Summit Prep Blog - Part 9

Intelligence and Integrity

For the good of humanity, by far the most important quality of a person is his or her character. Take the comparison between intelligence and integrity.  A brilliant, evil person can do incredible harm.  But an uneducated, good person will still likely have a net positive effect (bringing happiness to others, improving the bonds of our social contract and the soul of society, etc). Thus, brilliance can actually be detrimental to society when not paired with virtue.  But, integrity, even when not paired with brilliance, can only be beneficial. Yet, when combined, brilliance and character have incredible potential to do a vast amount of good for the world.

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No January SAT: Should I Care?

Since the Collegeboard eliminated the January SAT and instead added an August SAT, rising juniors have been put in a precarious position, whether they realize this yet or not.  Previously, the latest that we would recommend that juniors start taking the SAT was in January.  Doing so in January or earlier was advantageous for two reasons: 1) Students could see definitively how they score on test day with enough time to make adjustments to their prep and still finish with testing by the end of junior year, and 2) the January SAT offered the Question-and-Answer service, which allows students to get back the test they took (only the October, March, and May tests will currently offer this).

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Why Tutors Teach

The simplest icebreaker has been somewhat of a torture question for me over the years. “What do you do for a living” (or some semblance of that question) and you’d elicit the same conversation I’ve had countless times. “I’m a tutor”, which gets the same response: “Oh so you are a teacher”.

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Some Savvy Financial Tips for Clever Parents

What do most people care most about in life?  For obvious and innumerable reasons, their children.  We want to give them the very best we can and everything that we can to help them be successful and happy.  Education is, for good reason, one of the best avenues for achieving this.  But, here are three unconventional ways you can give your kids an automatic advantage:

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Should I Take the SAT or ACT?

There is no “one size fits all” answer.  But here are some general guidelines. Two years ago, the advantage went to taking the SAT because 95% of colleges superscore the SAT, and, at the time, hardly any colleges superscored the ACT.  Today, still only about 40% of colleges superscore the ACT, so, in this respect, taking the SAT still has an advantage.

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Tips for Taking the SAT

When I walked into the testing room and handed my admissions ticket to the proctor, there was an immediate chorus of laughter.  No surprise: I am old (at least to a high schooler), and I am taking the SAT.  Why?  I could say it’s because I own a tutoring company and thus it’s my job to do so, but I mostly take it because I genuinely enjoy taking the test.  Taking the tests also gives me otherwise unavailable insights:

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The ACT Watch

One of the most difficult aspects of taking the ACT is timing, particularly on the Reading and Science sections. In order to improve on these sections, students need a lot of practice (preferably from the real tests), the right strategies (skim for key terms on the reading and science, when to read/skim/skip the science reading passages, etc), and a foundational knowledge of scientific principles. All of those take time. And we all love shortcuts. If only there was…

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Understanding New SAT Scores

The new SAT scores are confusing (even more so than one would think).  Let’s clear up the ambiguity. For the sake of consistency and clarity, one would think the Collegeboard would keep the scoring for the old and new SAT the same.  Unfortunately, like other decisions that the Collegeboard has made this year, they decided to make an incomprehensible change: they inflated the grading scale.  For example, a score of 700 on the new SAT Math is only equivalent to a 670 on the old SAT Math.

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Calling All Juniors – Here is your end of year plan!

End of the Year Plan for Juniors Haven’t taken the SAT or ACT yet?  You’re not alone.  Here’s what YOU should do: Sign up for the SAT in May Select the “Question and Answer Service.” If you pay for this service, the Collegeboard will send you a copy of the test back.  While this is always helpful, it is imperative given that it is the new SAT so that you can see how you did.  The SAT in June does not provide this option, which makes the May test better for taking the new SAT.

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