Fewer Students are Taking Them. Few Colleges Require Them. How SAT Subject Tests can Greatly Increase Your Competitive Advantage
Why take the Subject SAT Tests if fewer students are taking them? Well, precisely because fewer students are taking them!
Remember, college admissions are very competitive. The acceptance rates have fallen precipitously in recent years, as the number of seats remain the same while the number of applicants have increased dramatically--from all over the world. So how do you compete?
According to the Washington Post, there is a problem with Subject SAT tests. People do not see the value of them, especially given the existence of AP classes. Why take the SAT subject tests when you can take AP classes and showcase them in your scores? Well, one reason is that not all high schools offer AP classes, while SAT subject tests are available nationwide. Another reason is that the subject tests enable students to stand out by showing mastery in a given area. This is important for schools like MIT. It asks applicants for one score in math and one in chemistry, biology or physics.
“We do find they’re helpful and predictive,” said Stuart Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions and student financial services. Some students perform better on a math subject test than on the math section of the SAT or ACT, Schmill said. In such cases, he said, additional scores can “give us more confidence to admit those students.”
What about AP Tests, which are designed to measure college-level work? Schmill said students often take the AP tests in May of their senior year, too late for applications. He said that MIT publicizes the subject tests in marketing materials because many potential applicants are unaware of them.
Top schools require the subject tests. Harvey Mudd College requires one subject test in math and one in any other field a student chooses. Some major universities recommend that students with engineering ambitions send math and science scores. Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities, and a few others, recommend sending two subject test scores. Georgetown University strongly recommends three.
The lesson here is that if you want to get into a top college, you should take the subject tests. And given the fewer students are taking the SAT subject tests, you can increase your chances of standing out and getting into the school of your choice.
The main reluctance of students to take the subject tests is the stress of taking tests. This is primarily due to a false premise that tests are useless. Nothing can be further than the truth.
Testing is a great way of studying. In fact, experts now say that testing is better than studying, with the latter consists of re-reading the same or similar text over and over again. So studying for tests helps you become a better student and you learn faster.
If students eliminate the premise that tests are primarily to measure their IQ, or their worth, they will become better test takers. If there is one thing you can take away from this blog it is that testing is better than studying. Do not look at tests as a test of your self-worth.
If you need help in learning faster, testing smarter and scoring higher on your standardized tests, do not hesitate to contact us.
Angry parents and students have taken to social media to vent their frustrations about the June 2018. The issue seems to be that the math portion of the test was too easy, which resulted in a harsher curve. That meant that getting even a few questions wrong could result in significantly lower test scores. The College Board has sent the following information to students:
“We understand your questions about your June SAT scores. We want to assure you that your scores are accurate. While we plan for consistency across administrations, on occasion there are some tests that can be easier or more difficult than usual. That is why we use a statistical process called ‘equating.’ Equating makes sure that a score for a test taken on one date is equivalent to a score from another date. So, for example, a single incorrect answer on one administration could equal two or three incorrect answers on a more difficult version. The equating process ensures fairness for all students. The June scores we reported are accurate – the result would be the same even if we rescored it."
But frustrated students and their parents are struggling to understand that explanation. They believe that the College Board should not have administered a test that varied so much in difficulty compared to other versions.
Marguerite Saunders, 17, said she answered 51 of 58 questions correctly on the math portion of the exam in March and received a 740. In June, she said she successfully answered 54 out of 58 questions and received a 700.
“It’s not the most accurate representation of my math ability and the whole reason people take the SAT is to have an accurate representation,” she said.
Leslie Rives, a parent in Kennedale, Tex., said her son’s score dropped by 20 points in June — to 1390 — despite answering six more questions correctly than he did in March.
“It was so disheartening,” Rives said. “This one test could potentially just change this year of college admissions.”
What can you do?
1. Our advice has always been to take the ACT as well. Do not rely on one test! The ACT has been also the more consistent test than the SAT. People put more emphasis on the SAT, but we believe you should seriously consider the ACT. Full disclosure: we are not getting paid by the ACT.
2. If you are unhappy with your June 2018 SAT scores, take the SAT again or take the ACT. Yes, it is a hassle. Yes, you have pay more money. Yes, it will impact other things you are doing. We recommend to take the ACT and if given time, take the SAT again. However, if you score well on the ACT, you don't have to retake the SAT.
3. What is the big issue with the SAT? Why are they inconsistent? Well, the SAT is more abstract than the ACT, so it is not surprising that some tests may end up easier than others, because often abstract things are hard to pin down. That is why we recommend to take the ACT first. Also, if you didn't do well on the June SAT, well, maybe it is because you struggle with more abstract tests. We recommend that you take the ACT.
We will be happy to help you out if you choose to do so. You can enroll in our ACT and SAT classes. Please signup below.
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It is a common phenomenon where students are not able to get their test-day scores to match their practice test scores. To them the gap seems unsurmountable. No matter how much they work hard, or how many practice tests they take, they underperform at the actual test.
If you are one of such students, we suggest to read this blog. There are a few common reasons that official scores remain persistently lower than practice scores.
1. Test taking anxiety--fast and slow
It is natural for you to feel anxious on a test. That can manifest in many ways. You could freeze and lose confidence and try to over thing thus missing a few questions. Or, you could speed up, trying to do everything as fast as possible and start making mistakes.
If you are a slow test taker, speed up. Don't over think. If you are a fast test taker, slow down. There is usually more time than you think.
At Hillview Prep, we use an interval based strategy to teach you the right pacing for your test. Test taking is mostly about learning how to take tests when you know the material. Our methods will train you how to pace yourself correctly and bridge your performance gap.
2. Are you taking the wrong tests?!
Third-party tests (Kaplan, Barron’s, Princeton Review, etc.) are not interchangeable with the real thing. They are good to improve your understanding and abilities, but they are not the real tests. The questions they ask are different and that may be one reason why your official test scores are different than your practice ones.
At Hillview Prep, we carefully plan your learning. We interleave the third-party tests with the real tests so you build your stamina and experience in answering test questions. We make sure that you see different publishers, but not lose sight of the real tests. We also make sure you are not just using old tests.
3. Are you second guessing your answers?
Often students second guess themselves. They go back and check and double-check their answers, and end up changing the right answers to wrong ones. Many students lose points this way.
At Hillview Prep, we teach you how to guess when you are unsure of your answers. Our deducting reasoning methodology limits the number of pure guesses, so you don't have to go back and second guess your answers all the time.
4. Beware the distractions!
At home you can concentrate easily, as long as you put away your digital devices and other distractions. During the official tests, many students get distracted because their concentration got thrown off by the test taker in front of them. Maybe they were kicking their chairs, humming a tune or tapping their pencils. If someone in the room is really being loud, you can obviously ask your proctor to stop the distractor.
At Hillview Prep, we organize bootcamps and classes which mimic real test conditions. You will be taking tests with other kids, which means distractions. You could take tests using earplugs, but they may not be allowed in the real test centers due to past cheating scandals.
5. Can you sustain your focus?
Real tests are long, and unlike studying at home, you don't have access to your phone, or frequent breaks, etc. If you are not used to focusing for long periods, your performance in the real test will suffer.
At Hillview Prep, our interval pacing strategy trains you to focus for longer periods of time, thus building your test taking endurance. We teach you how to pace yourself, how to take short mental breaks without losing the flow of the test. Just like you would train for a marathon, we train you to build your endurance for the grueling test.
6. Are you being stubborn and not applying better test strategies?
We have seen smart students underperform in actual tests. The reason is that they are stubborn and refuse to implement the strategies we teach. A case in point. A bright, straight-A student came to us for ACT test prep. We coached him in better test taking strategies. He refused to use your strategies and ended up scoring a 30. We believe he could have scored a 34, given his high level of knowledge and expertise, but he refused to implement better strategies.
At Hillview Prep, we try to match our strategies with your strengths and coach you how to use your strengths to conquer your weaknesses. However, if you refuse to implement good strategies, you will underperform in your tests.
Contact us if you need help on your test prep. Call today!
“So I didn’t understand why so many of them were enrolled in the optional SAT prep section of our summer program. Why would such impressive high achievers spend their summer nights storming through a massive SAT book? Many of them already took weekend SAT prep courses back home. Did they just think it was fun to time one another on practice sets?”
A story in the New York Times talks about a student from a modest background wondering why his rich co-students were taking summer SAT prep classes.
His family and friends from home thought it was weird that he went to “school” during his summers. His fellow students saw it otherwise; they saw summer academic programs as normal and enjoyable. They approached studying for the SAT with a near-professional intensity that was alien to him.
“I realized that they didn’t just want to score exceptionally well on the SAT. They were gunning for a score on the Preliminary SAT exams that would put them in the top percentile of students in the United States and make them National Merit Scholars in the fall.”
The majority of low- and middle-income 11th graders he knew didn’t even sit for the preliminary exams. Most took the SAT cold. Few were privy to the upper-middle-class secret: To get into elite colleges, one must train for standardized tests with the intensity of an athlete.
Yes, train with the intensity of an athlete. How do you do that?
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You are told if you are smart, you will get good grades and do really well on standardized tests. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Just because a student is smart, it does not mean she will end up with good grades. Yesterday, we had a meeting with concerned parents and their talented and smart daughter, who was barely getting by in school. She was doing well, and then suddenly her grades fell. Her parents were concerned brought her to Hillview Prep to provide her with academic and test prep support. Her father kept on insisting that his daughter is smart. We did not disagree, as after talking to her we could tell that she is a typical smart and talented girl, who has too many things on her hand. She is active both in academics and in sports, and says she is not a good test-taker, but does all her homework. She said she does not like math and is not good at it, but loves science.
Usually, when someone is good in science, they are good in math too. The problem is that students often do not know their learning style and skills they need to do well in academics and in tests. They just do things intuitively. They haven't learnt that one can be good in any subject. It all depends on learning good methods of learning. Do you know how to take control of your academic abilities? Do you know how to learn effectively?
Well, if you are smart, why are you not good at taking tests? Test taking is fundamentally a skill, just like any other skill.
Many parents and teachers don't want to equate intelligence or mastery with good grades.
Intelligent kids often do poorly in tests, because they never were taught test-taking skills.
This is especially true with timed tests. . Sometimes they find the test easy, so they overcomplicate it because of their need for a challenge.
Overcomplicating a question or an inference can take away precious seconds and put them under time pressure.
Time interval training using the Smart Scoring System can help with time management as well as finding out whether you are complicating questions by going too abstract rather than being literal and answering the question asked; whether you are skipping steps, doing mental math or not paying attention, so you make minor errors, etc.
This is why even smart kids need to be taught the proper way to take a test.
The ACT and the SAT are probably the most important tests that students will ever take, but it is also the most difficult and most stressful. Even a straight-A student who excels at test taking may struggle with the ACT and the SAT, so test prep is extremely important.
The Smart Scoring System is the tool to teach students—any student—how to learn better and how to take tests better.
How the Smart Scoring System helps smart students?
If you are interested in learning how the Smart Scoring System can help you or someone in your family, let us know. We offer assessments using the Smart Scoring System to evaluate where you stand: your learning style, your strengths and weaknesses, etc. Click below for an assessment.
There are many students who have perfect scores on the SAT. These students come all walks of life and have taken test prep from various places, from the name brands to individual tutors. If you were to choose a test prep course, and there are lots and lots of choices today, which one should you choose? Of course, we will say choose us, but what really differentiates us from the name brands like Kaplan and Princeton and from the many test prep schools out there. In short, why would you work with Hillview Prep?
The short answer is the Smart Scoring System.
The Smart Scoring System is a learning tool. It can identify your academic strengths and weaknesses and understand your learning style. It is the ultimate guide for discovering the most effective methods and strategies that make you learn faster and succeed in less time.
Many students who are preparing for the SAT confuse or do not know definitions. Definitions are critical. They help you understand and differentiate a concept from others. They also help you retain the concept in a simple way. And finally, they help you answer the question on your SAT test.
Here are the most common SAT math definitions that you should become familiar with. You will see these words throughout the SAT math test, and you have to know how to use them.
You are an excellent student. You got good grades, but you bombed the SAT. You are disappointed and still want to go to a top school. What do you do now? Here are some tips.
1. Take the ACT!
This is a no-brainer. If you have not taken the ACT, you must. It will enhance your chances of getting into an Ivy league school. Prepare for the ACT with the Hillview Prep's Smart Scoring System and get a great ACT score. The Smart Scoring Systems can quickly diagnose why you failed to obtain a great SAT score and help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Working with one of our tutors, you can use the Smart Scoring System to lean faster, test smarter and score higher.
There are usually three categories of students: the anxious, the bored, and the prepared.
Many students are anxious before and during a test. It is very normal and natural. You don't take tests everyday, especially those with high impact on your future. It is almost like the Olympics!
Other teens might wonder about sitting in a seat for four hours answering questions that have no relevance to a teen's life? Boring? Uncool? Unfortunately, welcome to the world of test taking. You have to do take the test in order to get into a great college. During the test, you'll lose interest. Your mind will wander and lose focus. You'll feel tired. What to do?
And then there are the prepared teens, those who have invested or plan to invest in taking test prep courses and lessons and are fully prepared. However, just knowing the content is not good enough. You have to have strategies to maximizing your test taking abilities and efficiency. And even the most prepared will feel some anxiety or nervousness during or before the test. This is all normal. In fact, if you feel something, that means you don't care.
Use these seven tips for teens to maximize your efforts on the ACT and the SAT tests and earn the high scores that colleges want.
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According to Harvard, prior to the start of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), fewer than 20,000 students applied for admission. This year, nearly 40,000 students applied to Harvard.
One big reason is the availability of financial aid by the HFAI. According to Sarah C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “The majority of Harvard students receive need-based aid, and their families pay an average of only $12,000. Students are not required to take out loans.”
Since launching HFAI in 2005, Harvard has awarded nearly $1.6 billion in grants to undergraduates. Over that time, Harvard’s annual financial aid award budget has increased more than 114 percent, from $80 million in 2005 to more than $172 million in 2016.
The majority of undergraduates receiving financial aid pay just 10 percent of annual family income, and this standard holds for families earning up to $150,000 per year. Families with higher incomes can also receive need-based aid, depending on individual circumstances, including other children in college or unusual medical or other expenses.
Another big reason is outreach. According to William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, most students — about 80 percent — go to college within 200 miles of their homes, so outreach—domestic and international—has been critical for recruitment to maintain the excellence of Harvard's student body.
Theater and Dance
Countering a national trend, interest in the humanities has been rising at Harvard. This year, applicants with an interest in the field saw a 3 percent increase from last year’s applicant pool. Students are drawn to Harvard by the opportunity to pursue a top-notch liberal arts education along with strong, almost conservatory-like training in theater and dance. The revamped Harvard Art Museums, myriad programs sponsored by the Office of the Arts and the American Repertory Theater and the new theater, dance & media concentration have created excitement and interest.
The Harvard Paulson School and the computer science concentration also continue to drive student interest in Harvard, with a 12.3 percent increase in the number of students intending to concentrate in computer science. In November 2014, the University announced plans for a 50% increase in the size of the CS faculty, thanks to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer AB ’77.
Do you think you cannot afford Harvard?
Think again. You need only $12,000 for Harvard! Do your due diligence. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact us to help you plan your application for Harvard, and help with tests: the ACT and the SAT.
Enroll today by clicking below!
A new year usually means making New Year's resolutions, but you didn't do so well on your ACT or SAT score last year. You are disappointed and perhaps frustrated, if you put your best effort out there. Unless you earned a perfect or near perfect score on the ACT or SAT last time, you will benefit from a fresh approach to test prep this year.
You may be tempted to jump right in and hit the books. Stop! A more helpful way is to take a short break from studying to relax and rethink your strategy.
1. Take Time Off
Go back to play! Yes, play, but physical play and not video games. That will release stress and improve your mood and health. Don't look at any test prep material.
The new year is when people make resolutions to improve themselves. You should ask yourself, what can you change about yourself or your habits this year?
2. Take Control of your Academic Abilities
Your new approach to test prep should directly address the previous issues you had. Most likely, you do not know that. You might be confused as to why you didn't do so well. Other than doing more practice tests and studying harder, you do not know how to get higher scores, or worse, you believe that this is the best you can do. Nothing can be further from the truth (unless of course you aced the test).
The reason you don't know how to improve your scores is that you do not know your learning style and therefore your cannot take control of your academic abilities. Are you a visual learner? Or a kinesthetic one? Are you a fast reader or a slow one? Do you think abstractly or literally? Talk to our instructors and set up a time to diagnose your learning style. You cannot improve unless you know how.
Find out your strengths and weaknesses and use your strengths to conquer your weaknesses! Make an appointment with us and we will guide you through our Assessment Prescription Method (APM) and our ultimate learning tool, the Smart Scoring System. The Smart Scoring System can identify your academic strengths and weaknesses and help you understand your learning style. It is the ultimate guide for discovering the most effective methods and strategies that make you learn faster and succeed in less time.
So don't dwell in negative emotions or about your previous scores. Take control of your academic abilities with the Hillview Prep system. We guarantee that you will improve your scores or your money back.
The new CEO of College Board, David Coleman, spearheaded a sweeping redesign of America's oldest college entrance exam. His plan was to tie the controversial Common Core with the SAT. In an internal memo, he called it a “beautiful vision.”
What does that mean? What is his beautiful vision? We do not know.
We do know that 2016 was a bad year for College Board. From a major security breach exposing 400 test questions to going ahead with test using leaked questions to knowingly overloading the test with wordy math problems, things were bad for college board.
Plus, President-elect Donald Trump has called the Common Core a “total disaster,” saying education must be controlled locally. Even though the decision to adopt or not to adopt Common Core rests with the states, such strong high-level opposition could determine whether the course charted by Coleman helps or hurts the College Board and the SAT.
In 2012, the ACT overtook the SAT as the most popular college entrance exam in America. Given the turmoil with the SAT, we see ACT gaining more traction. Recently, the ACT launched the preACT, to compete with the PSAT. And the ACT has been the more stable test, so we recommend taking it first, before the SAT.
College board has vast resources, so it is here to stay. According to data from 2015, it had about $77 million in annual profit and $834 million in net assets. The College Board offers test-fee waivers to poor students as well as free test-preparation services through a partnership with Khan Academy, a not-for-profit educational organization. It can get away with fee waivers, free-test prep services and making big errors. But does Coleman's “beautiful vision” of common core and poor judgment regarding tests really benefit, you, the student?
Regardless, you have to take tests to get into the college of your dreams. Do yourself a favor and take both tests, but take the ACT first, to cover your base and not getting pulled into someone else's dream.
Check out Hillview Prep's test prep services for the ACT and the SAT. Visit our “Thought Leaders” page to learn more about their experiences and what it takes to get into the college of YOUR dreams.
I've had students who were very high performers in school: taking multiple AP classes, high GPA, and phenomenal resumes, but their SAT and ACT scores were not competitive.
One student I had was stuck at 2000 score on the SAT. She was able to increase her score to a 2300 just by learning how to switch between literal and abstract thinking in order to use proper and effective deductive reasoning.
Although altering her approach helped her, finding her natural approach and adapting to it is what took time. For a student to be an effective critical thinker, what first must be understood is the type of learner he or she is. Any student can memorize and learn a concept, but applying that concept in any situation requires critical thinking.
Different teachers teach you the same concepts in different ways. After a while, you have a lot of information swirling around in your mind. In order to be an effective thinker and test taker, it is important that you consolidate. Consolidation will help you classify quicker questions on the test quicker. If you don't classify the questions, you may have to reread the passage again and again, as opposed to directly to the context classified by the question.
Plus, consolidation helps you deal with your working memory. Clump similar things into one spot or shelf. Write things down and classify them. Classification also helps with understanding and memorize things, thus retrieving information faster during the test.
Teaching such techniques is what makes Hillview Prep different.
Let us know if you have more questions on improving your performance on the SAT.
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Most international students take the SAT to prepare to apply to U.S. colleges. But the SAT is not the only test available. Another test, the ACT, is accepted by all U.S. colleges, and we think you should take that first.
The ACT is a more straight forward test and surveys your knowledge learned, whereas the SAT is more focused on critical thinking and reasoning, a challenge for many non-native English speakers.
The ACT is also becoming more popular in the United States. For the first time last year, more graduating seniors had taken the ACT than the SAT.
While the number of international students choosing the ACT is rising, they still represent a smaller portion than those from the U.S. The most likely reason is that Chinese students aren't usually aware of the ACT. Plus, there has not been a major marketing push by ACT internationally, despite having 400 testing centers worldwide.
While the SAT tests critical reading, math and writing, the ACT tests English, math, science and reaching. Given its focus on science, the structure of ACT is conducive to international education and standards. The only issue is mastery of English, which is challenge for international students who are non-native speakers of English.
For those with language challenges, consider a Skype session with Hillview Prep. Can Shakespeare help you solve ACT Science? Yes, he can. If you are good in Science, but struggling in the test, try improving your reading comprehension! What does reading comprehension have to do with science? Simply put, both sections have the same approach and same comprehension methods. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about our ACT prep courses.
With the math, English, and science classes filling up a student's school schedules, it's easy to overlook the most important skill needed for each of these subjects: critical thinking.
What is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking requires a student to approach an issue both literally and figuratively, subjectively and objectively, to reason dispassionately, demanding claims to be backed up by evidence, and to infer conclusions available from facts and problem solving.
Whether it be math, English, or even Spanish class, critical reading is one of the most important elements for classifying and problem solving.
Why is Critical Thinking So Important?
Attending school and scoring well in classes will not guarantee that a student will graduate with the effective critical thinking skills needed to be successful in college and beyond. Students need strong critical thinking skills to be strong academically, especially when preparing for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. Strong critical thinking skills enables a student to be a more versatile performer.
SAT/ACT, the last piece to a successful academic career.
I've had students who were very high performers in school: taking multiple AP classes, high GPA, and phenomenal resumes, but their SAT and ACT scores are not competitive. One specific student I had was stuck scoring a 28 on the ACT. She was able to increase her score to a 32 just by learning how to switch between literal and abstract thinking in order to use proper and effective deductive reasoning.
Although altering her approach helped her, finding her natural approach and adapting to it is what took time. For a student to be an effective critical thinker, what first must be understood is the type of learner he or she is. Any student can memorize and learn a concept, but applying that concept in any situation requires critical thinking.
One piece of advice that I always give incoming high school freshman is that time flies! One day you’re entering school as a freshman, the think you know you’ll be a junior thinking about college.
Never stop planning.
Planning for the future starts the day you step on your high school campus. Which classes should I take? Which skills do I need to improve to be successful in school? Should I start writing/updating my resume? When do I take the PSAT/SAT/ACT/SATII/AP etc? There are steps we can take every month of our high school career to position ourselves to meet our highest goals after high school.
What goals do we have for this summer?
It’s that time of the season. The end of school year is rapidly approaching and we must start planning for summer.
Not just a summer camp, but a summer opportunity.
Summer is a time for us to improve ourselves, whether it be athletically, socially, or academically. One way to best understand what we want to improve is by asking ourselves what we want from the year ahead. Are we looking to make the varsity team? Are we applying to high school or college? Are we developing an interest of ours? Do we want to serve our community?
Will the plethora of options out there, we do not have to limit ourselves to just one. Let make the most of our summer and manage our time accordingly.
Flexibility meets quality: The Hillview Prep difference.
At Hillview Prep, our summer programs are “modular”. What does “modular” mean exactly? It means that your program is designed to fit your schedule! Whether you have vacations planned, another summer camp, or just a less intense summer schedule, learning with us can be as flexible as you need. Whether you are looking for an SAT, HSPT, ISEE, SSAT, Math, or admissions planning summer camp, we are here to help!
Curious to learn more? Check out our summer classes at Hillview Summer Classes!
Testing is better than studying!
What?? You don't believe we said that. Do you? Yes, testing helps with retrieving of information. Think of filing away your important documents in your filing cabinet. How quickly can you retrieve the document you filed today, yesterday, or a few weeks ago? If you can retrieve the information quickly, you can answer questions on the SAT, ACT or any other test—or just be more productive in life. Thus, testing—in non stressful situations—is the best way to learn, because you practice retrieval of stored information.
Take notes by chunking and consolidating information.
Students who take Cornell style notes do not realized the importance of consolidation: it helps them to understand and practice how the brain works best. There's no need to review your book again—you can just review your 'consolidated notes'!
Why are Cornell style of notes important?
It helps you practice how to learn—putting information in chunks, helping your working memory, which has limited storage capacity. Working memory is like a computer's RAM. It is fast but has low storage capacity. Scientists believe you can put at most 'seven' units of information, though only three or four units is best. Think of it like having three or four storage shelfs.
Consolidation helps you deal with your working memory.
Clump similar things into one spot or shelf. Write things down and classify them. Classification helps with understanding and memorize things. Two processes: encoding and retrieval, which many people don't focus on.
Retrieval requires practice.
It is similar to filing things in your cabinet, but then not remembering where it is. What you never did was practice retrieval. Quizzing is therefore absolutely essential, and students need to be experts at practicing retrieval: at quizzing. Teaching is also a retrieval practice.
A "Getting in" Strategy
SAT Subject Tests are college admission exams on specific subjects. These tests are not like the SAT or the ACT. There are no strategies—just pure material that test your knowledge on specific subjects. Though the SAT and ACT are the considered eliminators for admissions, SAT subject tests are enhancers.
Understand Which Schools Require SAT Subject Tests and Which Schools Accept Them
The subject SAT tests do not keep you out of the schools like ACT or SAT—but they get you in.
See a list of colleges using the Subject Tests. https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/about/institutions-using
The PSAT is a two-hour test given once a year in October. Many students take the PSAT, not only as preparation for the SAT taken in senior year, but also to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
As with the SAT, the PSAT has separate math and verbal sections and a third section testing English grammar. Each subject is scored on a scale of 20 to 80 and these scores are combined to create the National Merit Scholarship selection index.
Almost all students take the PSAT during their junior year, but many students take the PSAT when they are sophomores to get the feel of the test. However, it is only the scores from the PSAT taken in your junior year that are considered for the National Merit Scholarship competition.
This scholarship competition awards approximately 8,200 scholarships annually. The selection process starts with the choosing of National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists and Commended Scholars. Cutoffs vary from state to state but typically Semi-Finalists score in the top one percent of students in their state and Commended Scholars between the top one to four percent. Most of the approximately 16,000 Semi-Finalists become Finalists, and half of those ultimately receive National Merit Scholarships.
The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are:
The SAT and ACT are significantly different tests, and in many ways, they measure different skills. So depending on your particular strengths and weaknesses, you may perform much better on one test than the other. Admissions officers and educators often describe the difference between SAT and ACT in these terms: the ACT is a content-based test, whereas the SAT tests critical thinking and problem solving.
Beginning in Spring 2016, the SAT will focus on knowledge and skills that are more essential for college and careers. It will be designed to better capture what students have learned in class. Your child might prefer the SAT if he or she:
The ACT leans toward testing what students learn in school. As of late, slightly more high school students have been taking the ACT over the SAT.
Your child might prefer the ACT if he:
Your ideal SAT or ACT study method may turn out to be a combination of styles.
In this series of blog posts, we will focus on different learning styles and how Hillview Prep adapts teaching methods to the learning style and multiple intelligences.
Visual-spatial learners learn best when they:
• follow visual cues and landmarks
• imagine what something looks like as a memory aid
• look at photos or images on a screen
• look at whole words printed on a page
• use visual recall as a learning strategy
• view their own videos performing a task or activity
• watch Youtube!
• watch someone else perform a task or an activity
Methods @ Hillview Prep
We use Microsoft's Surface tablet with a cloud based app to teach, learn and communicate. The Surface tablet allows for a rich visual media, which is great for visual learners.
You may be a visual learner if you prefer visual aids such as charts, or if you frequently return to your textbook to clarify lecture content.
Aspergers students typically show strengths in their visual processing skills, with significant weaknesses in their ability to process information via auditory means. Our use of visual methods can help Aspergers students better understand his/her environment.
Some gifted students are also visual learners. They often learn best by comparing and contrasting a piece of literature to a video, or they may be great in geometry. Graphic organizers are a great resource to use with these learners. At Hillview Prep we combine real-life objects and figures with geometry to help the visual-spatial learners to grasp and retain concepts.
Is your child a visual learner? Not sure what type of learner your child is? Contact us!
We offer a free one hour consultation!