. Students can improve on the SAT. There is a myth that the SAT is a glorified IQ test, and a student’s score is impervious to change: it is as hard-wired ...

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