At Everest, we have the luxury of offering personalized learning in our private tutoring setting. The ability for a teacher to reach a student is much more effective when we can cater to that one student at that one time. Here is a blog post (http://bit.ly/2pneKJZ) from Bill Gates on moving this model into schools...a change our educational system should thoughtfully consider.
This will be a great assist to busy juniors who find the end of the school year an inconvenient time to test. It will also allow students to take time and prepare without the added responsibilities of school and school year activities filling up their schedule. It might also be of good use to rising juniors looking to get ahead of admissions tests and be wrapped up well in time to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of being a high school junior!
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Since the first scores of the New SAT were released last week, there has been a great deal of speculation and skepticism surrounding the scores, and quite frankly it is for good reason. Although many students in Montgomery County, MD were thrilled to see scores better than they expected, the numbers reported in and of themselves are actually a bit misleading, as the Washington Post reported in an article titled “Why your new SAT score is not as strong as you think it is.”
At first glance, the scores from the new SAT appear encouraging. However, the reality is that a score of 1300, for example, on the new SAT, is not as strong as a score of 1300 on the past exam. In fact, you need a converter to adjust your new score to the appropriate score. (Incidentally, there is also an app available through the College Board to help convert scores). However, what the conversion calculators unanimously reveal is that the new scores don’t stack up to the old scores, and the discrepancy between scores can be as much as 80 points.
That means that students who were counting on a specific score to lock in admission to a certain school are liable to find out they need a higher score than they thought. Consider the example of student Bill Jones. Bill believed he needed a 900 total SAT score to fall in line with the median score of Incoming freshman at West Virginia University in 2015. However, with the new SAT scoring system, Bill actually needs a 980 score. Likewise, at Penn State, where the 2015 median score of incoming freshmen was an 1190, students taking the new SAT need to score 1260 for the score to carry the same weight.
Confused yet? You’re not alone. At Everest Tutors & Test Prep, we predicted that there were going to be some hiccups and obstacles and problems with the new SAT. A change of this magnitude simply wasn’t going to go off without a hitch, which is why we continue to recommend that high school students in Montgomery County, MD take both the SAT and the ACT for the foreseeable future.
The ACT has become the more popular of the tests in recent years, and with such big changes to the SAT, it is highly advisable that students preparing for college study take the ACT in addition to the SAT until this scoring is better understood. As a private tutoring and test prep services company serving Montgomery County students for a nine years, Everest's sole goal is to ensure your student performs their best in school and on all college prep tests they choose to take.
In the meantime, if you are struggling to understand what your student’s new SAT score means for him or her, in regards to college admissions, feel free to contact us anytime at (301) 208-8011 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help you and your student determine the best strategy for preparing for the next exam, whether that is the ACT or the SAT.
In this day and age, it is increasingly common to turn to the Internet and digital platforms to resolve life’s daily tasks and conundrums. Though plenty of web services make life easier or more efficient, one particular digital area’s true value still remains to be seen: online tutoring. Though some online tutoring services tout cost efficiency and accessibility, can education via the Internet work as effectively as the time tested and proven face-to-face tutoring model?
There are plenty of reasons that students and their families seek out tutoring services, often to prep for major college admission tests like the SAT or the ACT. In addition to choosing the college admission test that’s best for a student, it is just as important to determine the delivery method by which a student is best served. Even online tutoring courses that promise real-time online SAT or ACT support from teachers tend to come up short when it comes to lasting results. Though a quick online course may modestly boost scores, it is no match for a small group or private one-on-one tutoring where actual, in-person tutors can strategize alongside a student and cater to his or her specific strengths, weaknesses, learning style, and goals.
Personal Tutoring With a Professional Tutor
In fact, one of the most effective tools a tutor can employ is the bond forged between teacher and student which is built through spending time with one another. When trust is built between a tutor and his or her pupil through a small group setting or one-on-one study, comfort and communication result—which ultimately paves the way for the formation of positive and lasting study habits. A good tutor doesn’t evaluate from afar, via a screen located potentially thousands of miles away. Instead, the face-to-face, interaction between tutor and student puts the student at the center, and the ensuing strategy and set of goals are developed from a personalized starting point. While the nuances of test prep can get lost in translation when utilizing an online tutoring service, an experienced tutor can assess a student’s needs, progress, and long-term retention, and adjust along the way, when they are personally and routinely meeting with the student.
While online tutoring can be good at providing free generic instructional help and repetitive practice exercises, they also use generic approaches, not keeping in mind a student’s learning style or differences or their personality. An experienced tutor teaches a student how they can personalize and make the strategies and concepts their own. Using verbal and nonverbal cues, they diagnose and assess a student’s unique learning style, resulting in improved learning skills and self-confidence. Online programs have yet to bridge that human touch.
The College Board will be extending the regular registration deadline for the 6/4/16 SAT until 5/11/16. Please contact us to learn about our small group and private one-on-one tutoring options.
At Everest Tutors & Test Prep, we seek to meet the needs of each and every student, no matter his or her goals, interests, or academic background. Through one-on-one personalized tutoring and small group classes, we address the individual learning needs of all students, especially during the critical end of the year stretch. Finishing strong during final exams keeps transcripts and GPA’s on track, showing teachers and future college admission committees that a student is consistent and serious about his or her education.
America’s most elite universities are accepting fewer applicants than ever before, according to a report by The New York Times, with schools in the top percentile rejecting over 95% of all applicants—an astounding figure. This trend extends to universities across the board, as college enrollment continues to rise in numbers and in competitiveness.
So what does it take to stand out to college admission committees come application season?
In addition to the requisite good grades and solid SAT or ACT scores, there are two additional ways to ensure that a student stands apart from the pack: AP classes and test scores and the SAT Subjects Tests.
How AP Classes and ACT Tests Make a Student Stand Out
The benefit of AP tests are twofold: a good score on an AP test can make a definitive statement about a student’s commitment to taking on academic challenges, and it can help students satisfy certain college credits—valuable both financially and time-wise.
AP stands for Advanced Placement, and only a marginal percentage of American high-schoolers successfully complete these upper level courses. Subjects range from various languages to studio art to science to history, and many more. Undertaking an Advanced Placement course shows college admissions committees that a student is serious about his or her education and is unafraid to take on challenging, near-college-level work in subjects that highlight her skills and interests. Beyond that, scoring at least a 3 or higher on an AP Exam increases the likelihood that a student will be awarded college credit, freeing up valuable time to pursue an additional major or minor, explore alternate fields, pursue an internship, graduate early, and save money.
AP Tests, while laden with benefits, do require extra preparation and commitment. We provide one-on-one AP tutoring services so that students can ace their AP Exams, potentially earn college credit, and make their college applications that much more impressive.
How SAT Subject Tests Can Impress College Admission Committees
Most students and parents are familiar with the SAT or ACT tests. What many do not realize is the important role that SAT Subject Tests can play in taking a student’s college application from standard to exceptional.
SAT Subject Tests are separate standardized tests that students can take in a specific subject matter, including literature, history, math, science, languages, and more. There are 20 different SAT Subject Tests, and each is graded on the same 200-800 point scale as the standard SAT exam. Each test takes 1 hour, and tests a student’s specialized aptitude in a particular field. To be clear, SAT Subject Tests are indispensable in highlighting a student’s specialized knowledge. For instance, if a student is applying to a competitive engineering program within a university, taking the SAT Subject Test in science or math indicates a student’s interest and mastery of the material.
SAT Subject Tests can emphasize a student’s academic strengths and set him or her apart from the rest of the applicant pool. If a student chooses to use this method to bolster their applicant status, it is vital that he or she gets the results necessary to make an impact. SAT Subject Test tutoring is an excellent way to strategize before the examination, pinpoint trouble areas, run through practice tests, and identify strengths.
Whether a student is prepping for AP exams, the SAT Subject Tests, or both, we have the tutor or small group class to ensure a student’s success. Though the college admission process can feel like a daunting prospect, proper strategy, preparation, and guidance can ease nerves, bolster scores, and lead to a prosperous college application season.
When it comes to college admissions, good grades are paramount to receiving that coveted letter of acceptance to the College or University you’re dreaming of attending. As the latter half of the school year continues, it is easy to lose focus or motivation and let grade point averages slip. To prevent grades from slipping, as you’re dreaming about summer, and to ensure that your student’s college admissions profile stays stronger than ever, here are few valuable tips to consider:
Handle your hardest homework first: In outlining a study plan, students should first focus their efforts on the subjects that are the most challenging for them personally, before tackling subjects that tend to come more naturally. For instance, if a student wants to improve his or her grades in math, he/she should complete math homework as early as possible. By addressing difficult subjects first, students can best focus on their troublesome subject areas before they become fatigued.
Schedule study times, then see them through: Students aiming to maintain or improve their grades in 2016 should outline and plan for study times, then commit to follow through with their study schedule. Nearly all students are guilty of last minute “cramming,” but studies have shown that it is a far less effective study method for retaining information over the long term. To prevent this, students should plan their study hours ahead of time, then follow their schedule with the same dedication shown to scheduled sports practices, rehearsals, or other scheduled activities.
Declutter, Disconnect, and Do Away with Distractions: When it’s time to study, studying should be the only focus. Remove any potential distractions by turning off your phone, television, computer, or tablet notifications. Find a quiet place to focus, and then give your full attention to the task at hand. Scheduling study times in designated planned blocks of time can be an effective way to maintain deep focus. Give yourself a pre-arranged break every hour or so, but then get right back to work.
Resist the Urge to Refrain from Reviewing: Even if all your weekly assignments have been completed, reviewing your notes, test questions, or prepping for future assignments is a great way to stay ahead of the game the following week. By keeping learned material fresh in your mind, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in the situation where “cramming” is unavoidable.
Whether your students need a leg-up, a refresher, or motivation to continue on their winning streak, our tutors at Everest Tutors & Test Prep can help your student in the following ways:
Even top students benefit from individualized tutoring, and/or small group classes which can improve upon subject areas that come naturally by keeping material challenging and stimulating. Working one-on-one with an experienced and knowledgeable tutor at one of Bluestone Educational Network’s Tutoring and Test Prep will assure students improve test scores, grade performance, and overall academic ability.
― Bluestone Insights is an ongoing series by Bluestone Educational Network.
Bluestone is a national network of independent educators sharing resources and
talent to deliver high quality tutoring and test preparation programs. Everest Tutors & Test Prep
is a founding member of the Bluestone Educational Network.
Six times a year at Everest, we take a moment to wish our test preparation students the very best, knowing that we have taken them as far as we can and that they are prepared to succeed. Tomorrow they will get up way too early, drag themselves out of a warm bed, and head out into a cold February morning to a familiar (or unfamiliar) school. For the next four hours or more, they will face one of their greatest challenges to date as they read and figure and think and fill in hundreds of tiny circles.
The sheer physical undertaking of getting through the test itself is difficult, let alone the mental challenges presented by all the grammar, algebra, geometry, and technical charts and graphs they will face. No one should underestimate the effort and the strength that it takes to tackle a test booklet of more than 50 pages, to keep turning to the next page, to keep working each question as carefully as the last. And they face these challenges knowing full well that they are doing this so that they can have as many opportunities and choices available to them as they take that next step in life from high school to college.
Recognizing how hard this challenge is, I am always nervous for my students but also very excited, as I know that they have the tools to succeed. I also know that we have thoroughly prepared them for the ordeal ahead by taking full practice tests several times. Most importantly, after everything we have put them through, they know that they are ready to tackle anything the test can throw at them. Tomorrow is the "real deal" though, so the team here at Everest sends all our best thoughts and wishes to our crew of testers, and wants them all to know that we are with them in spirit as we have given them all that we can to succeed tomorrow. Seize the day – you are going to do great!
If you have decided to take it, given the long wait for scores--they won't be available until after mid May (if the College Board delivers on its timeline)--then you should be prepared. The test has changed from top to bottom, and we are ready to help you navigate those changes to your advantage.
Please keep in mind that our recommendation is that students have another test in their portfolio (ACT or old SAT) to back up these new scores. This is a WHOLE new test with ALL new percentiles and the college admissions community is not nearly as comfortable with what new SAT numbers mean as is is with what the old SAT or ACT scores mean. It is best for a 2017 graduate to be prepared to win over her college of choice with strong scores that can be relied upon. And if she can get two sets of those, on the new test and on an old standby, then all the better!
Montgomery County schools have announced closures for Friday thru Sunday. This means that the final SAT gets a 4 week reprieve before it makes its last appearance.
This is disappointing if you have been preparing and are mentally ready to go, but good news in that you get more time to be ready for the finale.
The most important note is that you can stop worrying and wondering and just hunker down with some hot cocoa and a good book (maybe one with awesome vocabulary!) and just be safe and warm as we wait to see how this winter weather event plays out this time around.
As internet services become increasingly available, families look to technology to solve problems and to make life more efficient. Many of us use Nest to regulate our thermostat, track our bills with Mint, and coordinate family schedules with Cozi. But should this internet use extend to online tutoring? How do parents navigate the growing number of online tutoring companies that promise to fill academic needs without the student ever having to leave home?
There are many factors to consider when finding a tutor for your child. First ask yourself the question: “What are the goals I would like to see my child achieve through a tutoring relationship?” If your answer is more than homework help or specific topic reinforcement, you may find online tutoring will not fulfill your needs. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a quick fix. You may be trading off a chance for your child to grow academically in exchange for just covering the basic facts for a better grade.
When tutoring is productive, it is not just teaching basic knowledge. It becomes a mentoring relationship that fosters greater learning which leads to enrichment rather than rote memorization. Great teachers and tutors are effective because of the time they take to build relationships with the student that foster a trust between teacher and student. Trust takes time to build and occurs when people meet in person, not in an online chat. There are other less tangible reasons that in person tutoring beats out online tutoring. A good tutor will evaluate the student’s nonverbal cues such as body language or facial expression to know when a student isn’t “getting it.” These unique personal cues are lost during an online experience. Quality and consistency are other factors to consider when choosing an online versus an in person tutoring service. Many online companies do not offer the ability to exclusively book with the same tutor. In addition, Princeton Review and many other online companies do not require their tutors have a teaching background or hold an advanced degree. With smaller companies and services, how do you know who is on the other end interacting with your child? Better to invest in a local credentialed tutor who has the experience and knowledge to adapt instruction to the specific needs of your unique child. Bluestone tutors are vetted, background checked, and trained before they ever meet with a single client.
Considering an online service because it’s convenient? Many Bluestone centers are open until 10pm during the week and have hours all day Saturday and Sunday to accommodate the full schedules of our clients. The in-center experience elicits motivation and attention that students can find difficult to muster at home in their room on their laptops. The teaching environment is incredibly important to student focus and retention. Online tutoring lacks the essential engagement that the mind needs for optimal learning. Convenience may not be the best characteristic of effective learning. If schedules or hectic commutes just can’t be conquered, there may still be an efficient way to get that in person value with a hybrid approach. Tutors can meet initially in person and then use Skype once trust has been built.
This last strategy is a great one for students at boarding schools or families traveling to a Bluestone center from farther distances.
Bottom line: websites and apps can be great for reinforcement and practice, but by
no means should they be a student’s primary source of academic support.
― Bluestone Insights is an ongoing series by Bluestone Educational Network.
Bluestone is a national network of independent educators sharing resources and
talent to deliver high quality tutoring and test preparation programs.