Remote Testing for ADHD and Dyslexia

We are now nine weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has completely changed the way we do business, socialize, learn, teach, and pretty much everything else.  While many states have begun to re-open businesses, they are still operating in limited conditions, particularly those involving in-person meetings. Neuropsychological testing is the basis for most diagnoses of learning disorders and ADHD.  Typically I conduct evaluations in-person in one session that lasts about 2-3 hours.  But in early March that option went out the window.  At the same time, private school admissions season was ramping up.  Many admissions offices require updated neuropsychological [...]

How to Set Achievable Goals

Although New Year’s is in our rearview mirror and we are well into 2020, many of us are still working on our New Year’s resolutions.  For some this may be to lose weight.  For others it may be to get finances in order.  But for many students, the goal this time of year is to bring grades up, get into college, or score high on the SAT or ACT. Before achieving a goal, however, it is important to understand how to set yourself up for success.  It is no coincidence that many New Year’s resolutions taper off in February and [...]

Important College Application Information

  As I sit here writing this, students in Texas are all finally on summer break.  Seniors are now officially college freshmen, and every other grade has now moved up.  This takes us to last year’s juniors, who are now officially seniors.  I’ve already had several families contact me with questions about the college application process, even though it is still early June.  Below is some important information to ensure your student is on track to submit applications in a timely manner. Understand the different applications The college application timeline has gotten a little simpler over the years with the [...]

How Updated Testing Affects the ACT and SAT

Today’s post comes from a good friend and colleague, Renee Becak.  I previously invited Renee to write about her role at my high school as the learning lab director and how private schools provide accommodations. In addition to her role in the learning lab, Renee is also the testing coordinator for the high school.  She knows more about ACT and College Board than anyone else I know!  For students diagnosed with learning differences and/or other educational-impacting disabilities, the process for applying for accommodations on standardized tests can be daunting.  Here Renee provides an overview of the process and the importance [...]

What You Need to Know about the PSAT

The calendar has turned to October, and not only does October mark the start of fall, but it also means the PSAT is just around the corner.  I’ve written previously on the PSAT, but I had a question from a parent of a 9th grader the other day.  Today’s post is in response to that question: Question:  I have a general question since we are new to high school.  When do students take the PSAT?  Do they tutor for this?  I am not sure what the PSAT counts for, and I am not even sure my child is taking it [...]

Why Grades Aren’t as Important as You Think

I was flying home from San Diego yesterday morning, and I decided to buy a copy of USA Today to keep me occupied for the flight. As I was flipping through I came across an interesting headline: A's on the rise in U.S. report cards, but SAT scores founder The article centers around research conducted by Michael Hurwitz of College Board and Jason Lee, a graduate student at the University of Georgia. In an extensive study they found that the percentage of students graduating with an “A” average has risen to 47% from 38.9% since 1998. That’s nearly a 10% [...]

How to Interpret PSAT Results

If your student is in 8th, 9th, 10th or 11th grade, then he or she likely took the PSAT exam this past October. While the PSAT has been a mainstay for high school students, interpreting the scores can be challenging. College Board has made sweeping changes to both the SAT and PSAT, so understanding your student’s score report may be more difficult than in the past. This post is an attempt to help you understand the new changes. The New PSAT In an effort to make the PSAT more meaningful, College Board is now offering different tests for 8th/9th graders [...]

Academic Resolutions

Academic Resolutions Goodbye 2015, and Hello 2016! I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions, but for students I think it’s a good time to think about some academic resolutions you can implement for the next 12 months. Don’t stress about trying to make too many changes; just pick a couple and see how they work for you. 1.  Read a book every month I know students get plenty of reading assigned to them throughout the school year, but I want them to find a book they truly want to read outside of school. My list of spring break [...]

5 Big Changes to the New SAT

Preparing for the New SAT Closeup of a SAT test answer sheet and pencil Beginning March 6, 2016, the SAT will be offered in a completely new format. After careful analysis of “stagnant results” on the old SAT, College Board decided to revamp its most widely-used college admissions assessment to reflect the skills necessary for college success. The new SAT test will focus on the “critical set of knowledge, skills, and understandings that predicts student success in college and workforce training programs.” Simply stated, the new SAT will reflect what is learned in the classroom. So what does [...]

College Application Timeline

College Application Timeline Applying to college can be a daunting process. Not only are the applications expensive, but each one has its own requirements and deadlines. Before you start narrowing down your list of potential colleges, you should familiarize yourself with the college application process. The following year-by-year guideline can help make this process smoother and give you a leg up. Freshmen Amazingly the college application process can start as early as a student’s freshman year. Although I personally think this is too early, there are a few things to consider: Grades - get the best grades possible! GPA gives colleges [...]

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