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Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

Score Choice. Test Optional. SAT or ACT? Help!

Eric Barnes

A great article in the New York Times by a mother of a high school junior talks about the dizzying array of options when approaching test prep.  Back in the day, you simply took the SAT test and your score was reported to your prospective colleges.  You most like did very little prep or may have simply bought a test prep book for practice.  Things aren’t so simply anymore.

“As it stands, Nicole remains unsure about which college admissions test she will take (perhaps both), how many times she’ll sit for it, whether or not she will submit her scores to colleges, and if she’ll need the results to count at all.”

How to Eat for the Big Test

ACT  PSAT  SAT  SSAT  Strategies
Guest Columnist

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comTest Prep – How to Eat for Standardized Test Classes and the Test Itself

Getting ready for a standardized test can be an intimidating prospect. The goal in both your studies and testing should be to take all distractions away, including those grumbling in your tummy.

These days on the internet a quick search of ‘Brain Foods’ will pull up all kinds of wacky supplements and diets that profess to have the ability of supercharging your most important organ. But the real truth to eating for a serious test or test prep class is to keep it simple.

No Distraction, Remember?

The overall goal here is to ace that test. And as any good prep class will teach you, your goal should be to eliminate distractions. While it may be advisable to modify your diet, you certainly don’t want to make any radical changes that could give you an upset stomach or give you the need to go running to the nearest bathroom.

Your best bet is simply to eat some light foods which are already a part of your diet, but try to avoid anything heavy that will slow you down and make you tired.

Establish a Pattern

If you are going to make any changes, or incorporate foods that may encourage your brain to function at its max capacity, make the changes long before the test while you are studying. If you build a pattern of eating that corresponds to a pattern of study then there will essentially be no change once the real test comes around. This is a great way to program your body to respond mentally when certain foods are only associated with studying, like mints, which have been shown to increase brain function.
Beware of the Caffeine Crash

If coffee is part of your regular study regiment then by all means feel free to incorporate it into your testing regiment as well. Just be aware of two key factors that may affect you when it comes to coffee: 1) The Caffeine Crash. 2) The necessity of a bathroom.

Crashing down from a caffeine high could be the worst thing that could happen to you in the middle of a test, so remember to take it easy when juicing up. And that liquid is going to have to come out some time, so remember the second reason not to gulp the stuff down right before the big finale.

Snacks?

Last minute munchables are a good idea, but you don’t want to be Napoleon Dynamite and snack on a secret stash of tater-tots mid-test. For one thing what if the guy/gal next to you catches you and demands his/her fair share?

But seriously, snacking during the test is overall inadvisable. During most standardized tests you will be under time constraints, and you shouldn’t waste valuable calculating time by stuffing your face. However, snacking immediately before the test may be a good idea, particularly if it is going to be a long session like most standardized tests.

Nuts, fruit, and a little water are a perfect combo for this pre-test appetite quencher. And since studies show that mint is proven to increase brain function, you may want to include one to suck on during the test just in case.

This post was contributed by Katie Wilson, who writes about the top universities online. She welcomes your feedback at KatieWilson06 at gmail.com

Impact of Dropping the SAT

Catherine

eprep test prep videoOne of my former students sent me this article from insidehigered.com. While the results of the study described are not too surprising, I must say that I really enjoyed the posted comments. They were, for the most part, thoughtful, and they covered a healthy mix of viewpoints.

Last-Minute Help for the ACT

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoIt’s a good idea to do some prep before the ACT, even if it’s last-minute.

At $69, ePrep’s Express ACT course may be just what you need.

Science: For students familiar with the SAT, the ACT’s Science section may come as a big surprise on test day. While the Science section is not terribly difficult, most students mismanage time the first time they try one. (To help with time management, skim the passages (one at a time) and quickly get to the related questions. The questions will only require that you refer back to, and fully understand, specific sections of the text. Thus, reading the entire passage in detail is not the best use of the time allotted.)

Math: The ACT math section is much more straightforward than SAT math. Unlike the SAT, however, the ACT covers more advanced topics like trigonometry. (Practicing before test day is a great way to refresh your memory on concepts you may have forgotten over the years and to learn essential topics that you may not have covered yet in school.)

Reading: The ACT Reading section does not include sentence completion questions like the SAT. The ACT Reading section includes only a series of passages with linked questions. Unlike the SAT passage based questions, however, some ACT questions go beyond reading comprehension. They require the test-taker to make decisions regarding the structure or function of specified portions of the text provided. (It’s a really good idea to expose your mind to these types of questions before test day.)

English: In concept, the ACT English section is much like the SAT Writing section. (Because the format is different, however, it would behoove you to take a practice test before you sit for a real ACT.)

Good luck on Saturday to all taking the ACT!

ePrep Launches ACT

ACT
Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoWell, the wait is over. ePrep has finally launched its ACT study program. For those of you how have been waiting, we really appreciate your patience. While the course took longer than expected to complete, we are very happy with the final product and are confident that it will help a lot of students eprep their way to a higher ACT score.

Good luck to anyone taking the ACT on February 7th.

ACT Study Program

ACT
Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoI am excited to announce that the wait is nearly over. Within the next few days, ePrep will be launching the world’s first online, video-based, ACT study program. All of us at ePrep are very happy with the final product.

We are confident that students eprepping for the ACT will find their ePrep experience as rewarding as those who have chosen to eprep for the SAT.

If you are interested in taking the ACT, please check back in a couple of days.