Topics: College Admissions, ACT, SAT, College Admissions: Explore Early, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage
With junior year classes in the rearview mirror, summer is the time for rising seniors to roll up their sleeves and lay the foundation for a successful college application process. In this post, we’ll run through a checklist of four college admissions priorities for rising seniors to work on this summer. Specifically, we’ll show you how to finalize your college list (the one thing upon which nearly all other decisions depend), determine your SAT/ACT plans, begin essays and applications, and identify financial aid and scholarships. The checklist includes two essay planning exercises which many of our students have used as the basis for highly successful college application essays. Let’s get to work!
Topics: Financial Aid & Scholarships, ACT, SAT, College Admissions: Explore Early, College Admissions: Excel Academically, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage
10th and 11th graders: If you’re like many students, your SAT or ACT scores will play a significant role in your competitiveness when applying to colleges, with 88% of colleges placing considerable or moderate importance on students’ standardized test scores for admissions purposes.1 Given the importance of your SAT/ACT scores, how should you develop your testing calendar and plans? In this article, we’ll explore the best time to prepare for and take the official SAT or ACT—including whether juniors should consider the new summer SAT being offered in August 2017, plus what sophomores should do over the summer to determine whether they may be competitive for National Merit recognition on their junior year PSAT. But first, let’s start with a high-level overview of SAT/ACT testing strategy.
NOTE: This post is targeted at rising juniors (10th graders as of May 1, 2017). If you have already taken the PSAT (11th graders of May 1, 2017), check out this post instead.
Summer is a great time for rising juniors to learn about the PSAT and determine whether it’s worth preparing for the test to potentially qualify for recognition and funding under the National Merit Scholarship Program. Alaska students earning Semifinalist, Finalist, or Winner status have access to generous scholarship opportunities at a variety of colleges. In this post, we’ll break down what’s on the PSAT, how the National Merit Scholarship Program works, and what rising juniors should do ASAP, ideally by August, to see where they stand.
SAT Subject Tests could be an important part of your college admissions profile. In this post, we'll cover critical things to know about SAT Subject Tests—like the fact that there is still a penalty for guessing, unlike the regular SAT. We'll also discuss other FAQs from Alaska students, including which colleges require SAT Subject Tests, what makes for a competitive score.
Of all the things college admissions officers evaluate in your application, your high school grades by far carry the most weight. (As you'll see in the graph below, the next most important factors are, on average, the rigor of your coursework, your SAT/ACT scores, essay, and recommendations.) As a high school student, what do you need to do today to ensure your GPA is competitive with the norms for the colleges and scholarships you're interested in before it's time to apply?
At Frontier Tutoring, we encourage every college-bound high school student in Anchorage to take advantage of our free practice SAT/ACT testing at the right time as part of their test prep strategy. And many do—last year, over 40% of Anchorage School District students who took the SAT/ACT electively signed up for a Frontier Tutoring practice test first. But why, when, and how, exactly, should you sign up for practice tests? We’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of this important resource and navigate the standardized testing and college admissions process.Read More
If you took the PSAT in October as either a 10th or 11th grader, you should have received your scores last month. What do your scores mean? How do they relate to the SAT/ACT? How does the National Merit Scholarship Program work, and what are the Alaska qualifying scores? Ultimately, now that you have your scores, what should you do next?
When it comes to college admissions, numbers aren’t everything—but how much do they count? In this post, we’ll discuss the holistic college admissions evaluation process and the relative weights of various parts of your application. We’ll also give you access to our latest publication, The Frontier 49, which features average GPAs and SAT/ACT scores, along with admission rates, for the 49 most popular colleges where Alaska students apply.Read More
Topics: College Admissions: Explore Early, 9th Grade - Freshmen, College Admissions: Excel Academically, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage
Updated to relfect 2017-18 Common App essay prompts
You know that you’ll need to write a variety of essays for your college applications—and if you're a senior, deadlines are quickly approaching. But how will you craft effective messaging that will demonstrate your talent and character to maximize your chances of admission? In this post, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the college application essay planning and writing process, including:
- What kinds of college application essays you will need to write
- The Frontier Tutoring essay planning approach for strategizing your topic and planning your structure, regardless of the prompt
- When you should start planning and writing—including how to get a head start during junior year
- Keys to success for essay planning and writing
- An actual draft essay with feedback that T.D., a Frontier Tutoring college admissions consulting student, finalized for her successful application to the United States Air Force Academy, where fewer than 1 in 6 students is accepted. T.D. successfully adopted the Frontier Tutoring essay planning approach we introduce in this post.
Ready to write? Let's begin!