What Colleges Look for in High School Student Transcripts

Because college admissions are more competitive than ever, an accepted application often comes down to the details. For instance, high school transcripts are an excellent way for students to positively differentiate themselves from other applicants. But what exactly are colleges looking for in a transcript, other than good grades?

·       It’s All About Balance

You and your student should consider a holistic approach to course selection. While your child may favor history courses over science, his or her transcript should display a willingness to explore and master a range of disciplines. Not only does a balanced transcript indicate broad academic capability, it also demonstrates a willingness to be challenged. Students with specialized academic talents should feel free to explore their favorite subjects, just not at the expense of a balanced academic course load.

·       Consider the Context

In addition to GPA and course selection, admissions committees also consider the curriculum offered by a student’s high school. If your student’s high school offers a wide range of AP or IB courses, he or she should take advantage of the most challenging courses available. However, different schools require and offer different courses, and students applying to college will have their transcripts assessed with access in mind.

·       Keep Rigor in Mind

Just as balance is important in course selection, level of difficulty is also a key component in a competitive high school transcript. Succeeding in rigorous, high-level courses—from upper division math and language classes, to AP and IB courses—clearly conveys a student’s readiness for college, as well as his or her ability to manage and prepare for a challenge; both are attributes that college admission committees seek.

·       Stay Consistent

College admission committees like to see students ascend the ranks of a discipline, so be sure that your student follows through on math, science, English, and history courses from freshman year through senior year, graduating to a higher level of difficulty as he or she goes. Also keep in mind that colleges use transcripts to confirm a student’s track record through senior year, so don’t let your child coast along in the home stretch—his or her transcript will show it. At Achieve Academics, we understand the demanding, detail-oriented nature of college admissions. From prepping for the SAT/ACT to brushing up on academic basics, we provide a range of small group classes, plus one-on-one tutoring, to ensure that your child demonstrates his or her strongest self when it’s time to apply to college. As you and your child work to sure up his or her transcript and course selections, keep in mind that you don’t have to do it all alone—we offer strategic, tailor-made academic resources for students of all learning styles and goals. 

College Readiness Begins in Middle School

To middle schoolers, college may seem like a distant dream in an abstract future. However, the foundational significance of middle school is not to be overlooked. From developing study habits, preparing pre-requisites for rigorous high school work to considering college—middle school students and their families should use these critical years to plan and prepare for the future ahead. Below, consider a few strategic reasons why middle school is the perfect launch pad for success:

·       Taking rigorous courses in middle school builds structured, positive study habits, while insuring that students can take honors and AP courses in high school and reveals potential weak areas. 
Challenging courses inspire students to rise to the occasion, while meeting the pre-requisites for advanced honors and AP courses in high school.  They also offer an opportunity to develop solid study habits and critical thinking skills. With high school just around the corner—where good grades, rigorous curriculum and successful test scores are essential for college admission—middle school courses can provide an early, habit-building framework for your student. What’s more, academic weak spots may be revealed, allowing students to target problem areas through tailored study or tutoring, so that they don’t fall behind come high school.

·       Considering college and career goals during middle school gives students time and perspective to explore interests and talents. By exploring college and career options early on, i.e. middle school, students have ample time to plan for relevant courses and extracurricular activities or clubs. Depending on the student’s interests (i.e. type of college or potential areas of study), students can start planning the high school course trajectory to be competitive or to qualify for advanced courses in Science or Math.  By encouraging self-reflection and experimentation, parents allow their middle schoolers time to grow, find a passion, and tailor their future goals accordingly.

·       Some middle school students can have the opportunity to take standardized tests as they prepare for preparatory high school tests like the HSPT, SSAT or ISEE.  These tests give students the chance to develop test-taking strategies that can be used later in high school—when preparing for college entrance exams like PSAT, ACT, SAT, and AP Exams.  
Honing on middle schooler’s standardized test-taking ability on the three basic educational pillars, namely reading, math and writing, will helpfully demystify the college application process.  Likewise, early standardized testing can provide a litmus test for middle schoolers, revealing which subject areas are strengths versus weaknesses. Middle school students exposed early to standardized test formats and question styles will enjoy essential insight like time management into future exams.

·       Preparing for college during middle school is important for parents, too. 
While middle school students will surely benefit from a proactive approach to college, parents can also use these early years to develop a plan. Creating a long-term budget for tuition, mapping potential college visits, identifying programs of study that may appeal to your child’s interests and strengths, sourcing possible scholarship opportunities—all are ways to get a head-start on college preparedness from a parental perspective.

At Achieve Academics, we recognize each student’s potential—no matter his or her learning style, strengths, weaknesses, or academic goals. Whether your student is prepping for college or brushing up on the basics, we offer a range of small group classes and one-on-one tutoring services. Start off your student’s path to college on the right foot—prepare early and well and he or she will reap the benefits in the years that follow.  

How has the ACT Changed? What Do Parents and Students Need to Know?

In all fifty states and even outside the U.S., the ACT is one of two college admissions test that measures the knowledge acquired during a student’s pre-college academic tenure and may help colleges predict a level of success for potential admitted students. In fact, 2.1 million of 2016’s graduating high school students took the ACT before applying to colleges last year.  The second test is the SAT produced by the College Board.

ACT organization differs from the College Board, in that they prefer gradual changes to their test, rather than a large overhaul at once. Thus, over the last year and a half, they have implemented several format changes and as well as significant report improvements.  All these changes seem positive and align the ACT with the changes in curriculum across the country.  Although the new test has been stated to have the same level of difficulty across the various versions and while the sections of the ACT test remain the same (i.e. Reading, Math, English, Science and Essay) there have been a few changes in the number of passages, questions or the subject matter in some sections. 

Below is a summary of some of those format changes:

In the reading section, there are now "dual passage" type questions similar to those on the SAT.  In the Science Section, there has been a fluctuation in the number of passages from a typical of 7 passages in the past to 6 to 7 depending on the test date. The Math Section, has more probability and statistics questions on the most recent exams.  The Essay Section, has 10 more minutes and it is now 40 minutes instead of 30.  However, the prompt is now longer and the students are now provided with three perspectives on a topic and the ACT expects a more complex development and analysis of these viewpoints. 

Since the September 10, 2016 ACT test, the ACT made a major change in the layout of their reports, designing reports that provide insight into a student’s scores. With that in mind, we compiled a reference list of need-to-know changes that students and parents should be aware of:

·       Paper reports have a new look
Using data visualization, the new ACT’s paper reports offer a dynamic, easy-to-follow breakdown of a student’s scores and performance. The new ACT paper reports are clearer and more engaging to read.

·       The ACT Writing Test Score Range altered
As of September, of this year the ACT report changed their Writing Test scores using a new range: 2 to 12, with 12 being the highest. Making these score ranges consistent with the other ACT’s domains.

·       ACT College Readiness Benchmark Is Displayed
This new benchmark is an insightful tool—especially for students currently preparing to take the test second or third time — allowing a better understanding of how a student’s performance compares to others’ scores, category-by-category, and in relation to his or her peers.  

·       Students can measure STEM performance on the ACT
Unlike the SAT, the ACT offers a science section. Now, paper reports will include the ACT STEM College Readiness Benchmark, providing meaningful context for a student’s STEM score. The ACT STEM College Readiness Benchmark provides a predictive measure of how a student might perform in STEM subjects at the college level.

·       Reports include insight on college major and career matches.
Using details provided during the student registration process, the new ACT reports include a non-cognitive, personalized table using results from the questions asked on the Interest-Major Fit level score and Career Connector. The Interest-Major Fit level score shows students whether their reported interests are well-matched to their desired or intended majors, while the Career Connector summarizes possible career choices based on a student’s interests and test performance.

The ACT’s changes implemented with the September 10, 2016 test results are largely positive for both parents and students, with score reports offering keener, individualized insight into a student’s performance. At Achieve Academics, we stay up-to-date on all developments when it comes to college admissions testing. Through small group classes or one-on-one tutoring, we pass our knowledge and experience on to your child, no matter his or her learning style or overarching academic and collegiate goals. To learn more about updates to the ACT’s reporting approach, or to have your student begin prepping for college entrance exams, contact us today 763-559-8378.  

Primary Concerns for Test Prep Instructors: Fixing Student Alignment

Standardized tests have been around as long as any of us can remember. Many of the parents of my students recall taking the ACT when they went to college. Of course, no one signed up for test prep services back then (the ACT was just this weird test you took to go to college). Yet for as long as the exam has been around, students still struggle with one issue more than any other when they begin practicing for standardized tests: they are unaware of the exam’s expectations. In other words, they have no idea what to expect on the exam, and as such struggle significantly when it comes to taking the test. This misalignment must be the primary, initial focus of any well-designed test prep program.

Students have a significant advantage in school that they do not have on standardized tests. Consider a standard Algebra II math final. By the time a student is studying for the final, he probably has taken at least three exams written by the teacher. The student is familiar with the teacher’s expectations, and he knows what the teacher will consider to be important on the test. Additionally, the student is aware of the realm of information to be tested on the final. Perhaps he was given a study guide. Even if he wasn’t, the exam will most likely cover information he learned in the previous 15 weeks. As can be seen, the student is well aware of what he will be expected to do on test day and thus can adjust his preparation accordingly. This significant advantage is absent when applied to standardized test preparation (at least at the beginning anyway).

I enjoy listening to the students’ justifications of their answers at the beginning of test prep programs. I have heard all sorts of incorrect justifications. Many times both my students and I end up laughing when the students realize how far off-base their explanations are from what the exam wanted them to do. The discussions below are conversations I have had with students that illustrate exam misalignment.

English.

Instructor: “So, why did you pick Option D?”

Student: “Well, this was a tricky question, and I thought it was hard. However, Option D used the comma correctly, and the other ones sounded funny.”

Instructor: “I see. So this question is dealing with eliminating redundant writing, not punctuation. They are all punctuated correctly.”

Student: “Oh. That’s a thing? Well in that respect it’s clearly option D: that’s super obvious.”

Instructor: “You bet! Once you learn to look for it, it often is one of the easiest types of questions.”

Math.

Instructor: “So, why did you pick Option B?”

Student: “Well, it asked me to solve a system of equations, so I rearranged to solve for one variable, and then substituted that expression into the other equation. I solved for ‘y’ and then solved for ‘x’.”

Instructor: “Good. Except that it’s generally much faster to use linear combination instead of substitution on the exam.”

Student: “Oh. Yeah it would have been much faster to do it that way, and I wouldn’t have had to distribute a fraction, too.”

Reading.

Me: “So, why did you pick Option C?”

Student: “Because I saw those words in the paragraph.”

Me: “Ok. But this question asked you to make a ‘reasonable inference’. As such, you must put the author’s words into your own. The words themselves are not important. What matters is the meaning of the words.”

Science.

Instructor: “So, why did you pick Option A?”

Student: “I guessed. I couldn’t find the information on the figure.”

Instructor: “Right. That’s the point of this type of question. They are expecting you to reach into the paragraph to get the extra information, and then pull it back to the figure.”

Student: “Oh. Ok let me read the paragraph then.”

It is evident in each example above that the student is unaware of the expectations of the exam. As instructors, our primary focus has to be to fix this misalignment. Students need to learn what the exam is expecting them to do on various types of questions so that they can adjust their study to meet those expectations. At the beginning of the prep, I don’t care if my students can’t determine the right answer; as long as they are aware of what the exam is asking of them on that question, the students stand a much better chance of improving.

So what do we do as instructors?

As instructors, there are a few things to keep in mind when fixing student alignment.

1. Have your students constantly explain their answers.

I always have students explain their justification out loud so they can hear themselves, and I can hear why they picked their answers. This allows me to fix any misalignment immediately. I don’t care if they are correct. I need to know why they picked their option.

2. Have the students label question types on the exam.

I often have students write the types of problems next to the problem number. This includes everything from “punctuation” and “verbs” on the English test to “inference” and “experimental detail” labels on the reading and science test, respectively.

3. Initially it’s not important if students don’t know how to do the material.

I have observed score increases for many students once the alignment has been fixed, yet content knowledge remains lacking. I have found that as long as students are doing the right

thing in the right scenario, scores stand a much better chance of increasing. Content development comes next.

4. It’s just like training a dog (not meant in a derogatory sense!).

Watch any dog trainer worth their salt and you will see one commonality: bad behavior is reprimanded immediately, and not after a minute or so. This is vital to teaching as well! Do one question at a time at the beginning and fix bad strategies immediately! The student must be able to recall how they did the problem, and then remember how they are going to fix it. (Obviously people have longer working memory than do dogs, so you can often have students do problems in small blocks of 3-5 problems and they will remember how they did each type of problem.)

Generally, that is enough. Usually by the middle of the prep program students are aware of what they should be doing. Their actual ability to do the material, however, is highly variable and dependent on the student’s level. But that often takes much more practice. The one situation we CANNOT afford to have as teachers is a student who says, “I didn’t really know how to approach that type of question,” at the end of his test prep. I always feel like I have personally failed the student as his instructor if this happens, so we must work diligently to prevent it.

Dr. Eric Smolensky is the Director of Academics at Achieve Academics in Plymouth, MN. He received his Ph.D in chemistry in 2012 from the University of Minnesota. Since then he has spent his time instructing students how to succeed not only in test prep but also in academics in general. He has taught test prep for three years and academic chemistry and math for eight years. Regarded as a professional enthusiast, he loves developing models of student learning to improve both student retention and test prep results.

The Value of Test Prep, Part 2: 3 Steps Toward Stronger Self-Discipline

Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

Whether prepping for the SAT or ACT, an AP exam, or completing schoolwork, discipline is an acquired skill that not only gives students an academic edge, but ultimately sustains them for a lifetime. Many students might not realize that they already have a command of discipline. For instance, being part of a sports team certainly demands discipline. Most students take seriously their commitment to regular practices, learning plays and strategies, working out in the off-season, game prep, and more. Without discipline, a team can’t rightfully expect a winning season. The same is true in academics.

With that in mind, consider the following ways students can make discipline the centerpiece of their test prep strategy:

1.     Prioritize

Self-discipline has been famously described as “the difference between choosing what you want now and choosing what you want most.” In a similar vein, proper self-discipline requires students to think critically about their agenda, to determine how and when their time is best spent. It may be helpful for students to write out all due dates and deadlines, along with their associated tasks, in order to create a prioritized test prep schedule.

2.     Be Good to Your Body

Disciplining the mind toward test prep is a venture best aided by disciplining the body, too. Studying is optimized by the endorphins released during exercise. Likewise, staying active is a natural stress reliever, which makes it easier for students to enact discipline when the time comes. Nutrition also plays a pivotal role in brain and body preparedness. We’ve all heard of “brain food,” and it’s true that certain food items can boost clarity and recall, such as eggs, dark chocolate, fish, and even caffeine (in moderation).

3.     Create a Routine

Self-discipline is far easier to employ if a student is grounded in a regular test prep routine. In addition to crafting a prioritized study schedule, it’s useful to curate a routine that can be followed repeatedly, so that positive test prep habits are cemented and reinforced over time. What’s more, creating a routine puts students in the driver’s seat, ensuring that their test prep approach is tailored to their learning style, needs, and individual goals.

4.     Take Cues from a Coach

A surefire way to instill self-discipline in students is to enroll them in a small test prep class or pair them with a one-on-one tutor. Guided test prep gives students the tools, resources, and framework to establish their own good habits and routines. With built-in accountability and structure, one-on-one tutoring and small group courses work as incubators for developing self-discipline.

At Achieve Academics, we offer a variety of small group classes and one-on-one tutoring services that not only boost your student’s SAT, ACT, and/or AP performance, but also provide personalized strategies so that students stay engaged and proactive throughout their academic career. 

The Power of Good Grades

Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

Getting good grades means more than just preparing students for college. A strong GPA imparts countless other positive benefits that prove valuable to students, in both their academic lives and beyond. Garnering high marks in school certainly positions students well for college, and of course, that’s one of the most important reasons to maintain a competitive GPA. But, let’s consider some of the additional benefits that students with good grades can enjoy:

 

1.     Good Grades Boost Confidence

When students work hard and receive good grades for their efforts, it not only results in an enviable GPA, it also means that students witness the fruits of their labor. After enacting discipline and diligence to earn an A, students enjoy a well-deserved confidence boost that will carry over into the next chapter or ensuing course. Good grades have the power to craft a more capable, confident, and proactive student who is unafraid of a challenge.

2.     Good Grades Let Students Do What They Want to Do

Sure, good grades are ingredient number one when it comes to applying to college, but they also set students on the right path toward their ultimate career field. While it can be challenging to envision the long-term returns of a high GPA, encourage your student to imagine himself or herself in a dream career, and then recognize that good grades are an essential step in achieving that goal. Lay the foundation now, and your student’s future self will be grateful.

3.     Good Grades Develop Lifelong Positive Habits

It takes self-discipline to earn good grades, and by putting in the work during school, students are also preparing themselves for college-level courses and eventually, a career. By forming good habits and routines in order to achieve high marks, students work as their own advocates, instilling within themselves the power to take on a difficult goal and achieve it. By steadily earning good grades throughout school, students will arrive at college with an already established framework to tackle future challenges.

4.     Good Grades Lead to Scholarships

College admissions are more competitive than ever, so it’s no wonder that GPAs are emphasized as a way for students to prove to universities that they are dedicated to their studies. But what’s more, good grades also lead to scholarship opportunities, which not only make college a more feasible financial undertaking, but also work well on a future resume, where recognition for scholastic achievement demonstrates much about a person’s work ethic and character.

 

At Achieve Academics, we provide a range of one-on-one tutoring services and small group classes for students of all learning styles, needs, and focuses. Whether prepping for the SAT, ACT, an AP exam, or if students are seeking to elevate their GPA and double-down on schoolwork, we provide the environment and resources necessary for students to fully engage with their academic goals. At Achieve Academics, we understand what’s necessary for a student to achieve success, and we’ll be there every step of the way. 

Test Prep Part 1: Being a Good Test-Taker is a Lifelong Skill

It takes more than just academic ability to be a good test-taker. Some students spend countless, dedicated hours preparing for an exam or the SAT, only to be disappointed with the results. 

Here’s the good news: when students learn to become better test-takers, they develop positive habits that last a lifetime. One-on-one tutoring and small group classes can provide students with strategies to approach exams both methodically and successfully. Below you’ll find a handful of approaches to test-taking that not only have the potential to boost your child’s test scores, but may also serve him or her in the world outside the classroom.   

 

  • Plug Gaps in Foundational Skills
    Improving foundational subject skills—math, reading comprehension, writing, etc.—can do wonders to improve overall test-taking performance. When students are equipped with all the academic building blocks necessary, they’re empowered to perform in the short and long term. By reinforcing bedrock skills, one-on-one tutors and small group classes instill confidence and capableness in your child, creating a world of possibility for future academic success—from college entrance exams, to qualifying for scholarship awards, and beyond. 
     
  • Nip Anxiety in the Bud
    Of course, this bullet point is easier said than done. But parents and tutors can do much to foster a positive, effective, and can-do study environment. In fact, implementing structure, organization, prioritization, and time management skills encourages students to take agency in their learning, in turn easing much of the anxiety that comes from lack of preparedness or inefficient uses of study or test-taking time. 
     
  • Do: Understand Concepts. Don’t: Memorize Facts.
    In a pinch, a small cram-session to memorize a few key dates or formulas might come in handy, but a major reason why some high-achieving students balk come test-time is that they’ve overtaxed their short-term memory. In the stress of the moment, much of what a student has memorized can be lost. The wiser alternative? Approach studying holistically. When students understand all the moving parts of a particular concept—rather than a flashcard memorized tidbit—it’s much harder to forget. Mapping out academic concepts is an excellent way for a student to meaningfully understand what he or she is learning. 

At Achieve Academics, we work with students in a variety of settings—from small group classes to one-on-one tutoring, and more—to find the test-taking methods that work best for each individual. No two students are alike, so our tutors take a tailor-made approach to teaching that puts your child at the center.  

In the short-term, these approaches to good test-taking can empower students to ace their next AP exam or the SAT/ACT, but what’s more: instilling positive test-taking habits now will equip your child to face challenges, academic or otherwise, for years to come.  

Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

 

Is Self-Study a Good Fit for Your Student?

When striving for success on college applications, schoolwork, or the SAT/ACT, wisdom dictates that students and their families have a plan of attack. Perhaps the first go-to method in preparing for a test is the solo route: a student and a textbook, a few long hours of disciplined study, and hopefully some positive scores result. Additionally, the rise of online study tools has driven students even closer to the computer screen. But, since each student is both unique and complex—complete with particular strengths and weaknesses, goals, and learning styles—isn’t it prudent to consider if there’s a study method that better serves your child? 

When measuring which method of study best suits your child’s needs, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does your student have difficulty staying on task or maintaining focus? 
  • Does he or she have a specific SAT score goal that’s just out of reach?
  • Does your child struggle with test-taking related anxiety?
  • Does he or she keep a hectic schedule that makes it difficult to pencil in fruitful study hours?

Some students are well-suited for self-study or solo online study—particularly those good at exercising self-discipline, self-assessment, organization, and who seldom require feedback. But, the vast majority of students need extra structure and motivation to be set up for success. With that in mind, what are the benefits related to small group tutoring sessions and one-on-one tutoring help?

The Benefits of Small Group Prep Classes and One-on-One Tutoring
In the case of small group prep courses, there are key advantages when compared to solo self-study. For instance, a small group dynamic encourages a broader range of questions, which unearths more learning opportunities for your child to understand and engage with the material. Furthermore, in a well-led small group study environment students are motivated by one another and work harder to meet the group’s common goal. For the socially motivated student, or one who might otherwise have difficulty opening up in a one-on-one setting, perhaps a small group dynamic is best when it comes to test-preparedness.

Now consider one-on-one tutoring. This method is not only ideal for students who need help in closing learning gaps, but also for high-achieving students looking for a much-needed edge when it comes to AP exams or applying to college. In either case, one-on-one tutoring fosters a bond that makes for a productive and open learning environment—one that’s seldom replicated online or in the traditional classroom setting. 

At Achieve Academics, we provide a variety of settings to suit your student’s learning style—whatever his or her academic or college goals may be. From ACT/SAT test prep to doubling down on math and reading skills and more, our tutors are equipped with the expertise, experience, and resources necessary to build academic confidence in your child. Whatever study style suits your student, there’s a program or tutor at Achieve Academics to help. 

Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

The Top 3 Reasons Why the PSAT/NMSQT Matters More Than You Thought

PreliminaryScholastic Aptitude Test, as a simple test-run of moderate importance. However, the PSAT—and your student’s results—wields more influence than you might realize. Though available to students in both their sophomore and junior years, the stakes get higher during 11th grade, when PSAT results hold weight.

Here are a few key ways in which the PSAT goes beyond its role as a simple “practice” test.

1.     Becoming a National Merit Semifinalist

Perhaps the most desirable reason for students to perform well on the PSAT is that the results determine whether they qualify as National Merit Semifinalists. The PSAT designates the highest performing students in a state as semifinalists (who can ultimately become finalists). Semifinalists often qualify for large scholarships when it’s time to apply to college. Likewise, the title of National Merit Semifinalist (or Finalist) carries distinct weight when it appears on a college application.

After receiving their Semifinalist designation, students are invited to complete an application to achieve the title of National Merit Finalist. National Merit Finalists are likely to earn a high number of scholarships, as well as scholarships of greater value. Therefore, it’s possible that a student who performs well on the PSAT and earns his or her designation as a National Merit Finalist will be offered a better scholarship than a student who outperforms him or her on the actual SAT. That’s how important the PSAT can be in influencing scholarship awards.

2.     The PSAT Can Put Students on the Collegiate Map

The College Board administers both the SAT and PSAT, and by opting into their Student Search Service—free of charge—over 1,100 colleges can view a student’s hard-won score on the PSAT and begin to court him or her as a result. Likewise, successful students may pre-qualify for a number of scholarships, as well as receive invitations to apply to colleges that might otherwise have flown under their radar.

3.     Assessing Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Here’s where expectations align more closely with reality. As a preliminary test, the PSAT certainly functions as a barometer by which students and parents can determine weaknesses to address when tackling the SAT or ACT. Additionally, a solid performance on the PSAT can be a great confidence booster leading up the SAT, in combination with its practical role as a source of scholarships.  

Even as a preliminary test, preparation for the PSAT is essential if a student wants to claim the title of National Merit Finalist. That’s why at Achieve Academics we offer a variety of resources to properly prepare students for the PSAT—including one-on-one tutoring, small group classes, and more. For students aiming to put their best foot forward in the college application process, there’s no better place to start than prepping for and acing the PSAT.  

Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

What Does My Student’s PSAT Score Mean?

Both sophomores and juniors alike are eligible to take the PSAT, and sophomore year is an excellent time for students to begin their exposure to standardized testing, in order to best understand any potential strengths and weaknesses. While sophomore year is a great jumping off point for the PSAT, it is during a student’s junior year that he or she may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship competition.  

Below are a few issues to consider as you decide how best to prepare your student for PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, College Entrance Exams, and applications. 

·      Assess Your Student’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Taking the PSAT in both sophomore and junior years can help students determine where their skills and aptitude are best showcased. Though the Junior Year results of the PSAT/NMSQT are vital in qualifying for scholarships and National Merit Finalist status, it also serves another purpose: helping students understand their performance and where they might improve. An especially useful attribute of the PSAT is that, along with their scores, students will have access to the actual PSAT test booklets they used. By reviewing problem areas, or the areas where students spent too little or too much time, students and tutors can build a dynamic, customized strategy to prep for the SAT. Students are also able to quickly, and without much effort, request information from colleges of potential interest. Furthermore, students are able to see what requirements a particular university may have, in order to better prepare for the college application process.

·      Determine How a Student Will Do On the SAT

Students are also able to use the PSAT to predict how they will do on the SAT. Both the PSAT and SAT are on the same vertical scale, though their ranges differ slightly. Math and Verbal Skills Sections range from 160 to 760 on the PSAT, while on the SAT they range from 200 to 800. This means that a score of 500 on a PSAT section could predict an equivalency of 500 on the SAT section. The final score on both the PSAT and SAT is the sum of both sections (Math and Verbal). Likewise, the maximum scores are 1520 for the PSAT and 1600 for the SAT. Don’t forget: though the essay portion of the SAT is optional, participation is recommended for students applying to competitive schools.

·      Learn About the National Merit Scholarship Process

Sophomores that received high overall scores on their PSAT, along with a high Selection Index Score, should also consider preparing to take the PSAT again during their junior year, in order to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship process. About 1.5 million students participate in the National Merit Scholarship process every year, but only those who score in the top 4% (beyond a certain threshold, which varies by state) on the PSAT/NMSQT will qualify to be National Merit participants. This represents about 50,000 students that will qualify for any kind of National Merit Program recognition. In order for these participants to continue on to the next phase of the process, they must meet certain academic requirements specified by the NMSC.  Becoming a Finalist involves completing a follow-up application and taking the SAT within a year of their qualifying PSAT date. The finalists are determined in March of the student’s graduating year.

·      Learn About Your Student’s National Merit Scholarship Options

In addition to qualifying for a variety of scholarships offered though the NMSC (totaling $43 million), National Merit Semifinalists and Finalists are typically awarded larger scholarship sums. What’s more, they are often solicited as applicants by the 1,100+ colleges and universities that are privy to a student’s PSAT results—that is, if your student opts in to the College Board’s Student Search Service, free of charge.

While this introductory phase of the college test prep process might seem somewhat overwhelming as scores begin to roll in, the PSAT offers a unique opportunity for students to make their mark from the get-go. At Achieve Academics, we provide an array of PSAT, SAT, and ACT prep for students, including small group classes, one-on-one tutoring, and fully customized study strategies. No matter what your child’s learning style, strengths, weaknesses, or goals may be, the PSAT is a perfect entry point in which to build positive prep habits and create real results.

Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

 

Back-to-School Basics: 4 Tips to Brush Up on Study Skills

As the summer season begins to wind down, it’s time again to prepare for the upcoming school year, and there’s no better habit for your student to develop than employing healthy study skills. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help your student build a strong academic routine that will serve them for years to come. 

1. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint 

Have your child divide his or her study time into manageable increments over the course of a week or so, instead of sprinting through all the material the night before a big exam. Not only does this strategy cut down on stress, but repeated reinforcement of information over the course of the week will actually encourage a longer-lasting, integrated understanding of the material. 

2. Catch Some Z’s 

For some this may go without saying, but all night cramming sessions are ultimately detrimental when it comes to long-term retention of academic concepts. Scientists have long emphasized the importance of sleep as a recovery period for the brain—which is integral to retaining, recalling, and synthesizing information. 

3. Do a Run Through of the Real Thing

Practice tests are extraordinarily valuable because they challenge students to take the information they’ve studied and put it to applicable use. It’s one thing to have material rigidly memorized, it’s quite another to understand and utilize it effectively come test time. Tip: flash cards are excellent tools for practice testing. 

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Share 

When students adapt academic concepts into their own words, they’re creating a deeper, readily recalled connection to the material. Encourage your child to teach or explain academic concepts to you, a sibling, or a family pet! Translating high-minded concepts to another individual is a surefire way to test for weak spots in your student’s understanding of the material. 

No matter what goals your child has set for this school year, Achieve Academic tutors are here to help. From our Study Skills Program to SAT-ACT test prep to subject tutoring for all grades and levels, we offer a variety of small group classes, summer intensives, and one-on-one tutoring options. This autumn, have your child stride into the school year with the confidence that comes only from crafting positive, lifelong study skills.

Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

5 Techniques to Help Students Become World Class Note Takers

Good note taking is a key ingredient in developing healthy study habits. Without well drafted notes, even the most dedicated and detailed studier is sorely missing an indispensable resource. With that in mind, take a look at these five study-boosting note taking techniques your child can put into practice in the upcoming school year. 

1. Ask Questions 

Encourage your child to think of questions relating to the material as he or she drafts notes throughout the day. Including these thoughtful questions throughout his or her notes is an effective way to provide context and perspective within the material.

2. The 5 W’s 

When taking notes, your child might find it helpful to view the information through the lens of Who, What, Where, When, and Why. This approach further contextualizes material, while encouraging a comprehensive, conceptual understanding of the information and its function. 

3. The Daily Review 

Students who spend just 15 minutes reviewing notes at the end of the day will have a far easier time retaining and relating material come test time. Not only does it make test preparation more seamless, it also provides an opportunity to add in any information or concepts they might’ve forgotten to jot down earlier in the day. 

4. Contrast and Compare 

A surefire way for students to bolster their notes from class is to compare them with the associated chapter in the textbook. Matching main ideas, page numbers, and themes goes a long way to flesh out in-class note taking. It also makes their notes a more effective study tool when it’s time for test prep. 

5. Find a Study Buddy

Comparing notes with another student is an additional way your child can ensure that his or her notes are accurate and complete. Likewise, when students come together to compare notes, they are also reinforcing information, putting it into their own words, and viewing the material from an alternate perspective—all of which fosters a better understanding of the subject at hand. 

Quality note taking can make a world of difference when it’s time to prep for the SAT, ACT, and AP exam, or a tough test in school. That’s why Achieve Academics offers a variety of skill-building opportunities for students of all learning styles—from small group classes to one-on-one tutoring. No matter what subjects your student is poised to tackle this fall, nudge your child one step closer to success with these crucial note taking tips and tricks.

Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

The Unparalleled Power of the College Essay

After all the grade point averages, SAT/ACT scores, and AP class final exams have been tallied, it sometimes seems that college admissions are whittled down to a set of numbers, unfeelingly used to measure an applicant’s potential. And while the importance of the college essay gets its share of attention during application season, the true power of admissions essays is often perilously overlooked. According to a feature story by The New York Times, college essays carry more weight than ever. As applying to colleges becomes more and more competitive, an essay provides a matchless window into an applicant’s authentic voice and self—offering a personal, human glimpse that no cumulative data can rival.

Trip Gabriel, of The New York Times, emphasized the supreme influence of the college essay, writing that, “among the most selective colleges — defined…as those accepting fewer than 50 percent — nearly half said the essay was of considerable importance. In fact, these colleges give more weight to the essay than grade-point average. Let me restate that: one writing assignment is more critical to a high school senior’s chances of getting into many top colleges than his or her average grades from four years of high school.”

Of course, all this is not to say that academic prowess—in the form of SAT/ACT results, GPA, participation in AP classes, and the like—isn’t important in its own right. In fact, academic ability is perhaps the foremost measurement by which elite universities and colleges determine what applicants are best suited for life at their respective institutions. But, in this day and age, it’s not uncommon for an applicant to boast a top tier GPA, an impressive roster of AP courses, and a sterling SAT/ACT score. Therefore, the value of the college admissions essay is that it offers an alternatively valuable take on well-performing applicants. College admissions officers look to the essay portion as a way of humanizing an applicant beyond their stats, in order to understand his or her specific journey, personality, and passions.

Barmak Nassirian, Associate Executive Director at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, further underscored the crucial role college essays play in the admissions process, saying, “Admissions officers are running out of calibration devices. All else being the same or similar, the essay suddenly becomes meaningful because it becomes a tie breaker.”

Now that the pivotal role of the college essay is better understood amongst college counselors and tutors, how can students capitalize on the essay portion of a college application for the distinctive opportunity that it is? That’s where Achieve Academics comes in.

From private, one-on-one tutors and small group classes, to summer intensives and more—we offer the best in college preparedness. We support students in building lasting writing skills, so that come college application season, students are equipped with guidance, resources, and tools to compellingly showcase who they are to admissions officers. When students build confidence in their writing ability, they are able to convey their truest selves, relay their personality, and best position themselves for success as a college applicant.

Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

SPECIAL OFFER! Learn More About Your Child’s Learning Skills

Let’s step back from the daily rituals of reading, writing and arithmetic. Set aside the stresses of studying and standardized testing so we can start to understand the bigger picture: how strong are your child’s learning skills? Together we can address some of your biggest concerns:

  • How does my child process and remember new information?
  • Why does she get such good grades but bomb the standardized tests?
  • I don’t think he has learning issues, but how can he do better in school?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a data-driven tool to assess learning skills. The assessment was normed and validated across 10,000 children ages 8 to 21 through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Your student can take this one-hour test at the Achieve Academics Tutoring center. Using a series of online exercises, it measures ten core learning skills:

  • Speed: motor speed and processing speed
  • Executive functions: attention, flexible thinking, and working memory
  • Complex reasoning: visual reasoning, abstract reasoning, and spatial perceptions
  • Long-term memory: verbal memory and visual memory.

In less than one week after testing, experts at Mindprint Learning will review the data and formulate your student’s unique learning profile. You, your child and the Achieve Academics director will meet privately at the center to review the report, which describes how these skills affect progress in the classroom. The Mindprint profile will be well matched to our customized, one-on-one learning approach. Our tutors will use your student’s profile to tailor each lesson for optimum learning results.

The special introductory price is $59 for the test (a 70% savings), the report and a private consultation. This is a tremendous opportunity to better understand how your child currently learns and can become a more independent learner, which will lead to success throughout high school, college and beyond. Call TODAY to schedule the test and consultation. This special $59 offer will expire on 8/31/16.

Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

A Summer for the Books: Why Summer Programs are the Key to Academic Success

As much as summer is a time to rest and recoup after a long school year, it is also an exceptional three-month window in which students can grow in myriad ways. By investing time and energy into worthwhile summer programs and projects, students can arrive in school this fall brimming with new experiences, a greater level of maturity, and more prepared than ever to take on new academic challenges.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, summer learning loss—the documented phenomenon of students losing academic ability over the summer months—is one of the leading factors contributing to the high school drop out rate. Furthermore, research by the National Summer Learning Association demonstrates that gaps in student achievement significantly widen during the intervening summer months. To combat the risks of summer learning loss, various civic leaders and organizations are teaming with the National Summer Learning Association to support Summer Learning Day, taking place this July 15th.

Summer Learning Day is championed by an impressive list of educational advocates, from First Lady Michelle Obama and the , to the Afterschool Alliance and Scholastic Books. Summer Learning Day’s primary objective is to support students from all backgrounds, in their quest to make this summer a meaningful one. To close the gap in academic achievement, communities around the country are joining the National Summer Learning Association and its various partners to host lively events for students of all ages. These community events suit an array of interests; they include: science fairs, museum visits, library resource tours, and much more.

Aside from taking part in these exciting community events, what can you and your family do to keep your student in top mental shape during the summer holiday? For starters, staying socially and academically involved is an assured way to set the stage for success come fall. Whether your goal is to prep for upcoming SAT or ACT exams, sure up math and reading skills, or even branch out into new skill sets—such as computer programming or essay writing—there is certainly a summer program to suit your aims and interests. One-on-one tutoring is an outstanding method to ensure that your student is being personally guided through new material. Likewise, small group summer classes provide the twofold benefits of both social and academic engagement.

Instead of falling for the potential pitfall of summer learning loss, why not use these months as a platform for future success? Whether your student is preparing for the upcoming college application season or is simply looking for an academic tune-up to keep his or her GPA in fighting form, Achieve Academics offers the best in one-on-one tutoring, summer intensives, small group classes, college test prep, and more. We encourage students of all backgrounds and learning styles to take advantage of this seasonal opportunity to target academic weak spots, sure up strengths, and cultivate new skills.

Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

5 Ways to Build Exceptional Writing Skills

Perhaps more than ever, good writing skills are a highly valued commodity when it comes to college admissions and—down the road—a successful professional life. In an era where students’ scores on the SAT’s writing section are steadily declining, it can make a world of difference if your superior writing skills stand out from the pack.

Recently, the National Commission on Writing published a report that delved deeply into the reasons why good writing skills are so important. For instance, two-thirds of all salaried employees in the United States have regular writing responsibilities as a part of their professional duties. To boot,The Wall Street Journal counted coherent writing as one of its “Must-Have Job Skills,” for young job hunters. Whether you’re completing a research paper, crafting a personal statement for college, or tackling the SAT, honing your writing skills now can create a solid foundation for years to come.

At Achieve Academics, we’ve compiled an effective and easy-to-practice list of tips for developing outstanding writing skills that will serve students in the classroom today, and in their professional lives in the future.

 1. Study Structure

Learning to write may sometimes seem like a daunting prospect, as the question of where to begin can be an overwhelming one. That’s why studying the structure of successful essays and articles can teach valuable tools to help you craft your own effective writing. There is a formula to good writing that can be studied by simply taking note of what you’re reading and how the author of the piece executes his or her point, from introduction to conclusion.

2. Don’t Forget to Edit

After finishing a lengthy essay or term paper, the last thing a student may want to do is go back and re-read what they’ve already spent so much time completing. However, editing is one of the most effective weapons in a good writer’s arsenal. Not only does editing allow you to catch careless mistakes, it also causes the writer to take a step back and digest the written piece as a whole—on the look out for themes, transitions, clarity, and redundancies.

3. Use the Buddy System

Enlisting the help of a writing partner is a highly effective way to improve one’s writing skills. By recruiting a second set of eyes to look over your work, you begin to understand how your writing reads to different audiences, what material is unclear, and what portions are most effective.

4. Make an Outline

By taking the time to organize your thoughts, you limit the risk of miscommunicating material en route from your brain to the paper. In delineating introduction, thesis, body, conclusion, you create a natural organizational flow for your writing project, which takes much of the guesswork out of ordering and prioritizing your points and supporting information.

5. Foster a Writer’s Environment

Limiting distractions is a simple yet effective method to improve the quality of your writing. By setting up an area solely for the purposes of writing and completing work, your mind becomes trained to hone in on the task at hand. Writing requires sustained concentration, so fostering an environment free of distractions allows you to complete your work more efficiently and coherently.

As is the case in acquiring any skill, learning to write well takes practice, commitment, and time. Adopting some of these good writing habits may be the boost you need to take your abilities to the next level. At Achieve Academics we offer one-on-one tutoring, summer intensives, and small classes geared towards sharpening students’ writing abilities, so that no matter the goal, students are readily equipped with this indispensable skill.

Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

6 Tips to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

There’s nothing quite like the start of summer vacation. For most students, it’s the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax, and enjoy a three-month stretch of school-free bliss. While there’s obvious merit to using the summer break for some much deserved rest and relaxation, it’s also important that students stay sharp for the upcoming school year.

Summer learning loss is that potentially treacherous holiday gap in which a student might become fuzzy on the lessons he or she learned during the school year, letting slide all the knowledge he or she spent hours of energy acquiring in the first place.

At Achieve Academics, we’ve discussed the summer learning loss phenomenon before, but here we’ve compiled a helpful list of tips that may aid students in avoiding summer learning loss this season.

1. Dive into a Good Book

Reading for pleasure is a relaxing, entertaining way to unwind this summer, whether poolside or from the comfort of your couch. Diving into a good book stretches the imagination, exercises valuable reading comprehension skills, and builds vocabulary—all of which are lessons usefully applied in the coming school year.

2. Take a Summertime Field Trip

There are plenty of historical and cultural sites in and around the Plymouth area that are sure to spark a student’s interest, while allowing him or her to brush up on his or civic knowledge. Likewise, museums provide an ideal venue in which to engage a student’s senses and encourage curiosity.

3. Brush Up On Personal Finances

There’s no better way to instill healthy habits at an early age than by introducing a student to practical financial planning. Budgets, cash flow, taxes, savings, the stock market—all yield important lessons that can be utilized for a lifetime. Plus, learning to use these tools encourages students to apply math and reasoning skills in a real-world capacity.

4. A Summer Camp for All Interests

If summer camp is in the budget this season, it can be the perfect venue to get back in touch with academia, or perhaps to further explore an existing interest or hobby. Not only does summer camp provide a much-welcome social venue for young students, it also encourages exploration of nearly any subject under the sun. Does your student love marine biology? Water polo? Computer programming? Theater? No matter the taste, a Savannah summer camp of interest is surely out there.

5. Take a Hike

Studies show that regular physical activity can boost mood, energy, and motivation. Even if exercise doesn’t directly target academics, it can surely help develop positive body image, self-discipline, and a healthy route for stress relief. Shooting for just a half-hour a day of physical activity this summer can make a world of difference by the time the next school year rolls around.

6. Give Back to Your Community

Community service is a rewarding activity that allows young students to practice empathy, expand his or her horizons, and potentially learn new skills. No matter where a student chooses to volunteer this summer, engaging with your community in a meaningful way builds character and maturity, which also positively impacts a student’s self-awareness and discipline for the long term.

Taking advantage of these tips may be the key to creating a memorable summer—so that your student arrives at school this fall full of meaningful experiences, healthy habits, and sharper than ever. Don’t forget, there are plenty of summer learning options here at Achieve Academics, from one-on-one tutoring, to ACT and SAT test prep, to small class learning experiences. No matter a student’s learning style, academic level, or goals, there’s room to grow this summer at Achieve Academics.

Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

 

 

Preventing Summer Learning Loss: Achieve Academics Summer Programs Ensure Students in Plymouth Retain Knowledge, and are Prepared for the Fall 2016 School Year

For students in Plymouth, summer offers a nice reprieve from the often breakneck pace of the school year.  Routines often become less stringent, and learning often falls to the wayside in lieu of leisure. Yet with the college admissions process becoming ever more competitive, students frankly can’t afford to forget what they’ve learned during the previous year.  That’s precisely why Achieve Academics offers Summer Programs.  Designed to help students retain what they learned in the previous years, learn new skills and acquire new knowledge, focus on areas of study needing improvement, and prepare for the coming 2016-2017 school year.

 Summer learning loss is a documented phenomenon. All of the long hours Plymouth students spent studying, completing homework, and learning in class may be for naught, if the skills and knowledge acquired are forgotten during the three-month summer break. Operating like any other muscle, the brain responds to exercise. That’s why it’s essential to consider a summertime academic tune-up: to reinforce lessons learned during the previous year school year and to prepare for the school year to come.

At Achieve Academics we offer both private and small-class tutoring options so that students can stay engaged and academically active during the summer holiday. Our one-on-one tutoring affords a tailor-made study experience, customized to address each student’s unique strengths, weaknesses, and short and long term academic goals.  Our small classes and summer boot camps provide an ideal environment for group study, allowing students to enjoy socializing while gaining an edge on any upcoming college entrance exams, such as the ACT, PSAT, SAT, and SAT II Subject Tests. 

We also offer summer courses that tackle both the fundamentals and the forefront of academia, with focus areas including: building better study skills, public speaking, computer programming, and more. No matter the varying interests of a student, he or she deserves the opportunity to hone their skills in an environment that fosters a comprehensive, strategic approach to learning. Whether in small classes, boot camps, or through one-on-one study, our tutors craft strategies that cater to each and every student’s learning style and goals. 

By using a small fraction of the summer break to refresh what has been learned, acquire new knowledge and prep for next year’s academic load, students have the best opportunity to succeed in the coming year.  

Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help.   Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.

SAT Scores Cause a Scandal: There's More To Your Student's Score from the New SAT Than Meets The Eye.

Since the first scores of the New SAT were released last week, there has been a great deal of speculation and skepticism surrounding the scores, and quite frankly it is for good reason.  Although many students in Plymouth were thrilled to see scores better than they expected, the sheer numbers reported in and of themselves are actually a bit misleading, as the Washington Post reported in an article titled “Why your new SAT score is not as strong as you think it is.” 

At first glance, the scores from the new SAT appear encouraging.  However, the reality is that a score of 1300 for example on the new SAT, is not as strong as a score of 1300 on the past exam.  In fact, you need a calculator to adjust your new score, to the appropriate score of years past.  (Incidentally, there is also an app available through the College Board to help convert scores).  However, what the conversion calculators unanimously reveal is that the new scores don’t stack up to the old scores, and the discrepancy between scores can be as much as 80 points.   

That means that students who were counting on a specific score to lock in admission to a certain school are liable to find out they need a higher score than they thought.   Consider the example of student Bill Jones.  Bill believed he needed a 900 total SAT score to fall in line with the Median Score of Incoming Freshman at West Virginia University in 2015. However, with the new SAT scoring system, Bill actually needs a 980 score.  Likewise, at Penn State, where the 2015 Median Score of Incoming Freshmen was an 1190, students taking the new SAT need to score 1260 for the score to carry the same weight. 

Confused yet?  You’re not alone.  At Achieve Academics, we predicted that there were going to be some hiccups and obstacles and problems with the new SAT.  A change of this magnitude simply wasn’t going to go off without a hitch, which is why we continue to recommend that high school students in Plymouth take both the SAT and the ACT for the foreseeable future.   

The ACT has become the more popular of the tests in recent years, and with such big changes to the SAT, it is highly advisable that students preparing for college study take the ACT in addition to the SAT, until this scoring is better understood.  As a private tutoring and test prep services company serving the Plymouth area for a number of years, at Achieve Academics our sole goal is to ensure your student performs their best in school, and on all college prep tests they choose to take. 

In the meantime, if you are struggling to understand what your student’s new SAT score means for them, in regards to college admissions, feel free to contact us anytime at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.co

The March 2016 SAT Scores Are Finally Here! What's Your Next Step?

In this day and age, it is increasingly common to turn to the Internet and digital platforms to resolve life’s daily tasks and conundrums. Though plenty of web services make life easier or more efficient, one particular digital area’s true value still remains to be seen: online tutoring. Though some online tutoring services tout cost efficiency and accessibility, can education via the Internet work as effectively as the time tested and proven face-to-face tutoring model?

There are plenty of reasons that students and their families seek out tutoring services, often to prep for major college admission tests like the SAT or the ACT. In addition to choosing the college admission test that’s best for a student, it is just as important to determine the delivery method by which a student is best served. Even online tutoring courses that promise real-time online SAT or ACT support from teachers tend to come up short when it comes to lasting results. Though a quick online course may modestly boost scores, it is no match for a small group or private one-on-one tutoring where actual, in-person tutors can strategize alongside a student and cater to his or her specific strengths, weaknesses, learning style, and goals.

Personal Tutoring With a Professional Tutor

In fact, one of the most effective tools a tutor can employ is the bond forged between teacher and student which is built through spending time with one another. When trust is built between a tutor and his or her pupil through a small group setting or one-on-one study, comfort and communication result—which ultimately paves the way for the formation of positive and lasting study habits. A good tutor doesn’t evaluate from afar, via a screen located potentially thousands of miles away. Instead, the face-to-face, interaction between tutor and student puts the student at the center, and the ensuing strategy and set of goals are developed from a personalized starting point. While the nuances of test prep can get lost in translation when utilizing an online tutoring service, an experienced tutor can assess a student’s needs, progress, and long-term retention, and adjust along the way, when they are personally and routinely meeting with the student.

While online tutoring can be good at providing free generic instructional help and repetitive practice exercises, they also use generic approaches, not keeping in mind a student’s learning style/ difference/ psyche. An experienced tutor teaches a student how they can personalize and make the strategies and concepts their own. Using verbal and nonverbal cues, they diagnose and assess a student’s unique learning style, resulting in improved learning skills and self-confidence. Online programs have yet to bridge that human touch.

The College Board will be extending the regular registration deadline for the 6/4/16 SAT until 5/11/16. Please contact us to learn about our small group and private one-on-one tutoring options.

At Achieve Academics, we seek to meet the needs of each and every student, no matter his or her goals, interests, or academic background. Through one-on-one personalized tutoring and small group classes, we address the individual learning needs of all students, especially during the critical end of the year stretch. Finishing strong during final exams keeps transcripts and GPA’s on track, showing teachers and future college admission committees that a student is consistent and serious about his or her education. Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.