Should You Retake the SAT/ACT? Four Questions to Help You Decide

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Thursday, June 06, 2019

 

While everyone hopes they'll be able to take the SAT or ACT just once and be done with the process, the reality is that about half of all students take the official test again—even if they had completed an SAT/ACT prep program before their initial testing attempt.  If you’ve taken the official SAT or ACT, and your score has left you wondering whether you should retake the test, what should you do next?  We'll help you answer that question in this post.

 

"When Anna got a great practice test score after her prep class, then her real test was a drop from that score, yes, it was a little disappointing.  But you have to know that you could have a bad test day any given day, right?  There's no downside to retaking the test...so just keep [trying] until you've got a good test [score]."

-Ransom J., parent of student at West Anchorage High School who

  • took the official ACT three times, ultimately earning a 94th percentile score
  • is matriculating at Washington and Lee University

 

Note: This article is for students who have already taken the official SAT/ACT at least once.  If you haven’t taken the official SAT/ACT yet, see this blog post: 

When to Prepare for and Take the SAT/ACT: 3 Questions to Help You Decide.

 

Read More

Topics: College Admissions, ACT, SAT, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

When to Prepare for and Take the SAT/ACT (Including PSAT/National Merit Info): 3 Questions to Help You Decide

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Friday, May 03, 2019

 

10th and 11th graders: Your SAT or ACT scores will likely 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 review three questions to help you decide when you should prepare for and take the official SAT or ACT—including what sophomores should do over the summer to determine whether they may be competitive for National Merit recognition on their junior year PSAT.

 

Here's everything covered in this post:

 

First, let’s start with a high-level overview of SAT/ACT testing strategy.

 

 

Read More

Topics: SAT Subject Tests, ACT, SAT, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage, PSAT

SAT Subject Tests: Six Things to Know

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Thursday, May 02, 2019

 

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.

 

Read More

Topics: SAT Subject Tests, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

A Note from Kimberly Hewitt About Frontier Tutoring's College Counseling Philosophy

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

 

Read More

Topics: College Admissions, 9th Grade - Freshmen, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right

Interview with a West HS Student & Parent: Starting College Admissions Consulting During 11th Grade

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Sunday, March 03, 2019

 

 

"It's nice to have a third party saying, 'What are your goals? Okay, then this is what you have to do to get there.' So it's not just parents going, 'You need to get good grades, you need to do this, you need to do that.' You’re helping the [students] figure out what they want to do and how to get there."

-Bhree R., parent of Emma F., 11th grader at West Anchorage High School

 


 

Emma F., a junior at West Anchorage High School, is one of my current college admissions consulting (CAC) students at Frontier Tutoring.  In this post, I share excerpts from an interview with Emma and her mom, Bhree, about why they chose to start college admissions consulting during Emma's junior year, rather than waiting until senior year.  Responses have been edited for length and clarity.  Use the links below to jump to the questions you're curious about.

 

-Kimberly Hewitt, Business Unit Manager - College Admissions Consulting

 

Read More

Topics: College Admissions, College Admissions: Explore Early, College Admissions: Excel Academically, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, College Admissions: Apply Right, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

Six Reasons You Should Start College Admissions Consulting During Junior Year

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Sunday, March 03, 2019

 

 

 

"Starting DURING junior year allows you to improve your COMPETITIVENESS.  Starting AFTER junior year limits you to improving your NARRATIVE."

-Kimberly Hewitt, Business Unit Manager - College Admissions Consulting

 

Many high school students and families I meet with wait until fall of senior year to think critically about their college list or applications—but for best results, students should begin planning for college admissions during junior year—the earlier, the better.  Why?  If you start planning for college admissions during 11th grade, you will have time to improve your profile and competitiveness (for example, by adjusting your coursework selection, improving your grades and test scores, initiating or enhancing your involvement in specific extracurriculars, identifying and deepening relationships with potential recommendation writers, etc.).  On the other hand, if you wait until after junior year to begin thinking about college admissions in earnest, you will be limited to expressing the most compelling narrative about the profile you already have.  To be clear, optimizing the way you tell your story and express your goals on college applications is critical—but you'll be even better positioned if your profile is more competitive to begin with.  In this post, I'll walk you through six specific, high-leverage areas I work with on students when they start a college admissions consulting (CAC) program during their junior year.

 

 

"It's nice to have a third party saying, 'What are your goals? What are your objectives? Okay, then this is what you have to do to get there.'

Also, I like the structure and the timing [of your CAC program].  For example, are we on time, or are we behind, and do I need to be stressing? I like not having to worry about that piece in particular."

-Bhree R., parent of 11th grader at West Anchorage High School

 

READ MORE: Interview with a West HS Student & Parent: Starting College Admissions Consulting During 11th Grade

 

Read More

Topics: College Admissions, AP® Exams, ACT, SAT, College Admissions: Explore Early, College Admissions: Excel Academically, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, College Admissions: Apply Right, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

PSAT Scores Are Out: Alaska National Merit Info & What You Should Do Next

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Monday, December 10, 2018

 

If you took the PSAT in October as either a 10th or 11th grader, you should have received your scores on December 12.  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?  And now that you have your scores, what should you do next?

 

Read More

Topics: Financial Aid & Scholarships, ACT, SAT, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage, PSAT

Taking Practice SAT/ACT Tests: Why, When & How—And What to Do After

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

 

 

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

Topics: ACT, SAT, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage, PSAT

Rising Seniors College Admissions Checklist: 5 Focus Areas to Start Working on Now

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Sunday, August 12, 2018

 

After three grueling years of academics, senior year has finally arrived!  Of course, there's important work still to be done.  Now is time for rising seniors to roll up their sleeves and lay the foundation for a successful college application season.  In this post, we’ll run through a checklist of four college admissions priorities for rising seniors to work on starting now.  Specifically, we’ll discuss how to:

  1. Finalize your college list—the single most important factor upon which nearly all of your other decisions over the next four months will depend

  2. Identify and achieve your target SAT/ACT score before application deadlines

  3. Begin essays and applications

  4. Identify financial aid and scholarships

  5. Determine whether you need to take SAT Subject Tests

 

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!

 

 

Read More

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

The College Application Essay Approach That T.D. Used to Get Into the U.S. Air Force Academy

Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Saturday, August 11, 2018

 

Updated to reflect 2018-19 Common App essay prompts

 

Of everything you include in your college applications, the essays are the single element over which you have the most control—make the most of this opportunity to define your narrative.  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.  How will you craft effective messaging that demonstrates your talent and character in order to maximize your chances of admission?  In this post, we will provide an 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!

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: 11th Grade - Juniors, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right, Anchorage