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)

I See Patterns in SAT Test Answers

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoStudents often get into trouble when they begin to spot patterns in their SAT answer choices (e.g. A-A-A-D-D-D) and allow those patterns to impact their subsequent answers. Reacting to patterns on the SAT is pure folly.

Here’s a little math problem you would do well remembering when going into the SAT test. Assume you are flipping a coin where the odds of coming up heads is 1 out of 2 and the odds of coming up tails is 1 out of 2. You flip the coin and, remarkably, it comes up heads 5 times in a row. If you were placing a small wager on the sixth toss, would you assume the odds of coming up heads is 1 out of 64 (i.e., 1/2 to the sixth power) or the same 50% as the first toss? The obvious answer is 50%, (more…)

Spring Juniors vs Fall Seniors

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoEvery year I meet a lot of kids who prepare for, and try their best on, an SAT or two during the spring of their junior year. When they get results they are not happy with, they panic or start to doubt themselves.

I always tell them not to panic or begin to doubt themselves. “It is the rare student who crushes the SAT junior year.” Most (like me back in 1985) will have to wait until senior year. (more…)

The SAT Rewards Execution, Not Potential

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoOne of my current students is a very bright young woman. She has all the raw materials she needs to crush the SAT. Her problem, however, is that she is very impulsive when she takes the test. (Her impulsiveness usually results in a handful of extremely careless errors on any given practice test.)

In a conversation with the student and her mother after a recent session, I found myself asserting the following:

The SAT does not measure or reward potential; it measures and rewards execution.

This is why the SAT is particularly frustrating for teachers and parents. (more…)

Exposure to Possibilities is Half the Battle

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comThe old saying “knowledge is power” is never more true than in the game of college planning. SAT scores, GPA’s, and school activities play a major role in opening the gates of college, but they matter little if a student doesn’t know the incredible places that their abilities can take them. Access to powerful knowledge – be it the scores of free SAT prep resources, teachers who stand ready to point in the right direction, or financial aid and scholarship programs – continues to be a gating issue for lower income and inner city students in much of the U.S.

Today I stumbled upon this inspiring story of Don “D.W.” Cartier (more…)

College Rejection Letters: A Humorous Reaction

Karl Schellscheidt

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comA few years ago I remember reading a newspaper article that included a funny letter written by a high school senior who had received several college rejection letters. I recently came across a copy of the letter and thought I would share it.

    Office of Admissions
    Any College
    Wherever, U.S.A.

    Dear Any College:

    Having now reviewed the many rejection letters received in the last few weeks, it is with great regret that I must inform you that I am unable to accept your rejection at this time.

    While I realize that, whatever you might read after that first sentence may be of little consolation, I would still like to clarify some points for you.

    This year, I applied to a great number of fine colleges and universities and, of course, received many rejection letters. Unfortunately, the number of rejection letters that I can accept is very limited. It is for this reason that I was forced to reject the rejection letters of many qualified institutions. (more…)

Junior Year SAT Test

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video

Coming up in March, many high school juniors will take on the SAT test for the first time. Despite all your best efforts to prepare for the SAT test, chances are you will not “crush” the test and reach your highest potential score. Why? In this prepcast, I discuss why junior year SATs are for most a developmental step towards your final SAT goal. (more…)

Real SAT Stories: Second Guessing on the SAT

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video Preparing for the SAT requires practice and practice tests should always be completed under “simulated” conditions. It’s not enough to merely master the subject material given the number of extraneous variables at work on test day. In previous posts on ePrep, I’ve discussed the need to simulate the test environment by practicing at your kitchen table or high school desk instead of while lying on your bed. I’ve noted how the noise, temperature, and other distractions within your SAT test classroom are outside of your control. The devil is in the details. Join me in this Real SAT Story as I relate how allowing too much time for second guessing proved to be the undoing of a former student. (more…)

Real SAT Stories: PSAT to SAT Scores Are Not Preordained

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video When students first take the PSAT and get their scores back, they also get a projected range of how they will likely score when they take the SAT. Let me state very clearly that you should never limit yourself to what the “experts” predict for you. The PSAT and SAT employ as much test taking strategy as they do academic knowledge. You can break free of your “SAT score range” with proper SAT preparation. Join me in this prepcast as I relate the real SAT story of a student, now a junior at Princeton University, who marched right past her SAT range as first indicated on her PSAT. (more…)

Real SAT Test Stories: My Nightmare Experience

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video Diligent preparation for the SAT test material is essential, but don’t underestimate the chances that something will go wrong on SAT test day. In fact, you should almost plan on it. As with everything in life, you cannot control all the variables at work when you walk into that classroom and sit down for the SAT test. However, you can control your reaction to any problems that arise. Join me in this prepcast series on real SAT stories as I relay my SAT test day nightmare. (more…)

Real SAT Test Stories: Living up to Your Potential

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video On game day, athletes often struggle to perform as well as they do in practice. Similarly, students who have prepared well for the SAT or ACT often struggle to maximize their potential on test day. This was the situation in which one of my students found herself during the fall of senior year. So what do you do if you score really high on practice SAT tests but fail to reach the same level on test day when it really counts? Join me in this prepcast as I recount one not-so-unique story. (more…)

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