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)

SAT Smuggling?

News  SAT
Randi

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comBack in January, an SAT test booklet was allegedly smuggled out of a test center in South Korea. The culprit then allegedly emailed copies of the test booklet to a student who was to take the same test a few hours later in the United States. To learn more about this story, read Kwang-Tae Kim’s article, which I found on Townhall.com.

ePrep’s Reaction to WSJ Article

Karl Schellscheidt

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comI few people asked me to comment on yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article by J. Hechinger. I will make comments from two different perspectives.

Lawyer Perspective: The lawyer in me enjoyed discussing, with friends and colleagues, the article’s double standards, flawed assertions, inconsistencies, and contradictions. For the calls I received from some old friends, I thank Mr. Hechinger.

Educator Perspective: The teacher in me happens to agree with the article’s thesis wholeheartedly: Many families do spend way too much money on SAT preparation services that simply do not deliver results. This is exactly why I founded ePrep back in 2005. After spending 15 years as a teacher and private tutor, I decided to create a low-cost preparation product that would effectively and efficiently do two things: (1) help students increase their SAT scores and (2) help students prepare for the academic challenges of college and life beyond. I am glad to say that ePrep does both.

Today happens to the be the day that May 2nd SAT scores became available online. By noon, I had already received dozens of emails and phone calls from parents who spent around $200 on ePrep study programs that helped their children increase their overall SAT scores by more than 200 points on average. While “average coaching” may yield only modest results as Mr. Henchinger points out, “eprepping” with an expert certainly bucks the current trend.

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

Need Blind Up to a Point

eprep test prep videoAccording to a New York Times story running today, “many colleges are looking more favorably on wealthier applicants as they make their admissions decisions this year.” Colleges across the US have begun downsizing their administrations and school budgets in line with the economic climate, but financial aid has long been considered a safe haven. The past decade has witnessed an increase in “need-blind” aid by colleges in the effort to attract the most diverse student body. However, the current economic decline is driving more families than ever to request financial aid. Something has to give.

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.

Dealing with the Pressure of Test Day

SAT
Guest Columnist

When it comes to taking a standardized test, many students feel the pressure with startling results. For a great number, the future could be quite literally hang in the balance. There is certainly no shortage of programs available to help increase vocabulary and test taking abilities, but even the strongest individuals have been known to cave under pressure. Continue reading strategies for dealing with test day stress and anxiety.

Dream Big – Visualize Success

This is a practice used by people the world over. See yourself taking the test and breezing through it effortlessly. You have studied and worked hard for this very moment and it is your time to shine. Tune all of the pressure out and focus on what dreams will come once you have performed well on the test. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Disconnect, Disengage, and Focus

This may at first sound counter-intuitive, but it is a great thing to do before getting ready to take a standardized test. Stay at home, disconnect, and focus on what needs to be done. Don’t engage in any activities besides taking care of yourself the night before and the morning of your test. Turn off the cell phone, stay off the internet, and refrain from participating in anything that could ultimately distract you.

Get Plenty of Sleep the Night Before

While it may be very difficult to get sleep the night before something as important and life-changing as a standardized test, it is very important to get eight or more hours of sleep. A well-rested mind could mean the difference between success and failure and a tired mind will operate clumsily in the cloud of fatigue.

Eat a Good Breakfast

Food can help ease your nerves, regardless of your fear of nausea being a main result of eating. Oatmeal, nutrition bars, or just plain cereal are better for you than showing up to take a stressful test on an empty stomach. Don’t allow hunger to be your main distraction come test time.

Silence is Golden

Take a few moments to yourself at the testing center to sit quietly and get your bearings. Stay calm and get in line when you’re ready. If you’re early, do your best to refrain from idle chatter by staying out of the way until the line starts moving and people are being sent to their respective rooms.

Any time throughout the test that you are feeling stressed, remember to take some deep breaths and realign your focus as necessary. The test may be scary, but it will be over soon enough.

By-line:
This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of a recognized online university. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com

Rethinking College Prep Costs in Tough Times

Eric Barnes

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the dilemma today’s parents face as they prepare their children for college during these tough economic times. The author describes the suite of consulting and test prep services that are almost obligatory to ensure that our children have the best chances of gaining admission at selective colleges. Just as we’ve heard the saying “you never got fired for hiring IBM,” many parents previously overlooked the $1,000+ price tag of an SAT classroom course (we won’t name names :) without researching alternatives. That was then, this is now.

“My friends and I smugly tell one another that all we needed to be prepared for the SAT in the late 1970s were two sharpened No. 2 pencils. And campus tours? The first time I visited the University of California, Berkeley — one of two universities I applied to — was when I moved there. But that was about three decades ago.”

While parents today will not (and should not) abandon the notion of test prep for their children, they are no longer willing to secure such services without regard to cost and without due diligence. This is where ePrep comes in and takes center stage. We at ePrep have built a company around the notion of delivering premium test preparation products and services directly to students of all income levels through the power of online video. Uncontroverted studies show that ePrep’s learning model is significantly more effective than traditional classroom learning models. Yet, ePrep deliver’s its products and services at a fraction of the cost of classroom courses. As the economy weeds out companies with overpriced and inferior products and services, ePrep will continue its rise to the head of the proverbial class. Thanks for your participation.

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.

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