Tagged: test prep

Maximize Online Learning

Bring Your A Game to Distance Learning

Keeping focused while taking classes online can be difficult. Bring your study skills, time management and persistence to your new work space as you stay on top of assignments.

Creating a habit is probably most important to succeeding with online courses. When I don’t want to do something I procrastinate. I tell myself that there is plenty of time to complete the task. This is the exact opposite of what is needed with online classes. Make a schedule and stick to it. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is when you have a framework for getting started.

If you don’t have lessons from your teachers you can find lesson plans and help at Khan Academy (khanacademy.org). You’ll find math, science and more. Khan even provides lists of books for reading for pleasure or to alert you to iconic works for cultural literacy.

One of my favorite websites is freerice.com. Challenge yourself with this vocabulary quiz were you will have a choice of meanings for the word that pops up. When you score well you are boosted to a new level of difficulty. When you guess incorrectly you remain at that level or drop back. Best of all, every correct response triggers donations of rice to communities that suffer food insecurity.

For college bound students this time without 24/7 scheduling is a blessing in disguise. You have time to deeply research colleges. Many admissions offices are putting the information sessions on line. Most have virtual tours of the campus led by one of the ambassadors who work for the admission office. Reach out to the admissions staff with questions. Join college social media although not much is being posted at the moment.

Khan Academy has SAT prep on their website for students who will be taking a standardized test. Even Freshmen can benefit from exposure to the prep sessions.

Online learning isn’t new to colleges. You will find that brick and mortar institutions make some of their classes online to facilitate getting the courses needed for graduation. Online learning isn’t dumbed down versions of in-person classes and some students find them more difficult. Time management is the key and persistence is right behind. The habits you develop while home from high school can be valuable when you are a college student.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Thomas, Unsplash
Here’s another fun thing to do: go to the database www.citizenscience.gov and look at all the real time science research you can take part in. The image above illustrates one of the astronomy initiatives. You don’t need any special knowledge or training: if you can click of a mouse you’re qualified to take part. I’m curious about the cosmos so I chose to look at astronomy projects but there are hundreds of other fields. You can add tags for keyword search to documents in the Library of Congress. A task on Rosa Parks looks interesting. Other topics include Gardening, Biology, Environmental Science, Social Science,Clean Water Management. Go forth through the internet and explore the universe, or atoms or people!

Update: When you need to add some PE to your class schedule, or you’ve just had enough chair time, there are some places you can find a workout or a class. I’ve done this challenge; I hate squats but this is a fun break from sitting at the computer.

Several places are offering their virtual classes for free: Beach Body Fitness, Les Mills, Edge Fitness, Down Dog downdogapp.com. Enjoy!

Strategies for Scoring 800 on the Math SAT and SAT II

How To Score 800 on the Math SAT: Tips From Students and Tutors

Do extra stuff:

1. Practice concepts which aren’t in the syllabus but are related none the less. Often a math problem can be solved in multiple ways which aren’t covered in the default syllabus.

2. Recheck your answers efficiently.

3. Do as many difficult problems as you can.  Ensure you are clear about the concepts.  Practice, practice, practice solving problems.

4. Take (practice) subject tests and use Tips For SAT Subject Tests.

5.  Take timed practice tests and go over the problems you missed.  Take as many timed practice tests as you can.

6. Master your graphing calculator  Use it to solve equations and test questions in different prep sites or books.

7. Practice answering problems without the graphing calculator as Section 3 disallows the use of a calculator

8. Memorize the reference table so you don’t have to flip back and forth

9. Take practice tests from Princeton Review, Kaplan and Kahn Academy

Need help choosing the Subject tests to take?  Lets look at your curriculum and decide what will serve you best.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679


Prepping For The SAT Reading Section

Knowing what to expect on a standardized test is one good way to improve your score.  Here are some tips from the Summit Educational Group to initiate your prep for the SAT.

The reading section gives test takers 65 minutes to read 5 passages and respond to 9-11 questions per passage, 52 total.  The passages range in reading level from 9th grade to early college.

Passages and questions are designed to have students distinguish words with multiple meanings from context, give evidence in multiple choice questions, analyze information in charts or graphs attached to the package.

Balance the time you have among the passages.  Spend about 5 minutes reading, looking for the author’s point of views, attitude toward the subject matter, key points.  Write notes on the test booklet as you go.

You will then have 45 seconds to answer each question.  They are all worth the same amount so do the ones that are easier first.

Opinions differ on whether to read the questions before tackling the passage.  Pre-reading the questions can direct your attention to what is important but it does reduce the time you have to read the passage and complete the questions.

Most test prep companies offer multiple iterations of the test to familiarize students with the styles and types of questions they will encounter on the version that appears when they open the booklet on test day.  Take as many as you can find online or in your prep materials.

Do you have a strategy for scheduling test prep and examination dates?  Let me help you create a time timeline that fits your personal schedule yet leaves time to re-take the SAT or ACT before the scores must be on the admissions officeer’s desk.  stephanie@accessguidance.com, 610-212-6679


Top Test Taking Strategies For ACT or SAT

Test day is full of anxiety but here are a few things you can do as you prepare and on test day, too.

1. Write on the test booklet (or practice test).  You can work math problems on the booklet, underline points the you want to refer to as you  answer the questions.  Make notes of anything that will help you on the questions.

2. Each question is worth the same one point: the easy questions and the hard ones.  Read through the section, doing the questions you can answer as you go and saving the others to work on later.  Mark the questions you skip and go back through and work on the marked questions.  If time remains, guess on questions that you couldn’t answer on the second pass: there is no penalty for guessing.

3. Use your calculator as needed and permitted.  Calculators can save you time and help you choose an answer.

4. There as several types of questions on both the ACT and SAT.  Be sure you can identify each type and the answer choice that each requires.  Pay attention to the types of questions that appear most frequently on the practice tests.

5. Using these strategies as you prep for your test will increase your comfort and make the process almost automatic.  The more familiar you are, the faster you will be able to go through all of the questions.

Good luck!

Lets talk about a testing schedule and strategies for using your scores to best advantage. stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.




Test Day Tips for SAT and ACT

Relax.  Let The Zen Take Over
Relax. Let The Zen Take Over

Everyone is nervous on test day, anticipating long hours and head-scratching test questions.  Trust that your test prep has gotten you ready for the challenge and relax into an easy rhythm.


Colleges know  your scores are just numbers that don’t define who you are or what your future holds.  At best, standardized tests  show your problem solving abilities and how you work under pressure.  If you don’t have high marks in either of these yet, you have a long time to learn them.

Find out how your colleges view your test scores.  Text or call Stephanie at Access College and Career Consultants at 610-212-6679.  This is just one of our services for students who want personalized, comprehensive college planning.