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Should Your Students Take the SAT Essay now that Harvard Won't Require It?

Posted by Sheldon S. on Apr 18, 2018 7:44:00 AM

Next year, Harvard's pool of applicants will not be required to send SAT Essay scores. In a recently announced policy shift, Harvard has joined fellow Ivies Columbia, Cornell, and Penn in no longer requiring applicants to submit either of the optional SAT or ACT writing tests.

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Topics: College Admissions, College Applications, Test Prep Advice, SAT Essay, SAT Writing, Harvard, University of California, Stanford, SAT Essay Guide

How Should Tutors Help International Students Prepare for the New 2018 Computer-Based ACT Test?

Posted by Matt McCorkle on Apr 13, 2018 5:49:00 AM


You've probably heard that ACT plans to administer a computer-adaptive version of its eponymous test starting in the Fall of 2018. It's not true. ACT has no plans to administer a computer-adaptive ACT in 2018 and no firm date to roll one out anytime in the near future. In this post, we attempt to uncover how so many students, parents, tutors, and even teachers came to believe that ACT plans to offer a computer-adaptive test for the Fall of 2018. 

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Topics: China, facebook, ACT, ACT tutoring, Sample ACT curriculum, ACT Tests 2018, ACT Academy, ACT Press Release, Computer Adaptive ACT, Computer Adaptive Test, Online ACT Test, International Students, Computer-Based ACT, fake news, Mark Zuckerberg testimony, Computer-Based Test

How to Interpret your SAT Scores

Posted by Sheldon S. on Apr 3, 2018 5:51:00 AM

With SAT score reports set to release in just a matter of weeks, there’s no better time to figure out exactly what information is coming your way.

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How Long Should Your Tutoring Sessions Be?

Posted by Matt McCorkle on Mar 22, 2018 6:39:00 AM

Effective tutors tailor their instruction to the needs of their students. At the first session for a new client, a number of key decisions must be made based upon pre-assessment data and a student's growth goals.

Ultimately, part of that decision-making discussion must include how long tutoring sessions should last and how often they should occur. While some test prep companies opt to standardize the process and their curriculum as much as possible, the best ones find ways to tailor fit the experience to student needs. Deciding upon the ideal session length for a student is one aspect of tutoring personalization that tutors and test prep professionals cannot afford to overlook.

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Topics: ACT Prep, SAT Prep, Best Practices, Tips for Tutors, Test Prep Packages

Why Test Prep Companies Should NOT Attempt to Compete on Price

Posted by Sheldon S. on Mar 13, 2018 6:33:00 AM


The Price Is Wrong.

One of the most important decisions you can make for any business is what to charge for your products and services. Typically, this judgement boils down to a strategic choice about the business itself: are you peddling a common commodity or offering a high-end product or service?

In the case of the latter, you have the ability to charge a premium to employ the best staff, and implement the most effective curriculum. With the former, you will spend your days trying to make ends meet in an unwinnable race to the bottom of local test prep pricing.

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Topics: ACT Prep, marketing tools for tutors, ACT curriculum, Marketing Mistakes, ACT Academy, Free ACT Test Prep, price strategy

Erasing Careless Mistakes on the ACT and SAT

Posted by Sheldon S. on Mar 9, 2018 6:55:00 AM


Years ago when I took the SAT as a high school student, I got a single problem wrong on the math section. One. I remember exactly what the problem was as well as the mistake I made. Especially frustrating was that fact that the only thing standing between a perfect SAT math score and me was a single, careless error.

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Topics: sat homework, College Admissions, act homework, Test Prep Strategy, SAT Tests 2018, ACT Tests 2018, Free ACT Test Prep, Free SAT Test Prep

5 Ways to Help Parents Support their Child's Test Prep Efforts

Posted by Matt McCorkle on Mar 2, 2018 7:01:00 AM

Just as buying a $10,000 guitar and hanging it on a wall won’t make you the next Eric Clapton, parents who pay top dollar for test prep don’t automatically wind up with students who ace the SAT.

Success and proficiency come from a combination of dedicated practice, effort, and invested time. As a tutor, the focus is typically on the student; but an often-overlooked part of the formula for a successful test day is parental involvement.

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Topics: ACT test prep, SAT test prep, Tips for Tutors, Test Prep Tips

Is Your Test Prep a Commodity?

Posted by Matt McCorkle on Feb 15, 2018 7:16:00 AM


Commodities have long existed as the cornerstone of economies large and small throughout time and across the world. In simple terms, a commodity is a raw material or good with a high degree of fungibility, meaning its value exists irrespective of who or what produced it. My gold bar is worth the same as your stack of gold coins. Cotton, cocoa, and frozen orange juice are all examples of commodities. And unfortunately for a lot of tutors out there, test prep has increasingly become a commodity. And with the rollout of ACT Academy, the trend is set to continue. How will your business react?

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Topics: Marketing, marketing tools for tutors, marketing tools for tutoring companies, test prep curriculum, Tutoring Advice, Marketing Mistakes, ACT Academy, Free ACT Test Prep, Free SAT Test Prep, Free Test Prep

How Tutors Can Compete with FREE Test Prep

Posted by Sheldon S. on Feb 12, 2018 5:14:00 AM

The recent announcement of the new, free ACT Academy coming online this spring has a lot of test prep tutors and companies on their heels.

While the SAT has offered fairly robust, free test prep materials for several years, the ACT (read: currently the most popular college entrance exam) has kept much of its materials safely locked behind a paywall. With both tests now committed to supplying test-takers with databases-worth of free practice material, how then can the test prep industry compete?

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Topics: ACT Prep, SAT Prep, free download, marketing tools for tutoring companies, the College Board, free tools for tutors, Khan Academy, Free Ebook, free practice test, ACT Academy, Free ACT Test Prep

Avoid the Flu, Save the Planet, and Raise Test Scores by Harnessing the Power of the Butterfly Effect

Posted by Matt McCorkle on Feb 6, 2018 5:38:00 AM

This year especially, the flu is no joke. People aren't just missing school and work — they're dying. Most years, it's the very young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised who are most at risk. This year, it's become common to read of otherwise healthy twenty-somethings dying a few days after the onset of symptoms. If you work around children, you're on the front lines.  So do your part by learning this silly nursery rhyme. The life you save may be your own!  And as a bonus, this post will also help you raise test scores. No lie.  

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Topics: Marketing, free tools for tutors, generate referrals, Leads Generation, Process of Elimination, Test Prep Strategy, professional tutors, SAT Tests 2018, ACT Tests 2018, Practice Tests, Butterfly Effect, Momentum