Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunday School for PSAT Prep

On a Sunday morning, what would you want to do most

A) Sleep in
B) Eat pancakes
C) Play video games
D) Go to school 

Definitely not D, right? I mean, who wants to go to school on a Sunday?

York School juniors do. In fact, over thirty of them came to school on a Sunday for a day long PSAT Boot Camp. 

My thanks to Ellen Masten and the York School administration for putting on this event. Pictured here are the students in action as we go through the steps to success for the reading, math, and english sections of the PSAT they are slated to take on Wednesday. 

It may have not been the students first choice of activities on a Sunday but everyone got a lot of out the session. No doubt the test-taking experience on Wednesday will be a bit easier for all the students. Additionally, as long as they keep doing what we talked about on Sunday, they can improve their test-taking performance on the SAT and ACT in the years to come. 

For information on scheduling a group Boot Camp at your school, contact CROSSWALK today. CROSSWALK is the Monterey Peninsula's local resource for SSAT, PSAT, SAT and ACT prep.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Accused of Cheating on the ACT?

A student of mine called me in a panic over the summer. "I've been accused of cheating on the ACT! What can I do?" 

Wait a second, I thought to myself. This is not a student who would cheat. 

I've heard of cheaters who fake their identification so that someone else can take the test for them. Or students who peek over the shoulder of another student during the test. And even the rumors that international students somehow gain access to the test version before the test. 

None of these scenarios seemed to apply to my student. 

Here was a student with a 19 on her ACT before she and I started to work together. Over the course of five sessions in a little under two months, we worked on her timing and her strategic approach to the test. She made marked improvement and she set a goal to score in the mid-20s. 

Her results came back and we were both extremely pleased: she scored a 29! A 10-point increase in two months surprised both of us. But based on our work together, we knew she would improve. 

I've come to find out that a major increase in such a short time frame triggers a flag within the ACT Inc's scoring system. These kind of things usually don't happen so the ACT reacts and accuses the student of cheating. 

The good news is that this story has a happy ending. I prepared a letter for my student so she could petition the accusation. We presented evidence of our work and how her increase was due to hard work, not cheating. The college that ultimately offered her admission did not put any stock into the accusation and she was admitted without any issue. 

Have you been accused of cheating on the ACT? Know anyone that has? In my 15+ years of test prep, this has never happened to me so I want to learn more. Feel free to post your comments here if you have any input. 

If you want to improve your score, and potentially be accused of cheating, contact CROSSWALK. We specialize in test prep for SAT, ACT, SSAT, PSAT and more. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Another ACT Success Story

A direct quote from a student and more proof that hard work and determination pay off: 

I wanted to give you the fantastic news that after my last ACT, with super scoring from my past tests, I now have a 32! I did what we hoped for and improved both my Reading and English from 33 and 34 to 35 in both! And I improved my math score 4 points to 28! So, with my original 31 in Science, 35 in English and Reading and 28 in Math all from this most recent test, my Super score improved to 32!!

Thank you for your patience, your diligence, and your dedication to help me do my best and build confidence in myself. It's giving me great hope for the future and I can't wait to keep updating you on what happens with college apps.

This particular student put in the time to improve. 

When she started working with CROSSWALK, she was scoring in the high teens on the ACT. One year later and she is in the 30s. What a difference a year of consistent and quality practice makes. 

There really is no secret to improving your ACT or SAT. If you are willing to put in the work and you have the time to do so, you too can experience a significant score increase. 

If you need some guidance along the way, contact CROSSWALK. We offer private tutoring and small group classes for SAT, ACT, PSAT, SSAT and more. 

Learn more here