Thursday, December 6, 2018

How To Choose Between SAT Essay and ACT Writing

The essay portion of the SAT or ACTThe essay portion of the SAT or ACT is technically optional, but many colleges require it, while other schools will consider the essay during the admissions process. 

Here are three ways that the SAT Essay differs from what the ACT calls its Writing section.

1. Timing: The SAT allows 50 minutes to complete the essay section, while the ACT allows 40 minutes. The SAT requires that students read and understand a relatively lengthy passage before they begin to write. If you read rapidly with strong comprehension, the SAT essay may be a good option.

2. Analytic depth: The SAT requires you to analyze how an experienced writer accomplished his or her goals (and also grades clear reasoning and use of language). The ACT Writing section requires that you build a persuasive essay around a central thesis. You must reference introductory statements but are free to build on your own ideas. 

3. Complexity: Both essays require strong analytical skills. The SAT Essay provides rich source material. The ACT Writing is a more free-form test, allowing plenty of freedom to craft your response. If you excel at analyzing others’ work, read quickly and accurately, and appreciate having a framework for your own writing, the SAT essay may be a good choice. If you can create a thesis from a simple prompt, are quick to organize your thoughts, and aren't the strongest at analytical reading, you may score better on the ACT essay. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

5 Key Skills For Academic Success

As students head back to school, a combination of skills will help them achieve academic success. 

1. Organization. For many, academic challenges are related more to a lack of organization than to a lack of intellectual ability.
2. Time Management. Learning to organize time into productive blocks takes practice and experience.
3. Prioritization. Prioritizing tasks is a skill your child will need throughout life, so it's never too soon to get started.
4. Concentration. It's important to study and do homework in an area with limited distractions and interruptions.
5. Motivation. Tapping into your child's interests is a great way to get him or her geared up to do well in school.

Please contact Key Academics for expert help if your child is having trouble in any of these areas.

Friday, August 31, 2018

'Should I Take The SAT Or ACT?'

Three-quarters of students who take both SAT and ACT full-length diagnostic tests score roughly the same on both. Colleges treat both the SAT and ACT equally, so the decision usually comes down to which one the student feel more comfortable with. In general terms, many students who are more oriented toward reading and writing choose the SAT, while those who enjoy science and math more prefer the ACT.

To help undecided students determine which test to prepare for, Key Academics offers official tests from ACT, Inc. and the College Board (SAT) that can be taken at home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Don't Skim SAT/ACT Reading Test Passages

Key Academics tutors teach practical, powerful, up-to-date test-taking strategies.The SAT and ACT Reading tests are about more than reading comprehension. Students need to understand not only what is stated in a passage, but also what is implied, how parts of the text function and work together, and why the author decided to develop the passage as it is. 

Reading actively and effectively is a skill that requires practice. On other exams, you may be able to skip to the questions and then skim the reading passage for easy answers, but the SAT and ACT are challenging tests, so that method will not work. These Reading questions require a deep level of insight, and students can only solve these questions quickly and confidently if they possess the necessary academic skills and also understand how to take the test. 

Key Academics tutors review and develop the academic skills students need for the SAT and ACT, and also teach practical, powerful, and up-to-date test-taking strategies. For more information, please call 610-940-1625.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Summer Is A Great Time For SAT/ACT Test Prep

Key Academics prepares a student for the SAT and ACT.The Aug. 25 SAT and Sept. 8 ACT test dates provide an opportunity for well-paced, intensive preparation during the summer when students don't also have to focus on keeping up their grades. 

And with a $200 summer discount, Key Academics' program of 13 90-minute, in-home lessons is more affordable than ever. For a free, in-home official SAT or ACT diagnostic test and analysis, or to learn more about one-to-one summer test preparation, please call 610-940-1625.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cut Through College Marketing Clutter

The college selection process can be less stressful if you cut through the marketing clutter to discover how colleges approach teaching and learning in and out of the classroom.

  • Don't just rely on shortcut sources such as rankings, guidebooks, and popular college review websites.
  • Drill down into the college website. Learn about clubs and extracurricular activities that align with your  interests. Your knowledge of these activities can also be helpful for your admissions essay.  
  • Contact the college. Contact an admissions representative and introduce yourself by asking a well-researched question.
  • Visit the campus. Talk with students and faculty about their experiences and expectations, and of course, speak with your admissions counselor.   
  • Follow along online. Read the student newspaper online and experience the college through Facebook.

Once you have assessed institutional characteristics, you will find that your choices are broader than you imagined.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tips for Coping With Test Anxiety

Test anxietyA bit of nervousness before a test can be a good thing. It's only when it gets out of hand that it's a problem. The following tips can help overcome feelings of self-doubt.

  • Make sure you are adequately prepared. Give yourself enough time to learn the material.
  • Get a good night's sleep. Adequate rest is more beneficial than studying until late.
  • The day of a test, be sure to eat a good breakfast. 
  • Arrive early. Feeling rushed will amp up feelings of nervousness.
  • Keep a positive mental attitude. Visualize success and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. If you find yourself becoming anxious, stop and regroup.
  • Sometimes, a few quick answers can be used to get the ball rolling before turning to more difficult questions. Always read directions carefully.

Parents and students voted Key Academics the Readers Choice award and Montgomery Media's Best Of Montco award. Our tutors improve test scores and grades and make students more self-sufficient. For more information, please call 610-940-1625.