College Admissions: Should you apply to college early?

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on April 21, 2017 at 10:44 AM


As you wind down your junior year, you may have college applications on your mind already—particularly if you're thinking about applying early. What you may not have in your mind, though, is a clear idea of what "applying early" really means: the differences between early action and early decision, when deadlines are, and what you should do to get yourself and your apps ready. That's where we come in.

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Topics: College Admissions

ACT and SAT Reading Tips: The Author's Attitude

Posted by Vicki Wood on April 7, 2017 at 12:59 PM

As a teenager, you've probably been told you have a bad attitude at least once. It's a rite of passage in these years of immense physiological change and social and parental pressure. But do you know how to recognize a negative attitude on the ACT or SAT?

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Reading, ACT Reading

ACT and SAT Math Tips: How to Conquer Complex Fractions

Posted by Vicki Wood on March 31, 2017 at 12:33 PM

 You’ve probably been leaning on your calculator for so long that you’ve forgotten what a complex fraction even is.

The ACT and SAT like to reach way back into your math history to gather concepts you learned in elementary school (remainders, anyone?). The more years that have passed since you mastered an operation, the more likely that operation will appear (and cause panic) on the ACT or SAT. One of the most anxiety-inducing concepts for high school students is complex fractions, those fractions that have a separate fraction in the numerator and/or denominator:

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Math, ACT Math

How a common myth can hurt your college application

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on March 17, 2017 at 11:03 AM


There's a very strong feeling among college applicants that you "have to do everything and do it well" in order to be accepted into college--and this goes doubly strong if you're aiming for one of the nation's elite universities.

Invariably, this leads to high school students joining as many clubs as possible, participating in as many extracurriculars as they can cram into their schedule, playing as many sports as they are able, and volunteering at as many places as they can find, all in the quest to become the quintessential Well-Rounded Student that they believe all colleges want to see, and that will guarantee them admission to the college of their choice.

Here's the deal, though: Although well-rounded students were once sought after by admissions officers, they're no longer what colleges covet for their freshman class. Admissions committees instead try to create a class of dedicated and passionate specialists.

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Topics: College Admissions

ACT and SAT Writing Tips: Misplaced Modifiers

Posted by Vicki Wood on March 10, 2017 at 1:24 PM

Today’s blog focuses on a great time-saving secret in the ACT English and SAT Writing section: misplaced modifiers in introductory clauses. Once you learn how to spot these frequent errors, you can quickly pinpoint the correct answer choice.

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Writing, ACT English

How NOT to choose a college

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on March 3, 2017 at 10:43 AM

It's almost here! That wondrous time when you start getting fat letters and congratulatory emails from colleges, and you finally get to pick where you want to go to college. It's exciting, it's exhilarating, it's awesome--and it needs to be something you take  seriously, lest you end up selecting a college for all the wrong reasons.

If you're trying to choose between schools, make sure you're not using these as your deciding factor for one college over another.

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Topics: College Admissions

ACT and SAT Math Tips: Sequences

Posted by Vicki Wood on February 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM

There are three main types of sequence questions on the ACT and SAT:

  1. Those that require the use of formulas to solve arithmetic or geometric sequences.
  2. Those that ask you to compute a small-numbered term (such as the 8th term or less).
  3. Those that assess your ability to discover a repetitive pattern in order to find a higher-numbered term (such as the 51st term).

It is this third type of sequence--often considered the most difficult by unprepared test takers--that we will address today. Like many ACT and SAT math questions, there is a trick that makes these sequence questions quite easy to solve.

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Math, ACT Math

Five ways to build a great high school résumé

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on February 10, 2017 at 11:50 AM

You’ve heard it before,Community Service.jpg and you’ll hear it again—colleges like to see their applicants do more than just excel in academics. They like to see involvement in extracurriculars, participation in the community, an active volunteering streak…maybe even a combination of all three! It can get exhausting to try to get all of these bases covered, but it also can—and should—be fun! Try these five steps to make pumping up your résumé not only a productive endeavor, but also an enjoyable experience. 

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Topics: College Admissions

ACT English and SAT Writing Tips: Parallel Prepositions

Posted by Vicki Wood on January 27, 2017 at 9:25 AM

The use of prepositions in a series must either be used by all members of a series or by only the first member of the series in order to be considered parallel.

Both of the following sentences are correct:

You can succeed on the SAT by reading, by studying, and by taking a prep class.    [Correct]

You can succeed on the SAT by reading, studying, and taking a prep class.    [Correct]

In the first sentence, the preposition by is used by all three items in the list: by reading, by studying, and by taking. In the second example, the preposition by is only used by the first item: by reading, studying, and taking.

This sentence, however, is incorrect:

You can succeed on the SAT by reading, by studying, and taking a prep class.    [Incorrect]

Only two of the items in the series use the preposition by, making the sentence ungrammatical.

A series using prepositions does not have to repeat the same preposition:

We have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Just ensure that all of the objects receive a preposition. This sentence is incorrect:

You can travel to the town on a plane, in a car, or a boat.    [Incorrect]

The nouns plane and car are the objects of the prepositions on and in. Because the noun boat is in the same series, it must also be the object of a preposition:

You can travel to the town on a plane, in a car, or by a boat.    [Correct]

Examine a question type that might appear on the ACT or SAT using unparallel prepositions:

In the relative phrase, there are three groups of people for whom the toys are being collected: for children, parents, and for babies. Notice that the second group, parents, is missing a preposition. Either all three of the groups must use a preposition:

for children in the shelter,

for parents who are unemployed over the holidays, and

for babies in the hospital

Or just the first group:

for children in the shelter,

parents who are unemployed over the holidays, and

babies in the hospital

Choice (B) is correct, as it deletes the preposition for  from the third group, babies:

The toy drive—which collects new toys for children in the shelter, parents who are unemployed over the holidays, and babies in the hospital—is slated to start the last week in November.    [Correct]

Now the sentence is parallel.

 

Did you find this helpful? If so, check out our ACT courses.

 

Photo: Today's repeating pattern, courtesty of Kevin Dooley

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Writing, ACT English

How to Set a (Realistic) Target ACT or SAT Score

Posted by Vicki Wood on January 13, 2017 at 10:26 AM

When we teach courses, we hand out a student profile which asks students about their testing experience and expectations. One of the questions prompts them to list their target score. So many of the responses are the same: 25 on the ACT and 1200 on the SAT. When we ask why they want these scores, their answer is simple: “Because that’s a good score.”

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep