College Board releases National AP Report

From College News - College Board study: Minorities do worse on AP exams.

College Board has released its National AP Report today, showing that minorities are stills struggling with Advanced Placement (AP) exams in public schools, according to the Huffington Post.

Unlike SAT scores, which allow students to gain acceptance to universities, high AP scores can provide students college credit before they even graduate from high school. According to the College Board report, the number of minorities who actually take AP exams has tripled since 2001. However, only 14 percent of Hispanic and Latino students, and four percent of African American students in 2010’s graduating class, got passing grades on such tests.

“ I wish we could fix this overnight, but it doesn’t fix overnight,” Marica Cullen of the Illinois State Board of Education told the Chicago Tribune. “When you bring in more test-takers, you get more students who are edging over and challenging themselves for the first time. It’s a long process ... to set the bar higher and help kids achieve.”

In general, according to the College Board report, the number of high school students taking college-level courses is growing nationwide. About 508,818 students took 2.5 million AP tests last academic year. According to the Washington Post, Maryland ranked No. 1 in the nation for the third year in a row in high school graduates who passed AP exams.

Overall, College Board has been revamping AP exams to reflect students’ analytical skills more than their knowledge of individual facts. If you want to see more trends from the national report, look at this excellent interactive graph explaining the results on

By Alina Dain


Facebook app gives college applicants a break

From College News - New facebook app tells chance of college acceptance.
With more than 2,000 universities all over the country, applying to college can be a bit overwhelming. Anyone who was, or still is, in high school can relate to the feeling of anxiety as you wait for that college acceptance letter. However, the wait could be over with the new facebook app.
On Tuesday, Facebook launched a new app called Admission Splash that will make the application process much easier. It will show prospective college students how likely it is for them to get into any school. The app asks basic information from the student including test scores, address and whether they volunteer or play sports. The app will then give the student a rating ranging from “very poor” to “very good” of getting into the school.

According to CNN, Admission Splash currently runs customized equations for about 1,500 schools that it developed using the admission data released by the schools.

However, do not be discouraged if you get a low rating for a particular school. “Although high school grade point average and standardized test scores are important indicators of academic achievement used in UCLA’s admissions review, they only tell part of the story” UCLA’s prospective student Web site states.

Admission Splash does not take essays into account, which is a pretty big part of the application process. So before you jump to conclusions from your results, you should still apply and wait for your real acceptance letter.

If you are applying right now, also consider the new widget on Facebook called College Planner. This lets prospective college students research schools and then apply to them without actually leaving their Facebook profiles. According to Cnet, you can also see which people on your friend list are interested in the same schools.
Whichever way you decide to take the application process, remember it is how you stand out on your own that matters, not how you apply.

By Candice Silva


How to ace the college interview

The college interview is often an important part of the admissions process, one that many students stress over. While every interview is different, they do have many things in common, and following certain steps can help you ace it.

Take the interview as seriously as you would an important job interview

Ask your guidance counselor for examples of some common interview question, then practice them with someone - a friend, a parent, a teacher - so you can get an idea of what you might say. Dress up for the big day in business or business-casual attire, and avoid showing up late.

Come prepared

Bring a copy of your resume with you. If you don't already have one, prepare one that includes any jobs you've held, extra-curricula activities you did, your volunteer work, awards you've won, and anything else that makes you seem worthy of admission. It can also help guide the interview - your interviewer will probably use it as a spring-board for asking you questions.

Bring questions and take notes

The interview is as much an opportunity for you to get to know the school on a more personal level as it is for them to get to know you. At the end you will be asked if you have any more questions - if you don't it will seem like you lack real interest in the college. Your interviewer will either be an alum or a current employee, so take advantage! Ask questions whose answers can't easily be found on the admissions website. But make sure to curb your enthusiasm - excessively fawning over the university can seem insincere. Don't forget to write down the answers you're given; later, this list might become an important tool for choosing between schools.

Be yourself

Unless you are an accomplished actor, an interviewer will probably be able to tell if you're projecting a false image of yourself. If you figure out what your best traits are and how to highlight them, you can use that knowledge to give you the confidence to shine. Your enthusiasm for the school will likely show through, and you'll be one step closer to your undergraduate education.

- Modupe Akinnawonu, Examville Blog Contributor

Modupe Akinnawonu is a Blog Contributor at Examville is a global online education platform where users can connect and interact with others from around the world. Our innovative platform creates an open, virtual meeting place that allows for learning without borders. Examville facilitates online user-to-user collaborative learning at an affordable cost.


Test prep for the SAT and ACT - what you don't know might hurt you

Since the SAT and ACT are important criteria for college admissions, you should not assume that your student can take these tests with no preparation. Test scores can make or break a student's chances for college acceptance and scholarships. Most experts believe that a good test prep course can help to improve students' SAT and ACT scores. Here are 5 tips to find a good SAT and ACT course near you:

1. The teaching is most important. Most test prep courses offer similar information, but a good course will have a teacher who can motivate the students. The course should be taught by an experienced coach, not a high school teacher or someone who has only scored high on the SAT and ACT.

2. The course should be affordable. There is no reason why parents need to spend $1000 for a course. Paying more does not make a course better nor does a big name make it more effective. Parents should contact local, small test prep companies and inquire about what they offer before they sign up for another SAT or ACT course.

3. Students should practice and take real tests. Students should only take test prep courses that utilize tests that are published by the College Board and the ACT. Practice should also be done on real tests. This helps students to know exactly what to expect and makes for a less stressful experience. What good is practice if you are not using the real thing?

4. The course should focus on content and strategies. Parents should inquire about whether a course focuses on test-taking strategies or also includes practice materials with review and explanations. Students need to understand the content of the test, but they also need to know how to approach each part of the test and some test-taking techniques that will help them improve their scores.

5. A test prep course should fit the needs of your child. Is the course small enough to be beneficial? A course should include no more than 8-10 students. Does it take too much time away from homework and other activities? Students should spend only as much time as they need and once a week classes should be sufficient. Will your student learn how to handle anxiety and gain confidence? Stress relieving practices should be introduced and practiced.

Parents should always read the fine print of any test prep course. There are no score guarantees in spite of what you may be told. Students are usually given the opportunity to retake the course, but parents do not receive their money back.

Small improvements in test scores can make a difference in college admissions. That's why test prep can contribute to the overall success of a student's chances for college acceptance.

For more information on test prep or to receive a free college planning newsletter, go to Susie Watts is an educational consultant and test prep coach in Denver, Colorado. She is the founder of College Direction. Susie has been working with students for more than twenty years. Susie provides test prep for the SAT and ACT through tutoring, small classes, and an online program where she is able to monitor a student's progress. She also assists students with their college search, applications and essays, and college counseling throughout the college admissions process.

By Susie Watts, founder of College Direction in Denver, Colorado. She also works with students from other areas of the country. She assists high school students with the college search, applications, essays, and college counseling to help them become stronger college applicants. She is also a test prep coach for the SAT and ACT and provides individual tutoring, small classes, and an excellent online SAT/ACT course. She helps students with learning disabilities and works with student-athletes to find schools that are a good fit for them academically and athletically. Susie has been working with students for more than twenty years. As an educational consultant, her goal is to help students have success in college admissions. She is a member of five professional organizations and continues her educational development through state and national conferences and seminars. She also visits colleges and universities on a regular basis to determine what makes one unique from another. She is a writer who enjoys sharing her knowledge of college admissions, test prep, and the specifics of applying to college and finding ways to afford it.


7 ways to score 36 on your ACT test

Score a 36 on your ACT test? Wouldn't that be great? I can hear you thinking, "How am I going to do that?" Obviously you're going to have to start with some basic intelligence and some knowledge in Math, Science, English and Reading. But, I'm assuming you have a lot of that already, or can get some help from a competent tutor. You probably have more knowledge in those subjects than you give yourself credit for. So, in addition to applying your own natural capabilities, here are seven more ways to improve your ACT test score, and maybe even earn that top score of 36.

(1) Preparing for the test beforehand can be hard work, but is critical to help you score higher. If you go in blind without preparing, I guarantee you will get surprised by the unexpected. Get yourself a good ACT test prep book such as The Real ACT Prep Guide or from Barrons, Princeton, McGraw-Hills or get several.* Read the book(s) well and take the practice tests to see how you do on each of the four sections. This will help you know what kind of questions to expect in the actual test, and will tell you which section you need the most help with, if any. The test prep books also help you understand what kind of strategy you need to follow to score better on the real test. Take the practice tests under conditions that will be similar to those you will experience in the actual test (for example, on a Saturday morning in a quiet well lit room with no distractions like a TV or cell phone).

(2) Don't try to cram your review of the test prep book and your practice test taking into a few days. Spread it out over at least a month or even two, spending one to three hours per day on your test preparation. By giving yourself enough time, you'll absorb everything better and will be able to get help on any subjects you may not have quite mastered.

(3) When you take the practice tests, make sure you only allow yourself the amount of time you will actually have during the real test for each section. Use a stopwatch or alarm clock to make sure you stop after the allotted time. If you have trouble finishing in time, you should take another practice test forcing yourself to do one of two things; either mentally focus on speeding up answering each question, or set the timer for less time than the actual test will allow so you know you must answer questions faster. For example, if the test allows 30 minutes, set the timer for 20 minutes.

(4) Answer the questions in all sections of the practice test before you look at the answers in the back of the book. You have to practice relying on your own knowledge and thought process before relying on the book's answers. The answers at the back of the book are there just to check your answers and to show you which problems or sections you need to spend more time on. The ACT rewards you for correct answers and essentially doesn't penalize you for incorrect answers, so if you don't know the answer for sure, make an educated guess. Don't leave any question unanswered unless you completely run out of time.

(5) For the reading section, you should read the questions first and then read the text you are supposed to be answering the questions about. This seems to help many students tie in the questions to the context of the reading passages. It may help you to read the passage as if you were the author and you are reading what you just wrote. What would you have been thinking about if you just wrote the passage? What would you have been trying to say? What facts were you presenting? Then, answer the questions in the practice test for that passage.

(6) If you find a number of questions you can't answer correctly, or perhaps one of the four sections that gives you a significant problem, get some help from a qualified tutor who offers ACT test prep assistance. Don't assume that the actual test will be any easier than your practice tests. It won't be. If you need help, get it now before you take the real ACT test.

(7) On the day before the real test, get plenty of rest and good nights sleep. Have a healthy light breakfast in the morning and head off to the test well prepared. Make sure you have everything you need for the test including a calculator, pencils and your admissions ticket. Expect to be a bit nervous. It's natural. Expect to find at least a few questions that throw you a little. For those questions, take an educated guess at the answer by eliminating any answer that can't logically be correct and choosing the best of the remaining choices. Don't panic. With all your preparation, you will score better than you would have before the preparation. Maybe even that coveted 36. And, even if you don't like your score, you can take the test again and keep the best score. Good luck and here's to you scoring your best on the ACT.

If you are looking for a ACT tutor in Naperville, IL please visit us at Descriptions and a few tips of some of the ACT prep offerings are available for viewing on our ACT resource page.

© Joan Geyer Kaliher All rights reserved Permission granted to reprint with author, Joan Geyer Kaliher and website link provided.


Secrets to college application process

Planning to get into college can be one of the toughest tasks a student has to make and can be the most stressful time in a teen's life. However, understanding the college application process can greatly help a student in his or her search for a bright college life.

Application Strategy

Though there may be no exact rule or limit to the number of applications one should send, it is generally ideal to submit applications to 6 to 8 colleges or universities. It is also wise to come up with a final college list which has the following categories:

  • Reach College. These are colleges that may pose application challenges but applying is worth a try. You may choose 1 to 2 schools for this group.
  • Realistic/Probables. These are colleges that are close to what you are looking for and most likely have the chance of being accepted. You may choose 2 to 4 colleges or universities for this group.
  • Safeties. You can choose 1 or 2 colleges that you think you are very confident with. At least you think you have a 90% to 100% chance of being accepted and that you know you can afford studying there. These

There are students who choose 2 or more for the reach and realistic groups and more for the safeties. However, if you are deciding from the safeties group, you should make sure that you are really happy to attend these colleges. Always take time to consider all your options. Make sure that at the end of the day, you are happy and contented on what you have decided.

Application Procedures

Once you have finalized your school list, you must now secure your applications and catalogs from those schools. It is very important that you have read and follow their application requirements and directions as stated in their information. You may ask to fill out forms and submit necessary documents to support your application. If you are confused and would need help, you can always visit your counselor to ask for advice. Remember, as a responsible student, you need to know the details applicable to each school that you are applying. Always check for admission requirements, deadlines and tests to be taken.

By Jane Ward, Want the # 1 secret to choosing the right college and major while saving up to $26,000 in the process? Get this and more in our free college exploration video.


Do colleges look at PSAT scores? The truth about the PSAT!

During the college application process for many senior students, the question arises: do colleges look at PSAT scores? However, many students and parents don't even know what the PSAT actually is, how the scores are used, and if they even HAVE a PSAT score!

In this article, we'll first clarify what the PSAT is, how the scores are used and attempt to answer the question that got you here in the first place: Do Colleges Look at PSAT Scores?

First let's explain what it is. The PSAT is an acronym for the "Preliminary SAT" test. So basically it's a test that is administered to high school Juniors (and sometimes Sophomores and Freshman) as a practice for the real SAT subject test that may or may not be taken by a student. Remember, the SAT is a form of college entrance exam/test and is sometimes required for admission. However, most schools across the country will require only the ACT test for admission.

The PSAT covers 3 different sections:

  • Critical Reading Skills
  • Math Problem Solving Skills
  • Writing Skills

You will receive a score in each section that will be added up together to form your overall PSAT score.

So, how do you use the PSAT scores and what are they even for? Well, the test is developed to do a couple main things:

First, it measures your ability and give you an idea of what areas you need to brush up on before taking the actual SAT tests. And secondly, the PSAT is also associated with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and if a student does well enough on the test, he or she could qualify themselves as a National Merit Finalist which could have some scholarship money associated with it.

But don't get your hopes up yet. Only a very select group of students do well enough on the test to gain "finalist" status and then get awarded scholarship money. If you don't win a scholarship, just becoming "commended" or a finalist goes a long way with college admission and looks very good on your transcript.

So, do college look at PSAT scores. The answer to that is NO, absolutely not. When you apply to the college of your choice, you will be sending in an application, any recommendation letters or essays (if they ask for them) and an official high school transcript. The ONLY way they can see a PSAT score is if it's listed on your transcript. If it is, you can have it removed but 99% of high schools across the country do not list this score on an official transcript.

Once you take the actual SAT, those scores can be sent to the colleges, but again: If you don't want them sent you can have them removed from you transcript before applying for college admission.

By E. Thomas, College Admissions is different every single year, and it's getting harder and more competitive! Just making the slightest mistake in high school course selection, involvement or even on your application can make or break your chances of getting accepted to college. Taking an active role in your education NOW is the first step to a successful future! Stop by College Prep University to get your FREE report: Top 10 Reasons You WON'T Get Into College!


Tips on College Application

Time surely is changing. Before, college application only involves answering some straight-forward questions. Today, a lot of documents are being required and even writing essays!

If you need help in understanding the current college application process, here are some helpful tips that you may want to know:

  • College/University. First, you need to find the right college or university to apply. You should consider your interest, your extracurricular activities and your strengths when deciding for the course and the school to attend to. You can check on various college and university websites to help you decide which school do you think suits you best.
  • Application Form. When applying for several colleges and universities, make sure that you know which of them require a specific form and which ones allow you to just fill out a common application. It is also important to take note that when filling out application forms, take your time. Do not rush so that you do not make any errors. Remember, all the information being asked in the forms are important. So make sure they are complete and correct.
  • Transcript of Records. Your high school transcripts are needed for the college applications. Request them early and send them directly to the college or university you are applying for.
  • SAT Test Scores. Determine which schools require individual or composites SAT test scores.
  • Recommendation Letters. Check also which schools need recommendation letters as part of the application requirements. Ask a trusted teacher or acquaintance to write these letters for you.
  • Personal Essays. Start writing your personal essays in accordance with the schools' policies.
  • Interviews. You may want to check out as well if the school you chose offers interviews. Interviews allow you to speak to an admission representative for more in depth information.
  • Meet the Deadline. Always check the schools or universities' application deadlines. Make sure you submit all the necessary documents and requirements before this very important date.

Do your homework, write your essays and submit them all in time. By following these simple college application tips, you are increasing your chances of being accepted into the school of your choice.

By Jane Ward, Want the # 1 secret to choosing the right college and major while saving up to $26,000 in the process? Get this and more in our free college exploration video.


SAT scores drop as college tuition rises, says College Board

College News - College Board has reported record high college tuition prices while some schools face low SAT scores.

Attending college may be an even more difficult feat for young people now, with college tuition prices through the roof and SAT scores at some high schools dropping.

Mount Desert High School in Maine has failed to meet SAT standards, according to the Department of Education (DOE). The school has received notably low scores on the “critical reading” portion of the SAT exam for the last two years.

Between 2008 and 2009, Mount Desert’s special education class didn’t meet the state’s 10 percent improvement requirement in their reading scores. The low scores continued from 2009-2010, said Gossip Jackal.

Meanwhile, at four-year public universities, prices are rising. College Board reported this morning that average in-state tuition rose by 7.9 percent, or $555 to $7,605. At private non-profit colleges, tuition rose 4.5 percent, or $1,164 to $27, 293.

The DOE calls the Mount Desert a “continuous improvement priority school,” which mandates the school to develop and instate a plan to improve reading scores, said Jack Times.

Mount Desert is required to spend $1, 572 for reading development and to notify students’ parents about the school’s overall low SAT status. They are also required to advise parents to transfer students to a school with higher academic standards if they see fit. Many of the students with low scores are of low socioeconomic status.

On top of things, “Just when Americans need college the most, many are finding it increasingly difficult to afford,” said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education to Yahoo!.

By Marisa Amorasak


Do colleges look at Facebook? - you might be surprised!

When students are looking to start applying to college, the question often arises: Do colleges look at Facebook? While there certainly is a "gray area" with regard to what colleges should or shouldn't be looking at, there are a few general rules that will protect you from getting yourself denied due to the content that your Facebook or MySpace profile contains.

But first, let's answer the question that got you on this page in the first place:

Do College Look at Facebook?

The short answer to that is, Yes. However, it would be unfair to say that ALL colleges look at Facebook or MySpace to gain an extra insight to an applicant. There are over 2000 colleges in the United States alone and many of them get over 25,000 applications each year! Yes, you read that right... 25,000! To say that a college that receives that many applications to review goes onto Facebook an looks at each student would be ridiculous.

However, each year more and more schools are taking a closer look at the students applying to their university as a measure of "quality control". So yes, it does happen at some schools. Social media outlets like Facebook provide an unfiltered, real life look at the potential student. If a college has access to that, WHY NOT use it?

Think about it: If you owned a business and had a potential employee that was underage drinking in half of their pictures on MySpace or Facebook, would you hire them? I didn't think so. The same goes for the colleges! They will think twice about admitting a student that is a risk of dropping out due to excessive partying etc. The reason for that is because it damages a college's reputation, so they are looking for as much of a "sure thing" as possible to help keep their ratings up. If not, they will lose thousands of tuition dollars from potential students who no longer want to apply to that school because of it's freshman dropout rate.

Ok, so do colleges look at Facebook? Yes, some of them do, but what can you do to protect yourself? For starters, take down those photos that you would consider questionable. A good rule of thumb is this: If you think it MIGHT be a little questionable, TAKE IT DOWN! It's better to be overly cautious rather than sorry because you got denied!

Also, there are certain privacy measures that you can take on Facebook that will allow only friends or certain people to view specific photos. While we recommend that you should just TAKE THEM DOWN altogether, if you must keep them then look into setting those pictures to "private".

Facebook and Myspace are just one aspect of your personal life that colleges could gain access to, and deny you based on the material found there. If you choose to remain on Facebook, please be careful of not only the photos you post, but also the things you say on your wall or other people's wall. Comments can seem innocent and fun, but colleges don't want to see anything inappropriate and WILL deny you based on that!

By E. Thomas,
We've covered just ONE aspect that can get a student denied admission when applying to college. College Admissions is different every single year, and it's getting harder and more competitive! Stop by College Prep University to get your FREE report: Top 10 Reasons You WON'T Get Into College


Page 4 of 9

Your EduFavs

Please login to view and manage your EduFavs.